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Large Placenta?
Jennyhat posted:
I had my 18 week ultrasound yesterday and the tech told me that I have a large placenta. Has anyone else been told this and what did the doctor say about it and what causes it? I go see my doctor on Monday so I'm going to ask him about it but I wanted to know if anyone else had this.
bcfrost816 responded:
Hmmm...I haven't really heard of that before but I can't see why that would be much of a problem. I would imagine if it was a problem, the tech probably woulnd't have said anything about it, they leave that up to your doc to do usually. Definitely ask your doc, but I really can't think of why a large placenta would be a problem, unless it could cause bleeding maybe??
mtlmayhem responded:
I dont want this to scare you or make you imagine worst case scenarios... but I have heard of this this before... and I wouldnt worry just yet

what youre talking about is called placentomegaly=means is a placenta that's grown disproportionately bigger than normal.

The placenta — the pancake-shaped organ in the uterus that serves as the baby's lifeline for nutrition, oxygen, and waste removal — is usually one-sixth of the baby's weight and has a thickness that corresponds roughly to the baby's gestational age. A fetus 20 weeks along would be nurtured by a placenta about 20 millimeters deep; 24 weeks along, by a placenta about 24 millimeters deep; and so on. So the enlarged placenta is either thicker than it should be or weighs more than the tech thinks it should (or both).

The sizes of placentas vary widely from pregnant woman to pregnant woman. A better nourished mother produces a bigger, more productive placenta (but still within normal range) than that of an undernourished mom to be. Women with babies small for gestational age produce smaller placentas.

Smokers tend to produce enlarged placentas because the placenta has to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Skimping on protein in your diet can also lead to a bigger-than-normal placenta as can a pre-existing physical condition such as diabetes , anemia in the mom or baby, Rh-incompatibility , or certain infections in the uterus. So while an enlarged placenta is not tremendously common, it's also not terribly rare.

What does this all mean ? Your doctor may conduct some tests to try to determine whether there's an underlying cause for the enlarged placenta. Depending on the results, you may have a few more u/s or doc visits. One reason for the vigilance is that an enlarged placenta can occasionally cause placenta previa , a condition in which the placenta obstructs the opening to the birth canal.

The good news is that often an enlarged placenta means nothing more than a larger-than-expected placenta. And unless your doctor is concerned about it, there's little reason to worry too much just yet.

The best gauge of a baby's health is if he or she is developing at a steady pace, and your doctor will certainly keep close tabs on that. Good luck! and keep us posted!
yoganesh responded:
undefined responded:
Dear Jennyhat, I just found out I have a very thick (large) placenta. The baby is growing fine - as it should be, but the doctor seems concerned, and does not explain much. I am going crazy. Can you please let me know, how the story went on with your placenta? I would really appreciate any information.

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