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Thread: What's a "calcified" placenta? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-15-2008 01:19 AM
applejuice Tums® is calcium carbonate, chalk, and cannot be absorbed by the body as a calcium supplement. I do not understand why doctors give it as a calcium supplement. It may help your dyspepsia, but it does not help your bones.

Your body needs calcium in a balance with magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D and protein and some fat should be in the mix.
12-14-2008 07:53 PM
witchygrrl I ate Tums like they were going out of style during the end of my pregnancy, but my placenta was extremely healthy. Not so much as a spot of calcification. I also delivered the day after I was "due". So I don't think Tums has anything to do with calcification.
12-13-2008 05:16 PM
kltroy I didn't get a chance to read all the previous posts in this thread, so please excuse if this is redundant...

a calcified placenta indicates that the placenta is getting old, and is not doing its job well anymore. The additional indicator of low amniotic fluid corroborates this. If your placenta isn't working well anymore it isn't getting as much blood to your baby. This causes the baby to pee less, and hence, less amniotic fluid. You can physically feel the calcium crystals in the placenta after the birth - it feels "crunchy". My daughter was born 9 days past her EDD and they were going to induce because of low fluids (but didn't have to - I was already in early labor) - after the birth our family practice doc talked about calcification of the placenta and actually handed my husband a pair of gloves so that he could feel the calcium crystals in the placenta (mine was in ok shape - just starting to calcify).

You don't mention whether your baby was born long after your EDD, but this is the main reason that happens. Not much you can do about it I don't think.
12-12-2008 07:18 PM
olive&pimiento Hi Liza and LovinGreen and welcome. You should start your own threads asking your questions. Many people here do not have time to read all of the responses and just come to post a quick answer. If you put your questions in your own thread, more people will read and respond.
12-12-2008 03:52 PM
LovinGreen I'm new too this forum but found it looking for information on aging placentas. I am a high risk pregnancy due to Graves disease (a hyperthyroid condition) and have had my last three ultrasounds to watch the baby's growth since he is "smaller" than normal. At my last ultrasound my doctor made comments that my placenta was "aging" and that it looked "old" and I have to continue NST appointment checking on the baby. I'm currently at 33 weeks and he is only at 3 1/2 pounds and I have fear that the baby is not growing due to my aging placenta (calcified placenta). I got quite a bit of good information on this forum but wondering if anyone else can help me ways to help my placenta or stop the aging of it as quickly. I do not smoke, have never in my life, and I have taken a few tums but not any in the last 2 months. Are there are changes I can make to help improve the condition of my placenta to hopefully help get the baby the necessary nutrients for him to grow properly?
07-06-2008 06:16 PM
mntnmom I have loved this highly informed conversation! And will now chime in with what little I know.
Ginger tea and mint tea are great for morning sickness , and I KNOW the mint is very calming for heartburn, I have hearg ginger is as well. And just because you had morning sickness with one, don't assume you will again. Good Luck TTC!(and w/ everything else too!)
07-06-2008 05:50 PM
Jackies Ladybug from the minimal research i have done, minor calcification is a normal part of pregnancy and placenta function, and should in no way be a cause for concern, and especially not a reason for c-sec.
the induction is almost 100% guaranteed to be the reason for the decels, especially if you had AROM along with your pit.
prolonged, extra strong contractions without the cushion of amniotic fluid causes compression of the umbilical cord or placenta and therefore causes a decelerated heart beat.
a baby who would normally be able to tolerate natural labor well, can have major complications when abnormally strong contractions are induced.

i wouldnt worry about the calcification, forget about that.
worry about finding a doctor who is not only pro VBAC, but anti induction and anti c-sec. as your risks go up substantially with induction and a uterine scar.

good luck!
07-06-2008 02:46 PM
mwherbs why placentas become calcified is unknown- a fairly recent study I read they did a comparison between smokers and nonsmokers at different points in pregnancy in both groups at 30 weeks between 30-45% of the pregnant women had calcified placentas by 40 weeks +/-2 days about 50% of the placentas were calcified so calcification is a average finding and can occur through out pregnancy-- to me how deeply divided and how thin a placenta becomes would be a more accurate sign of when the placenta is not functioning well.

