What Is Placenta Calcification

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And can it be dangerous to you andyour baby?

In the past, placenta calcification wasonly identified after the birth when the placenta (also called the afterbirth)was physically examined by the doctor or midwife. Small white calcium depositslike little hard stones were seen and felt. This was not thought to be aproblem. It was said that the placenta was simply ageing – a normal phenomenonwhen baby is due or late. Other signs of an overdue baby are long fingernails,little vernix (Nature’s barrier cream to protect baby’s skin in the amnioticfluid) and dry, peeling skin.

With modern technology and advanced 3Dsonar graphics, placenta calcification can be identified before the birth. Ifcalcification is suspected when baby is due, this is not a problem, butcalcification in early pregnancy could mean that the placenta is ageing beforeits time, and the baby could be compromised. For most women with placentacalcification, careful monitoring of the baby’s growth is all that is needed.

With modern technology and advanced 3D sonar graphics, placenta calcification can be identified before the birth.

Withmodern technology and advanced 3D sonar graphics, placenta calcification can beidentified before the birth.

If calcification is associated with othermedical problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes or kidneyproblems, medical intervention may be necessary. Luckily these are rare

Where does the calcium come from andwhat can I do to prevent this?

Calcium is an important part of the dietand is sourced mainly from milk and cheese but also from eggs, fruit andvegetables. Its absorption from the intestines is dependent on vitamin D thatcomes from ultraviolet sunlight and also fish liver oils, egg yolk andfortified milk. Calcium is needed by the body for bone and tooth maintenance,blood clotting, nerve and muscle function and a normal heartbeat.

As a pregnant woman, you need extra calcium– 1200mg daily for your needs and for bone development of your unborn baby. Ifyou have too little calcium, your bones will supply these needs for the babyand put you at risk for osteoporosis (brittle bones) in later life.

Calcium is an important part of the diet and is sourced mainly from milk and cheese but also from eggs, fruit and vegetables.

Calciumis an important part of the diet and is sourced mainly from milk and cheese butalso from eggs, fruit and vegetables.

Taking too much calcium does not seem toaffect the baby, but for you as the mother, it could cause painful kidneystones.

There seems to be some concern aboutantacids for heartburn during pregnancy that contain high doses of calcium.Most chewable antacids are made from calcium carbonate and give fast relief.Sucking the occasional antacid may be harmless, but if you suffer with severeheartburn and you are taking too many antacids, you could also be taking in toomuch calcium.

Preventing placenta calcification

If your pregnancy is 37 weeks or more,there is no need to worry.

Make sure you are taking the right amountof daily calcium. Check your antenatal multivitamins and calciumsupplementation with your pharmacist.

Remember that calcium also comes from yourdiet – so don’t overdose with supplements.

Before taking antacids for heartburn, speakto your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

You are more at risk of calcification ifyour blood pressure is too high or you are a diabetic.

How does placenta calcification affectmy unborn baby?

Placenta calcification from 37 weeks isconsidered normal and is not a reason to induce labor or to have a C-section.Women with this condition may simply need to see their doctor more often tocheck their baby’s growth.

Placenta calcification before 37 weeksbecomes more dangerous for the baby. The younger the baby when calcificationhappens, the more severe the condition.

Women with this condition may simply need to see their doctor more often to check their baby’s growth.

Womenwith this condition may simply need to see their doctor more often to checktheir baby’s growth.

Risks of placental calcification

An ageing placenta does not work as well asit should, and this could mean not getting enough oxygen and nutrients to thebaby. Deposits of calcium in the placenta could cause parts of the placenta todie or be replaced with fibrous tissue which is unhelpful tissue in theplacenta.

Calcium deposits could also increase therisk of blood clots in the placenta. They could harden blood vessels in theplacenta and slow down the blood flow to the baby. Fortunately, complicationsdue to placenta calcification are practically zero, and in most cases, it’s notdangerous for the baby.

Diagnosing placenta calcification

A pelvic sonographer of the placenta is theonly way to diagnose this condition. Calcification is sometimes picked upduring a routine scan. If the woman is close to her delivery date, this meansthat labor is very likely to begin over the next few weeks. If the baby isyounger than 37 weeks, it may be slightly riskier, but rarely is it dangerousfor the baby.

 
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