Pregnancy is a wonderful journey, but it can also be a source of worry and confusion. As you go through your prenatal visits, your doctor may mention your placenta's location and use terms like "fundal placenta," "anterior fundal placenta," or "posterior fundal placenta." This can be overwhelming, especially if you don't understand what these terms mean.
In this blog post, we'll explore what a fundal placenta is, what it means when the placenta is on top of the uterus, and whether it's normal or not.
What Is a Fundal Placenta?
The fundus is the top part of the uterus, and it changes position as the uterus grows and the baby moves, but it's generally considered the most superior part of the uterus. Therefore, a "fundal placenta" is a placenta that's located at the top part of the uterus.
When your doctor performs an ultrasound, they will measure the distance between the top of your uterus and the placenta. This distance is known as the "placental position." If the placenta is located within 2 cm from the top of the uterus, it's considered a "fundal placenta." However, the placenta can also be located in other parts of the uterus, such as the front (anterior), back (posterior), or side (lateral).
Why Do Some People Have a Fundal Placenta?
According to a study published by the Cleveland Clinic the location of the placenta is related to the shape of the uterus and the implantation site of the fertilized egg [*]. Other factors that may affect placental position include maternal age, body mass index, and previous uterine surgery.
What Is an Anterior Fundal Placenta?
An anterior fundal placenta is a placenta that's located at the front (anterior) of the uterus, near the top (fundus). This means that the placenta is facing the belly side of the uterus, and the baby is behind the placenta.
An anterior fundal placenta is common and doesn't usually cause any problems. However, it can make it more difficult to feel the baby's movements, especially during the early stages of pregnancy when the placenta is still small.
What Is a Posterior Fundal Placenta?
A posterior fundal placenta is a placenta that's located at the back (posterior) of the uterus, near the top (fundus). This means that the placenta is facing the spine side of the uterus, and the baby is in front of the placenta.
A posterior fundal placenta is also common and doesn't usually cause any problems. In fact, it can be easier to feel the baby's movements with a posterior placenta since there's less tissue between the baby and the mother's skin.
Is Placenta on Top Normal?
Having a fundal placenta is generally considered normal and doesn't increase the risk of complications during pregnancy or delivery. In fact, most pregnancies have a fundal placenta.
However, the placental position can affect how you feel your baby's movements. If the placenta is located at the front (anterior) of the uterus, you may feel fewer kicks and movements in the beginning. But as the baby grows, their movements will become more noticeable.
Your doctor will typically perform an ultrasound at 18-20 weeks to determine the baby's growth and check the placental position. During the ultrasound, the technician will measure the distance between the placenta and the top of the uterus to determine if it's a fundal placenta or located elsewhere. This information will help your doctor monitor your pregnancy and plan for any necessary interventions or treatments.
Can My Placenta Change Position?
It absolutely can! Most often the placenta will migrate upwards near the third trimester. It is normal for the placenta to change positions as the uterus grows and your pregnancy progresses. Your doctor will continue to check your placenta health and position via ultrasound throughout your pregnancy.
Is Placenta Fundal Boy or Girl?
Regardless of what the latest wives tale is or what other women have told you surrounding your pregnancy, your placenta position does not have any relationship to your baby’s sex.
There is no proven scientific evidence to support any of the misinformation surrounding placental location and the likelihood that you will have a boy or girl. Ultrasounds are pretty accurate though if you need to know what color to paint the nursery.
Which Placenta Position Is Best for Normal Delivery?
Typically a posterior placenta is often referred to as the ideal placental location for birth, however a fundal placenta or anterior placenta is unlikely to be a problem.
Fundal placenta complications are rare, so you can have confidence that you will likely be able to follow your preferred birth plan if you have a fundal placenta.
Can You Save Cord Blood with a Fundal Placenta?
Absolutely! Having a fundal placenta will likely ensure a normal delivery in which your doctor will have the opportunity to collect your baby’s umbilical cord blood and cord tissue. It is suggested to consider registering for cord blood banking late in your second trimester or early in your third.
Saving cord blood and cord tissue stem cells can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Learn more about the benefits of saving your baby’s cord blood by requesting our Info Kit or call today at 888.743.2673 to have your questions answered and enroll.
The Bottom Line
A fundal placenta is a placenta that's located at the top part of the uterus. An anterior fundal placenta is at the front of the uterus, while a posterior fundal placenta is at the back of the uterus.
Having a fundal placenta is generally considered normal and doesn't increase the risk of complications during pregnancy or delivery. However, the location of the placenta can affect how you feel your baby's movements.
If you have any concerns about your placental position or pregnancy in general, don't hesitate to speak with your doctor. They can provide guidance and support to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.