as for diet-- eat more greens eat lots of greens -- vitamin K along with magnesium prevents soft tissue calcification -- the studies show that most women of childbearing age do not get the RDA of vitamin K from their diet .....
07-05-2008 02:49 PM
Eresh nak

i had ds a couple of days before 40 weeks and had a slightly calcified placenta. i also was popping tums all thru my 3rd trimester for horrible heartburn. i tried taking as little as possible but the pain was sooo bad. and i got it no matter what i did or didn't eat. even water and toast gave me heartburn.

i didn't find out about papaya until after my pregnancy .. and this is the first i've heard of using apple cider vinegar. definitely good to know for next time.
07-04-2008 09:54 PM
Kidzaplenty :
07-04-2008 07:54 PM
applejuice My research over the years has lead me to know that a calcified placenta is an old placenta and is a risk of a long pregnancy and late labor. The placenta does not function well when it is old and begins to deteriorate. The calcification occurs on the placenta and the baby can die and become calcified.

I am sure nearly everyone has heard stories about old women and calcified fetuses being passed in the old days because of a missed labor. I have.
07-04-2008 07:40 PM
liza gabriel I am a new member to this site. I googled calified placenta and diet to try to find out more information about placenta calcification. I am hoping some readers may have knowledge and information that can help me.

I have two healthy girls. My first pregnancy went very smoothly. My second, full of unanswered questions and concerns. I was going to be 35 years old when my second daughter was born so I opted for the early maternal serum testing. My HCG levels were 7 times higher than normal. A 12 week ultrasound found my baby with a thick (although still within normal limits) neucal translucency. That put me at much higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities. We had amino and everything was determined to be normal. But they followed closely b/c they were concerned about major organs. Then my placenta was determined to be highly calcified and I went weekly for pregnancy planning score to ensure that my baby was getting her needed nutrients. I went full term. My baby was 7 lbs 11.5 ozs at birth (heavier than my first). We never did get answers to all of my questions surrounding my risk. I recently discussed wanting to have another baby with my doctor who saw no reason why not but sent me for counseling with specialists to ensure that I was aware of potential risks and so that I could be followed closely. I had an early miss (was 5 days late for period but know I was pregnant though home pregnancy tests). I have recently miscarried my baby in another pregnancy. He/she was measuring at 10 weeks when we discovered in the 12 week ultrasound that he/she did not have a heartbeat. Obviously, we were devastated.

My question, I guess, is: Is it likely that these things are connected? I have great blood pressure. I smoke occasionally when I have a few beer (obviously never when I am pregnant and I am never pregnant and don't know it. All of my pregnancies were planned).

