Mother and Baby

I have an anterior placenta - and it’s making pregnancy much harder

Section: Symptoms

Due to previous major abdominal surgery, I was told I wouldn’t be able to have children naturally. And then I got pregnant. Unplanned.

Now. at 25 weeks along, I am so lucky to be preparing to become a mum. I thank my lucky stars every day that my body is somehow able to carry my little boy.

I’ve had the most amazing time picking out outfits, sorting out the nursery, deciding on names. And so far, everything has gone smoothly - bar feeling exhausted all of the time and experiencing the dreaded morning sickness.

I know I’m experiencing something that some women dream of, what I once dreamed of, that I never thought would happen, and so I never take any of it for granted.

Which is why I do feel guilty that there is something I do feel quite disappointed about. The fact that I have an anterior placenta.

The term ‘anterior placenta’ refers to the location of the placenta within the uterus. Most of the time, the egg will place itself in the posterior side of the uterus, closest to the spine, where the placenta eventually develops.

But with me, the egg has implanted at the front wall of the opposite side of the uterus closest to my tummy, with the baby behind it.

It’s not unsafe, it doesn’t affect the baby and as long as no problems are caused, you go on to have a normal pregnancy. But it does mean the when my baby kicks, he is first kicking the placenta before my abdomen, and so I barely feel anything.

Most people feel their baby move between 18 and 24 weeks, but it can be hard when you have an anterior placenta because the baby is cushioned, so there’s a huge chance of feeling things much later - and not as much throughout the pregnancy, meaning it’s hard to get to know your baby’s movements. Especially when kick counts come into play.

I didn’t feel my little boy kick until the end of my 23rd week of pregnancy. I had felt flutterings before, but it was hard to determine whether that was my baby or just gas. I was told by my midwife that I was feeling things because my baby had grown bigger and was now able to kick around the placenta, so I usually feel it in the sides and not in the middle. But I still don’t get huge kicks, and it makes me really anxious.

I’ve seen other women who have experienced proper kicks around 18 weeks. Some who have videos of their babies kicking prominently through to the abdomen. Whereas for me, mine are generally light.

During my 24th week, there were a couple of kicks that moved my stomach, but still not enough to see on camera.

 I can’t help feeling jealous of these other women. I am so grateful for my little boy, but having an anterior placenta fills me with anxiety. I find myself constantly comparing. I panic when I hear other mums feel their babies move non-stop throughout the day whereas I just feel mine here and there when the kicks are strong enough.

I know that if you experience reduced movements, you are to call your midwife or go to the labour ward straight away, but it’s hard to know when the movements have been reduced with an anterior placenta because you don’t feel your baby all the time - I’m nearly 26 weeks pregnant and I’ll still only feel my baby a few times a day, and some days I’ve not felt him at all, even though he’s healthy and happy in there.

I just wish I got to experience what these other mums are experiencing, their babies keeping them up all night with kicks, their babies reacting to their hands on their bellies or pregnancy music. The father of my baby hasn’t even been able to feel a kick yet and I feel like he’s missing out.

I suffer with anxiety anyway, and having an anterior placenta has made it worse. To check everything is okay I have been booking private scans, because unlike other women I’ve been unable to rely on the reassurance of kicking.

I know I sound selfish. I’m so lucky to be pregnant. I’m so lucky to have a healthy baby. I have what some women pine for. And here I am complaining. But for me, this pregnancy is the first thing to go right, and I just wish I got to experience what all the other pregnant mums are talking about.

I know that it’ll happen later on, and I’m excited for that, but I also know that kicks can be different throughout the entire pregnancy.

Most of all, I just wish I wasn’t filled with anxiety so much. I wish I could feel him kicking all the time. I wish I could have that reassurance of being woken up with a big poke. I wish I could just relax, without worrying all of the time.

But with 15 weeks to go, I’m hoping I’ll feel more regular, harder movements soon, that tell me with ease that my baby is healthy and happy in there.

Have you experienced an anterior placenta? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

Now read:

When can you feel your baby move?

What is the Linea Nigra – the dark line on my pregnant belly?



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