Placenta highly calcified - why? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-04-2006, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Why would a placenta of a 39 week/7 day baby be "highly calcified" and in poor condition?

Healthy pregnancy. Non smoker, non-smoking enviornment, no drug use, good diet, moderate exercise, etc. The placenta abrupted at that time, by the way. Midwife said she had only seen a placenta that looked like that from a cocaine user. I didn't even drink caffeine.

Dates were definate since the pregancy was IUI with donor sperm, so the placenta was not past 40 weeks.

Any thoughts?
I wish I'd had the placenta tested, but we were too distraught with almost losing the baby, NICU, etc.
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#2 of 10 Old 01-04-2006, 03:13 PM
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I have read that taking TUms will calcify, have no idea if there is any truth in that.

My middle dd was 2 weeks late and was starting to calcify, mw says it was due to being aged. I took Tums during her pregnancy.

Third child was 3 weeks late and I dont recall hers having calcification. I took Rolaides with her. Darn heartburn

I healthy person, no drugs,smoking, alochol, smoking and usually no caffine. Though I did drink caffine free Pepsi during the first tri with my third as it was pretty much the only thing I could drink that would go down and stay there.

Interested in what other have to say...

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#3 of 10 Old 01-04-2006, 03:18 PM
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I had DD on my due date and my placenta was calcified as well. I ate all organic, wrote down everything I ate to make sure I got enough protein, fruits, veggies etc. So no ideas.... I never heard that Tums could do that. I took a natural thing - sorta like tums but without the artificial colors and flavors. Think it's just a fluke... Curious to hear what others have to say tho as it is very distressing.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-04-2006, 05:15 PM
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Allegedly my sister was induced at 38 weeks because of a calcified placenta. She had a difficult pg but other than m/s I don't know in what way/s it was difficult. (We don't talk much, this is al secondhand info)

I don't know if the induction was really necessary or not. My sister used to be a homebirth advocate. Then she went to nursing school, got a job in a mom/baby unit and begged me not to have a homebirth because it is "too dangerous" and she used to think it was ok but now she "knows too much."

Her baby was ok, and I don't think needed any time in the NICU, so perhaps in her case the induction was a good thing, but I have no idea about any other complications of inductions (like nursing relationship--I don't even know if she nursed or for how long). She did have a very difficult recovery pp.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-04-2006, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm. Not a Tums user either. I agree, it is distressing (especially when your baby is in NICU with kidney, liver, and other organ failure from insufficient blood flow).

Weekly visits with CNM, and was never told my blood pressure was elevated. I do know this is said to correlate to placental aging. Anyone heard a level where you need to be concerned? I am going to go back through my pregnancy journal to see what mine were.

Other than blood pressure, cocaine, and heavy smoking... and of course, post-dates.... there has to be something else that could cause this in what should have been an otherwise healthy, pre-term pregnancy.
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#6 of 10 Old 01-05-2006, 09:44 AM
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My dd's placenta was calcified too. She came about a week after I thought she would; my boys were born in the week before their edd. The mws were surprised becuase she was not at all dry as if she had been overdue herself and they knew that I don't smoke.

She was fine with apgars of 9 and 10. I think she took her time becuase her head wasn't engaged and she spent a week wriggling to find a good start position. I wasn't too concerned at the time but after reading about calcified placentas since then I couldn't find any reason why hers should have been.
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#7 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 01:55 AM
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i think my first dd's was calcified. i think that was the term, but i had high blood pressure. that's why i was induced...
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#8 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 11:39 AM
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Can't just getting too much calcium do it? That's why the tums cause it, because they are full of calcium, right?
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#9 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 03:11 PM
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Any accidents or injuries during the pregnancy? Maybe a fender-bender or falling down stairs that didn't seem like a major issue at the time, but could have caused some damage to the placenta?

A friend of mine ended up giving birth via c-sec at 36 weeks (after going into labor naturally but not progressing after 24 hrs and heart decels even during mild ctx) and her baby was just over 3 lbs and the placenta was very calcified. This woman's other children were all in the 8-10 lbs category, so they obviously considered this IUGR.

In retrospect, she thinks that a minor fender-bender a few months before caused damage to the placenta. Of course, she went to her care provider after the accident, but the baby seemed fine, good heart rate, good movement, etc. and there was no indication at the time that anything was wrong at all.

Anyway, just another possibility....

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#10 of 10 Old 01-06-2006, 11:50 PM
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Calcifications aren't neccesarily a sign of placental aging. Having lots of them can mean that the placenta is able to function well, but it's not like they are a linear alarm clock for the placenta. Having some is normal. They are different and look different from infarcts that you would get from a car accident or little blood clot.

As to why? It's really hard to know. Having a placenta abrupt isn't normal either, so it's possible that there was something going on that caused both things. Did you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any infections?

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