Is there some kind of diet or other measures I can take to ensure that I will be increasing my chances of having a successful pregnancy? I am taking 4 mgs of folic acid daily.
06-22-2006 11:21 AM
doula and mom While pregnant with my twins I was told at 34w that my placenta was getting old and calcified, based on an u/s finding. The Ob told me it was just the "stress" of having twins (who had Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome) and blah blah blah... I didn't ever take those acid-blocker pills, didn't smoke, didn't do anything. I was even on bedrest for 16 weeks. Anyway I was induced with cervidil and gave birth (vaginally) to two wonderful babies and the healthiest reddest most beautiful placenta you've ever seen. I even took a picture of it which I then put in my purse along with the pics of my kids and forced on unknowing bystanders for about the next year. Heeee.
06-21-2006 11:43 AM
Mama Poot About 5-6 years previously and unfortunately during my first pregnancy, I was a smoker. ( No flaming. I've since quit entirely and I really don't need to be lectured. ) Being a smoker I can attest that the placenta does get calcium deposits. I saw them with my own eyes and the placenta looked, well like a smoker's lung. I delivered at almost 40 weeks gestation on the dot, but my placenta looked old and worn out. I was not a heavy smoker either, on average i would smoke 4-5 a day. But the point I'm trying to make is that any amount of toxins can affect the placenta. My own experience made me think about how things in our everyday world, like pollution from cars, trucks, factories, you name it, could affect the placenta. So even if you are not a smoker, perhaps if you live in a high pollution area or for whatever reason are exposed to more toxins than normal, that could have caused your placenta to develop those deposits. I am so glad that I quit smoking. Seeing my placenta for that first time and having my initial thought be "Oh my God it looks like a smoker's lung" was a huge awakening for me. I am 34 weeks with #2 and I am looking forward to seeing what a healthy placenta looks like!
06-21-2006 10:35 AM
happydoulamama I have a friend who was pushed into an induction with her second baby because she was 41 weeks and by u/s the doctor scared her because her placenta was becoming calcified. He mentioned that it was because the placenta was deteriorating because of the baby's "prolonged gestation".
Anyway, she was convinced because she "saw the calcifications herself" and induced. All ended well, but she really didn't want to be induced. I'm guessing (and did from the get-go) that this was all scare tactic- I never heard of this calcification thing again until this thread.
06-21-2006 03:46 AM
AutumnMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by liawbh
Just a quick note on the heartburn:
antacids can actually have an exacerbating effect, almost addictive. When the stomach fluid gets too alkaline it interferes with the function of the sphincters that are supposed to keep stuff from coming back up. So, while it sounds backwards, you actually may need to increase the acidity of the stomach. Drinking a little apple cider vinegar daily can really help. It's not an immediate effect, but will help over time.
Yep, as strange as this may sound, it works!
I've tried it (even when pg) and it worked great for me (it actually helped immediately, I diluded it with water).
Another thing that seems to work well are Papaya enzyme tablets to help with digestion after meals
06-21-2006 02:06 AM
crazy_eights bump
05-16-2006 01:50 PM
liawbh Just a quick note on the heartburn:
antacids can actually have an exacerbating effect, almost addictive. When the stomach fluid gets too alkaline it interferes with the function of the sphincters that are supposed to keep stuff from coming back up. So, while it sounds backwards, you actually may need to increase the acidity of the stomach. Drinking a little apple cider vinegar daily can really help. It's not an immediate effect, but will help over time.
05-16-2006 12:55 PM
aran Hey! Thanks for all the replies! I went away for a week and forgot to come back and check the thread till now.

mom2seven: The day that I started this thread and spent the day procrastinating on work, and instead looked at articles on placental calcification, I recall seeing that some researchers did indicate that calcification was not correlated with problems. But my OB presented that information as though it were evidence that the c/s was warranted. I am now thinking that was an assumption on her part.

mwherbs: I think the placenta was sent to pathology, b/c I vaguely remember hearing that there was no cancer in it and thinking "what a weird thing to check for"

My bottom line for the next pregnancy (TTC #2 starting in my next cycle : ) is to chill out on the antacids as a precautionary measure even if that wasn't the cause of placental calcification, and even if calcification had no influence on the outcome of the pregnancy. But I do feel better having thought it out more and now feeling as though it was my OB's "excuse" more than a legitimate concern (but I will request the hospital records to confirm this, too).

THANKS ALL.
04-21-2006 04:12 AM
mamaverdi Have also read about the Tums/Calcification issue. But I agree with mwherbs that is more likely, an OB wanting to do a c/s issue.
04-21-2006 03:48 AM
crazy_eights A mw friend tells me that her clients that eat a lot of tums have very calcified placentas so you might be on to something there. The bigger question to me is 'and therefore.....what?'
04-21-2006 03:39 AM
sevenkids Calcifications can occur anywhere in the body as a form of protection from an irritant, the way an oyster makes a pearl around a grain of sand. There are so many environmental toxins that we have to deal with on an every day basis, it makes sense, the placenta, the filter to and from the baby, might try to protect itself by calcifying.

