When my fellow placenta lover Raeben Nolan shared pictures of two placentas she recently encapsulated, I was totally surprised by how unique they were! I had never heard of bipartite or lobed placentas before, and now I can’t wait to see one.
As Raeben described them, “They both had two completely separate placentas but they shared the same membrane and cord! The cords inserted into just one placenta and then there was about a 2 inch gap between them which was traversed by what looked like one vein and one artery in a similar fashion to a velamentous insertion.”
Sometimes this can be caused by a twin pregnancy where one twin dies early in the womb and is absorbed, leaving the additional placenta behind. Other times a single placenta just grows this way, developing an additional lobe. It’d not generally seen as dangerous or harmful, except that if any placenta is retained in the uterus after delivery, there is a risk of infection and danger for the mother. Since there is more placenta than normal in a bipartite or lobed placenta, there may be placenta left behind without it being obviously missing from what was delivered.
Raeben sais that both families were excited to see and learn about their unique placentas. What an awesome contrast to the majority of women’s experiences of not evening realizing how interesting their placentas can be!