HOW KICKS ARE COUNTED WITH ANTERIOR PLACENTA
WHAT IS PLACENTA?
The placenta is an incredible yet temporary organ that connects you and your baby via the umbilical cord. The organ releases hormones that are required for the growth of the baby, while it also exchanges the nutrients and oxygen with them. The placenta being an impermanent organ in females, leaves the body after fulfilling its purpose. It also plays a major role in carrying away the waste products like carbon dioxide to your bloodstream to dispose of them.
WHEN IS PLACENTA CALLED ANTERIOR?
After the first few weeks of pregnancy, the placenta starts to grow and develop wherever the fertilized egg embeds itself in the uterine wall of the female body. The position may vary from the top, sides, front or even back wall of the uterus. Although if the placenta attaches itself to the front of the wall, it is said to be an Anterior Placenta.
Sometimes, people believe that having an anterior placenta is linked to having a low-lying placenta but it is not true. However, a low-lying placenta, which is also known as placenta previa, is the condition when the placenta attaches lower down and may cover a part of or even the whole of the cervix that is the entrance to the womb.
HOW TO DETECT AN ANTERIOR PLACENTA?
An Anterior Placenta can be found during your second ultrasound scan when you are 18 to 21 weeks pregnant.
WHY ARE BABY MOEVEMENTS IMPORTANT?
Sometimes, less movement of the baby can be a warning sign that the baby is not well. It is analyzed that two out of three pregnant women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.
WHY BABY MOVEMENTS ARE DIFFERENT WITH ANTERIOR PLACENTA?
The mums with an anterior placenta usually feel the primary movements of their babies way later than the mothers with a placenta elsewhere, as the former one’s placenta cushions the initial wriggles of the baby.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER FACTORS THAT AFFECT BABY’S MOVEMENTS?
There are various conditions that regulates the movements of a baby and even affects the tendency by which a mum could fell it. Some of those conditions are:
- A busy and active mother is less exposed to their baby’s movements.
- Your baby lying head down or bottom first will not affect whether you can feel it move.
- You may feel fewer movements if your baby’s back is lying at the front of your uterus, than if his or her back is lying alongside your own back.
WHEN WILL I START FEELING THE BABY’S MOVEMEMTS IF I HAVE AN ANTERIOR PLACENTA?
In general, women start feeling their baby’s primary movements somewhere between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. But, in case of mums with anterior placenta, it is common that they feel first movements later as compared to those mums with a placenta elsewhere, as their placenta cushions those early wriggles. Regardless of placenta position, if you don’t feel any movement until the 24th week of your pregnancy, inform your midwife at the earliest.
As your pregnancy continues, it’s important that you keep a record of your baby’s normal pattern of movement. If you are a mother who has an anterior placenta it is recommended that you try to focus on your sides and lower down, as these parts are more sensitive to feel the movements of your unborn baby.
Although feeling the baby’s movement is tricky task for a mother with anterior placenta, it is important that your baby should still develop regularity to their movement. If you feel any change in your baby’s movements like their movements have slowed down or stopped, it is necessary that you call your midwife or the maternity unit immediately without making any assumptions of your own.
With the development of the baby, both the number and kinds of movements will change. It is often that the baby’s movement is at its peak in the afternoon and the evening. Although the baby sleeps for around 20-40 minutes and rarely longer than 90 minutes during both day and night and during that time period, your baby will usually not move. Until the 32 weeks of pregnancy, the number of movements of the baby tends to increase and tends to remain the same. But, the type of movement may change as you get closer to your date of delivery. Though, you might not notice all these movements if you are busy, but it is important that you feel your baby move till the time you go into labour and even during your labour as well.
HOW WILL BABY MOVEMENTS FEEL LIKE?
The mothers with their second pregnancy, feel the movements of their babies as early as 16 weeks of their pregnancy. The baby movements are of different types like a kick, flutter, swish or even a roll.
HOW MANY MOVEMENTS OF THE BABY ARE SUFFICENT?
There is no specific number of movements which can be said to be normal. But it is important that during your pregnancy, you need to be aware of your baby’s individual pattern of movements. Keeping a record of the reduction or any change in your baby’s movements is necessary.