I seen a placenta in a primip, non-smoker, that looked and sounded like a rock. I mean, it was almost completely white and hard. When you rubbed it it felt like sandpaper, and had almost no flexibility. Strangest thing I ever seen.
04-21-2006 03:23 AM
mwherbs looked at the calcium in smokers nope no increase- but some down regulation in the parathyroid
also much more calcium in the arteries and a direct quote
"cigarette smoking-induced vasoconstriction is a calcium-mediated process"

now I know that you are not a smoker- I am just looking at the smoking and hypertension groups because they are more widely studied so we can find out different components and see if we can find out more

find out if your baby's placenta was sent to pathology- and if so get the report.
04-21-2006 03:03 AM
mwherbs what are some things that are known-
smokers have an increase rate of placental calcification - but I doubt that they have excess dietary calcium- so will look and see if there is any info about blood calcium levels of smokers and see if there is a correlation.
women with hypertension also have increased placental calcification-
some things that regulate calcium and prevent soft tissue calcification in other parts of the body- vitamin K, an magnesium

other things related to soft tissue calcification
venous insufficiency
some infections
trauma
autoimmune disease
tumors
precipitation as in kidney stones ( in the old days they limited calcium in stone formers, but they found that it had more to do with oxalate and uric acid as well as lower than normal levels of citrate, and magnesium)

looking further I found that metastatic calcification out side of the placenta almost exclusively in people with end-stage renal disease and secondary hyperparathyroidism --- what this all means I am not sure - probably is an indicator that things are not functioning loosing ability to transport nutrients and waste properly...
I have seen parts of placentas that were calcified infarctions that lost circulation- one in particular the gal had some 20 week bleeding that did not lead to a loss- at birth there was a round soup bone looking calcified part in the placenta. Many placentas I have looked at and felt have had fine grittiness on the maternal side-
04-21-2006 12:41 AM
aran [QUOTE=mwherbs]
Quote:
Originally Posted by aran
OK, I am back...

I think this abstract (I am too cheap to order the article) suggests that too much calcium in the diet can cause calcification of the placenta. I think. Not totally sure. Because it seems to say that calcium deposits in the placenta look chemically like the way calcium solids do when they form in a super-saturated solution. (I bolded the most relevant parts)



Placental Calcification: A Metastatic Process?
Placenta. 2001 Jul;22(6):591-6.
S. H. Poggia, f1, K. I. Bostromb, L. L. Demerb, H. C. Skinnerc and B. J. Koosa


I am not getting anything from this abstract that leads me to believe that too much dietary calcium will = placental calcification.
what I do think that they liken it to is less than how bones are laid down and more like a metastatic process that occurs in supersaturation
Fair enough... but what then do you think the source of Ca supersaturation would be, then? (I am a scientist, but clearly not a biologist... ) Is it just cell senescence leading to poor Ca regulation around the dying cells?
04-20-2006 03:56 PM
mwherbs [QUOTE=aran]OK, I am back...

I think this abstract (I am too cheap to order the article) suggests that too much calcium in the diet can cause calcification of the placenta. I think. Not totally sure. Because it seems to say that calcium deposits in the placenta look chemically like the way calcium solids do when they form in a super-saturated solution. (I bolded the most relevant parts)



Placental Calcification: A Metastatic Process?
Placenta. 2001 Jul;22(6):591-6.
S. H. Poggia, f1, K. I. Bostromb, L. L. Demerb, H. C. Skinnerc and B. J. Koosa


I am not getting anything from this abstract that leads me to believe that too much dietary calcium will = placental calcification.
what I do think that they liken it to is less than how bones are laid down and more like a metastatic process that occurs in supersaturation
04-20-2006 12:01 PM
aran I keep reading abstracts and articles, and found this one that is really interesting... (most of the articles, by the way, indicate that calcification of the placenta is not correlated to (and thus unlikely the cause of) any problems with the fetus!)

