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Placenta Variations and Abnormalities

Placenta Variations And Abnormalities - Delivery And Postpartum - 2021

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.
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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.
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4.) Circummarginate placenta is a variation of the normal shaped placenta and is characterized by the thinning of membranous tissue on the fetal side.
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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.
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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.
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Wonderful illustration by @trulyelke on Instagram 🙌🏽

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15 Comments

  1. I had a velamentous insertion. They suspect that’s why my daughter stopped growing at about 34 weeks. I was induced at 38 weeks and she was born at 5lbs. Perfectly healthy. When the place ya was delivered they told me we were lucky because the cord was barely inserted any longer and we could have been dealing with a stillborn. Today my daughter is 6&1/2 and perfect. My next pregnancy was completely “normal” as far as the placenta is concerned.

  2. I have battledore/Marginal insertion. I have to get ultrasounds every 4 weeks to make sure baby is growing properly. She is growing a little bigger than average though. 32 weeks and counting DOWN!! ❤️👏

  3. I have no idea where it was exactly but there were 2 umbilical cords in the near center (twins) when I saw the doctor look at it and explain at its student what and where were umbilical cords for real twins 😂👍

  4. Yes I did a VBAC and asked to look at the placenta after… it was really cool how the nurse showed us how the placenta looks like the tree of life. The cord being the trunk and the blood vessels look like branches. It was really just perfect to look at.

  5. I had a battledore (umbilical attached to the side) with my 2nd baby, first was emergency c section so I was scared it would lower my chance of VBAC, but my babe was growing amazingly so midwives weren’t concerned at all. My little one came out at 4.4kg after a 4 hour labour 😂 placenta looked so perfect, even though it was attached on the side

Posted By Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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