SHOULD I KEEP A CHART OF MY BABY’S MOVEMENTS?
The use of a movement chart is not recommended as there is not enough evidence in favor of that but it is more important for you that you must be aware of your baby’s individual pattern of movements throughout your pregnancy and you should seek immediate help from your midwife or local maternity unit if you feel a reduction in movement.
WHAT MAY BE THE REASONS FOR NOT FEELING THE BABY’S MOVEMENTS?
There are multiple reasons that dysfunctions the baby’s movement such as certain drugs like strong painkillers or sedatives can make your baby move less by going in the unborn baby’s circulation. Consumption of alcohol and even smoking may also affect your baby’s movements. In some cases, if the baby is unwell, it tends to maneuver less. In rare cases, a baby may have a condition affecting the muscles or nerves that causes him or her to maneuver little or not in any respect.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF I DON’T FEE THE BABY MOVE?
You should always seek professional help as early as possible and it is vital that you must never ignore a reduction in your baby’s movements by any means. Moreover, you should not rely upon any home kits you may have for listening to your baby’s heartbeat.
Majority of pregnant women become aware of their baby’s first movement during the 18–20 weeks of their pregnancy. But, if even by 24 weeks you have never felt any movement of your baby, you should contact your midwife immediately, who will check your baby’s heartbeat. However, an ultrasound scan may be arranged, and you may be referred to a specialist fetal medicine center to check your baby’s wellbeing.
Along with that, between 24 weeks and 28 weeks of your pregnancy, you ought to contact your midwife, who will check your baby’s heartbeat. A full antenatal check-up must be provided that includes checking the scale of your uterus, measuring your blood pressure and testing your urine for protein. In case, if your uterus measures smaller than expected, an ultrasound scan may be done to check your baby’s growth and development.
If you are over 28 weeks pregnant, you need not wait until the subsequent day for help while you must get in touch with your midwife or local maternity unit immediately. You will be asked about your baby’s movements and have a full antenatal check-up which incorporates checking your baby’s heartbeat which will be monitored for minimum of 20 minutes. All of this is done to administer your reassurance about your baby’s wellbeing. You will be able to see that with the movement of the baby, its heart rate increases. After the tests, you may usually be able to go back. But, if your uterus measures smaller than expected, an ultrasound scan would be done to check on the growth of your baby and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby as your pregnancy might have risk factors associated with stillbirth. The scan is normally performed within 24 hours and these investigations usually provide reassurance that everything is fine, that is both you and the baby. Although most women who experience one episode of reduction in their baby’s movements have a straightforward pregnancy and go on to deliver a healthy baby.
What other problems can anterior placenta cause?
Lower back pain
If you are a mum with an anterior placenta, you may have pain at the lower back of your body. Irritable back pain is commonly seen in pregnancy but there are things that can be done to get relief from it.
Screening and diagnostic tests
There are certain tests that are difficult to perform on a mother with an anterior placenta, such as amniocentesis. although this test is not offered during her pregnancy. Amniocentesis is only offered to the mums whose screening tests show that their baby has a high risk of certain conditions, such as Down’s syndrome.
This particular test involves inserting a long, thin needle through the stomach into the amniotic sac to get a sample of cells that are later tested by the doctors. However, having an anterior placenta can make this more difficult, but doctors will use an ultrasound scanner in that case to guide the needle and avoid any risk of injury to the placenta.
Having an anterior placenta does not add the risk of performing an amniocentesis test as there is a small risk of miscarriage after the test, regardless of where the placenta is.
Your baby’s position in the womb
If you have an anterior placenta, there are high chances of the baby being in a back-to-back position which is known by the term Occipitoposterior in medical sciences. In this position, the baby’s head is down, but the back of their head and their back is against your spine.
Usually, it is possible that your baby will turn into the best position for birth during labour even if it is in a back-to- back position and you will have a normal vaginal delivery. But it is evident that having a baby in a back-to-back position during labour does increase many difficulties, such as:
- a longer labour
- a more painful labour
- a caesarean section
- an assisted birth.
It is suggested that you should talk to your midwife or doctor if you have any concerns or queries about having an anterior placenta.