This one says that the whole idea that a placenta is aging and dying late in pregnancy is false...

http://fn.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/77/3/F171
04-20-2006 10:00 AM
aran OK, I am back...

I think this abstract (I am too cheap to order the article) suggests that too much calcium in the diet can cause calcification of the placenta. I think. Not totally sure. Because it seems to say that calcium deposits in the placenta look chemically like the way calcium solids do when they form in a super-saturated solution. (I bolded the most relevant parts)



Placental Calcification: A Metastatic Process?
Placenta. 2001 Jul;22(6):591-6.
S. H. Poggia, f1, K. I. Bostromb, L. L. Demerb, H. C. Skinnerc and B. J. Koosa

Abstract
Placental calcification commonly increases with gestational age. The mechanism of apatite mineralization probably involves one of three known mechanisms of tissue calcification: physiological (like bone), dystrophic (ischaemia-related) or metastatic (mineralization in a supersaturated environment). This study was designed to determine the mechanism of calcification by examining (1) the mineral content of placental calcifications in comparison to other physiological and pathological apatites, and (2) the expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which are important in physiological calcification, across gestational age. By energy-dispersive x-ray analysis (EDXA), the Ca/P weight ratio for apatitic mineral from mature calcifications was 2.00±0.05 (s.e.), which is similar to that for stones formed in a metastatic, supersaturated environment and lower than that observed in physiological calcification. Biologically active BMP, which was determined by bioassay, was demonstrated in mature and postmature placentae. The BMPs PLAB, PDF and related protein INSL-4 were identified by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), but their mRNA expression was independent of gestational age (7–41 weeks of gestation). We conclude that (1) the identified BMPs were not related directly to placental calcification, which argues against physiological calcification, and (2) the chemical composition of the apatitic mineral was suggestive of rapid formation in a supersaturated environment, which is consistent with a metastatic mechanism of calcification.
04-20-2006 09:27 AM
aran Thanks for your replies!!

I appreciate the recommendation for the papaya. I was actually amazingly careful about what I put into my body (other than antacids, I guess), and went thru the whole pregnancy without so much as a sniffle. But, the heartburn was so awful. I remember leading meetings at work and I would suddenly go silent... no-one knew what was wrong, but I was just dealing with stabbing heartburn, and couldn't bear to speak! I would pop rolaids for the instant relief. I will definitely be doing anything and everything to avoid tums/rolaids next time, though. Even if that may not have been the cause, it certainly didn't help.

The study you cite, mwherbs, suggests antioxidants could help avoid this next time. I have never smoked in my life, so that risk factor for calcification is taken care of! I'll go search Medline and see what else I find.

The OB definitely wanted to c/s... she had been talking about it for weeks, even though everything looked OK. She said she thought I might need one because DS was measuring big for gestational age. I thought that was hooey, because between my mom and two sisters, they pushed out 9 babies, most 9-10 lbs, and I have a larger bone structure than they do, so I thoought I'd have no problem. Ultimately, DS was 8 lb 11.5 oz... good sized, but not huge. I had no doubts that I could birth him naturally and thought I would despite the OB (I think I was too confident, and not well-read enough to know how to avoid the chain of interventions). I already have interviewed and lined up a VBAC midwife for the next pregnancy! I know better now!

Regarding the safety classes, here's what I googled (from intellihealth.com)

"Medications are graded by classes A through D to indicate their level of safety if used during pregnancy:

Class A is safest. These medications have been proven to be safe in pregnant women.
Class B medications are considered safe during pregnancy, although definitive study evidence in humans is lacking.
Class C medications are potentially harmful according to animal studies, although no studies in humans are available.
Class D medications have been shown to be harmful to human fetuses."

I recall reading that Rolaids/Tums were ok in moderation. In retrospect, my idea of moderation was warped because of the terrible heartburn! I popped way too many of those!

Thanks for your replies, mamas!
04-19-2006 11:24 PM
channelofpeace Oh, can you remind me what class C is again?
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