The placenta is an amazing thing, it develops in your uterus during pregnancy with its structure delivering the oxygen and nutrients your growing baby needs while removing waste products from your baby’s blood.
Typically the umbilical cord is inserted in or near the centre of the placenta. However, there are some interesting variations that can occur in the placenta.
These variations may or may not cause problems depending on how the delivery of the placenta is managed and the interventions that took place in labour. We’ll cover some of the main placenta variations and anomalies below.
Placenta Variations and Abnormalities
1.) Bipartite placentas occur when there are two (or three) completely separate lobes. Each lobe has an umbilical cord leaving them yet join a short distance from the separate lobes. It occurs in 2% to 8% of placentas. The umbilical cord may insert in either lobe, in velamentous fashion, or in between the lobes.
2.) Battledore insertion is when the umbilical cord is attached to the edge of the placenta.
3.) The Succenturiate lobe is an extra lobe that forms that is separate but still attached to the main placenta by blood vessels running through the membranes. There can be more than one succenturiate lobe.
4.) Circummarginate placenta is a variation of the normal shaped placenta and is characterized by the thinning of membranous tissue on the fetal side.
5.) Velamentous insertion is when the cord inserts into the membranes and the umbilical blood vessels also run through the membranes. There may be little Wharton’s jelly protecting part of the umbilical cord. Normally, the umbilical cord inserts into the middle of the placenta as it develops.
6.) Circumvallate placenta occurs when the chorion and amnion double back creating a ring on the fetal surface of the placenta. Pretty rare and occurs in about 1% of pregnancies.
Wonderful illustration by @trulyelke on Instagram 🙌🏽
Were you game to check out your placenta after giving birth?? Was there something unique about it?
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