Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at CommunityM[email protected]

    Find your due date buddies: February 2012, March 2012, April 2012 and May 2012.

    Take a peek inside the womb to see how your baby develops from week to week.

    Welcome mommies from 1st Trimester Community (BFP to 13weeks). Your final stop is the 3rd Trimester Community (28w to 40w). Yay!
    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.
    thecastro4 responded:
    I just wanted to share that I had my daughter in 2003 and she was my first baby! I weighed about 110 lbs and I'm 5'4 but when I gave birth I weighed about 189. Anyway, I was a vegetarian before I got pregnant but my daughter made me crave meat and I drank 3 gallons of milk a week by myself! I delivered at University of Michigan hospital and it is a teaching hospital. I delivered her which was unbelievably painful and horrible but after I delivered the pain was still coming. I felt like I was still delivering with horrible contractions too. My aunt (she was a nurse) and the docs were telling me it is your placenta, it is huge. I guess it was so HUGE they wanted to study it because the doctors asked if I would donate it to the hospital. The doctor just said it was so huge she had never seen one so big and the other doctors and nurses concurred. So did my aunt! I have one other child and he was bigger and that placenta was normal. I think it has to do with what you eat and how much weight you gain but I'm not a doctor so maybe not! I was a smoker and I cut down so so much! I was smoking maybe a 4 cigarettes a week and felt horrible about it but my doctors always congratulated and encouraged me. The lady above said smoking could cause it but my doctors knew I smoked and that I had seriously cut back and seemed to think it was a very healthy placenta! I DO NOT CONDONE smoking, in fact I think smoking is the WORST thing you could ever start! If you don't smoke, please don't do it. If your a smoker, God Bless you and please try and try till you can give it up. It takes so much from you and if anything just think of your kids and believe me, I know it's hard! Good luck with everything!

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    Well let's see... My husband and I will be married for 1 year on June 18, 2010. We dated on/off all through grade school. After we both went throu...More

    Helpful Tips

    Round Ligament Pain
    Around 11 weeks or so I noticed very weird pains on my sides. It happened when I moved abruptly or stretched a few times a week. I ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    27 of 35 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.