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June 24th, 2007, 03:38 PM
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So because one of the gals in my DDC had a doctor that wanted to do an immediate c-section because of placenta calcification, I looked into it.. I have yet to find a source that says this is worthy of a c-section. Actually most sources say don't worry about it!

Placenta calcification refers to calcium deposits that appear on the placenta. These calcium deposits indicate an “aging” of the placenta that occurs near the end of pregnancy. These deposits of calcium can cause certain small parts of the placenta to die. The calcium deposits may also cause some parts of the placenta to be replaced with fibrous tissue. The calcium deposits can also obstruct parts of the placenta with clots of maternal blood. They can also harden or block the maternal blood vessels. In most cases, placental calcification does not affect the functioning of the placenta, and the fetus is generally not harmed.

Some studies suggest that placental calcification can be caused by cigarette smoking. Other studies suggest that using antioxidants in the diet can help to neutralize the effect.

When a placenta has calcium deposits on it, they may appear as white patches on the placenta after birth.[/b]

On ultrasound the placenta showed "calcification." What is going on?
Calcification is a sign of placental aging. In fact the amount of calcification, seen as white specks on the ultrasound, can tip off a doctor as to how near term a pregnancy is. But it can also be a sign of premature aging, which will decrease the amount of nutrition and oxygen going to the baby. The more calcification, the less placenta is normal tissue for supplying the baby. Don't panic, though.
The placenta has a lot of slack. There can be considerable calcification before there's really any compromise to the baby. Certainly a placenta that's very calcified (Grade 3) during the 2nd trimester, instead of the 3rd trimester, will be a concern. But for the most part, the grading of the placenta (Grades 1, 2, and 3) is a fuzzy parameter at best. It can be useful, though, in warning of the bad effects of smoking and hypertension on a placenta, and with it, on a pregnancy.[/b]
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