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Any experience of placenta calcification?

(20 Posts)
Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 10:34:10

Hi everyone, I'm 24 weeks with DC3 and am looking for some information on placenta calcification. After I had dc1 (at 40 + 1) the midwife remarked after delivering the placenta that it looked like I was a smoker (I'm not), that I was very overdue (according to dates I was 40 + 1) and there were stones in the placenta. Nothing else was mentioned however and her weight seemed fine- on the 40th centile.

Nothing was mentioned at dc2's birth 2 yes later and he was born at 39 + 6 on the 24th centile.
Since becoming pregnant with no 3 I've read up on the placenta thing and it seems it was placenta calcification and I'm worried something is going to happen to dc3- it's got me very anxious and I feel like he's not going to arrive here safe. We've got friends who experienced a very late loss of their baby boy who was still born and I'm obsessing that due to the placenta issues this is going to happen to my baby too.

I'm classed as low risk with the NHS so won't get any growth scans (unless there's cause for concern with fundal heights) so was considering paying for a doppler flow growth scan privately to check everything is as it should be in there. I really need my mind putting at rest because I'm so worried about all of this. I will be discussing it with mw when I see her at 28 weeks but thought I'd ask here as it's consuming a lot of my thoughts.
Sorry about the long post. Does anyone have any experiences?
Thanks

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 11:23:11

I was about to post about this myself! No great advice but going through investigations at the moment.

Saw the consultant on Friday (30 weeks with DC2), consultant is convinced I have placental calcification. I was told it is to do with gestational diabetes - which I don't have - but she is sending me for a third GTT because she thinks there's still something going on.

My fundal height measures are above 90th percentile - same as with DC - but growth scan (triggered by two bouts of reduced movement) says 10th percentile. It's totally confusing. Consultant has now decreed that she'll do a scan herself because she knows what she's looking for. I've also been booked in for weekly CTGs.

What I gleaned on Friday is that foetal movement is key - any reductions call your assessment unit and get checked. If there is something going on they'll pick it up through that route. If you're worried now I'd also call your midwife for a chat as 4 weeks is a long wait with something like this on your mind. Have you had a GTT yet?

Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 15:30:15

Hi thanks for the reply. It's such a worry isn't it? Glad you've got a consultant on your side who's checking up on it all.
I've never had the gtt as my fundal height always measured fine with the other two and they were both 7lb 6.5oz, so not big babies. I think I'm going to pay for a private scan to try and ascertain how the placenta looks and take it from there in regards to asking the midwife what my options are. I'm just worried they'll not take it seriously as I've had two healthy babies. It's got me really worried.
X

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 17:29:11

It is stressful - given what you've been told before, and that you're so worried, I can see why you'd get another scan privately. Perhaps ask your midwife if there's been glucose in your urine samples? Is she aware of the comments about stones in your placenta previously? I'd definitely talk to her sooner rather than later though - if she isn't aware of anything then it would be good to catch up with her now.

Until recently I haven't seen eye to eye with my consultant, on the basis that she hasn't really explained anything and can be quite dismissive. I think she realised though and this time took pains to explain what she thought was going on, why she was worried and the research she's basing her repeat testing on. It is scary but reassuring. I'm avoiding Dr Google though!

Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 18:05:51

It's terrible how much of a fight we have on our hands not to be dismissed by caregivers and for them to actually explain themselves properly during appointments.

Up until now my urine samples have all been fine. I'm not sure she's aware of any issues from my daughters placenta as I'm low risk and nothing has been said to me about it. I'm going to talk to her about it and ask whether requesting my previous labour notes would be of any help as at the minute I'm booked in for a home birth and I want to be 100% sure this is the right course of action for baby before deciding to go ahead with one.

BeautifulLiar Sun 14-May-17 18:08:55

Hey, I had this in my last pregnancy. I was so worried. Was due to be induced on my due date, but baby arrived five days early. She was perfect, although the placenta was quite gritty. I've never smoked. She weighed 6lb but I always have small babies as I'm small myself

Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 18:33:32

Hi thanks for your reply. Had you had a growth scan in pregnancy to check up on it? Have you gone on to have other children after this happened? Were health professionals supportive?
I agree, it's such a worrying thing to go through. Glad your little girl arrived safe and well.
K x

BeautifulLiar Sun 14-May-17 18:37:11

Health professionals took it very serious. I had several growth scans, cord flow scans and was hooked up to the monitor. She was my fourth baby.

My third baby was born at home before the midwives arrived. When they did arrive, they said the placenta was either that of a heavy smoker (nope, never smoked) or a very overdue baby (she was born on her due date). So the warning signs were there.

I'm now pregnant with baby no 5 and a little worried about it but not too much. It was nowhere near as bad as I'd feared. I think my body is just crap at growing placentas!

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 20:14:43

summer it's crazy how hard it can be at times. On Friday I had the consultant, midwife and student doctor all trying to talk to me about different things at the same time - not helpful.

liar did they notice anything with your first two babies? This is my second and DC1 was 8lb15oz so not small!

Cagliostro Sun 14-May-17 20:36:25

Yes my placenta was calcifying with DD, so I was induced 3 days before EDD. In late pregnancy it was picked up that I had oligohydramnios or low amniotic fluid (literally didn't even notice when my water broke there was that little) and they said the placenta was calcified as well. No health issues though, she was healthy and 8lb4oz born on her due date. I don't smoke either, nobody mentioned anything like that. It sounded like they were suggesting the placenta was calcifying due to the lack of fluid but nobody really clarified, they just said we should get her out.

No issues with my second baby, he was nearly 11lb14oz after going 11 days overdue (induced again) and the MW said she wished he was born during student hours so she could show them the placenta as it was perfect <preens> grin the cord was so thick it looked like one of those bike locks with the plastic covering. So presumably no such issues and what happened with DD was a fluke. Nobody suggested scans due to the issues DD had, I had a very low key pregnancy with no late scans or anything.

Interestingly a couple of years ago I had a scan for non-pregnancy reasons and they noted that my endometrium was calcified. Didn't require any action but it was unusual enough to note down I guess. Is there something about me that makes things calcify?! Bizarre.

I'm now pregnant again (8 years after DS) and I've told both the MW and the consultant why DD was induced, they've noted it but nobody has suggested it's an issue. I'll be having growth scans anyway due to DS' birth weight so I guess anything like that will be picked up.

Cagliostro Sun 14-May-17 20:39:56

Really interesting about GD - nothing was mentioned about it in my first pregnancy as although overweight I didn't meet the threshold for the GTT. Second time I was bigger and had the test but it was clear - however after the birth the doctor suggested that maybe I'd developed it later in pregnancy, which would explain why DS was so big (he also had low blood sugar). This time I'll be having the GTT at 24 weeks and it'll be repeated throughout the remaining weeks if necessary.

Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 21:07:35

Thanks for your replies everyone.
Cagliostro- I'm glad they'll be monitoring you again. Eyes are watering at the weight of your second baby grin
Liar-the comments about your third baby's placenta were exactly what the midwives said to me when dc1 arrived however nothing was mentioned at my son's birth two years later. I'm terrified they're going to fob off my concerns as both children have arrived safely. I'm really tempted to request my notes to see what was recorded after labour regarding the placentas.
Thanks

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 21:07:59

Cagliostro 11lb 14oz?! Wow! Sounds like a very healthy size smile

The explanation the consultant gave me was that NICE have recently reduced the 'safe' threshold for GTT from 6 to 5.6, with 5.2 the target if you have GD. It sounds like that's because calcification is one possible complication and they want to pick it up early. I've had glycosurea throughout both pregnancies but no GD. I think the consultant is going to keep testing in the hope I hit 5.6 eventually! I'm not sure what the other causes of calcification are - I'm avoiding Dr Google because I'm certain it will cause more worry than reassurance!

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 21:12:08

summer I'd definitely request notes - it will hopefully provide you/your midwife with guidance and reassurance

Cagliostro Sun 14-May-17 21:32:15

grin birth was much easier than DD's! We had no idea how big he'd be so it was something of a surprise.

I think I'm going to ask my MW this week about it. I'd not really thought of it before. I assume that at growth scans they aren't just literally checking the size but they'll look at the placenta and all the other indicators?

With DD it was actually only picked up on because at my 20 week scan the placenta was still low, so I had a scan booked then for (I think) 36 weeks. Placenta position was fine by then but that was when they picked up the fluid loss etc. It's bizarre really that they don't do at least one late scan on everyone when so much could be picked up on.

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 21:44:55

Given how many women end up with late scans I'm also surprised it isn't routine. Half a pregnancy without a scan seems a long time!

Checking with your MW sounds like a good idea. My consultant wasn't very complimentary about the growth scan report I received - she seemed to think the sonographer should have been looking for other things. In her words 'I'm going to repeat the scan myself because I know what I'm looking for with the head, tummy size and signs of calcification'. I'd assumed the scan covered all this so perhaps the report was lacking?

Summertime10 Sun 14-May-17 22:05:49

It is frightening how much can be gleaned from scans later on and the fact they're not widely available. I'm hoping that if, heaven forbid, anything does get picked up at the private scans I'm planning on having, that the NHS will actually act upon them and take them seriously. Would hate to be in the situation where they don't respect the findings of the private sonographer and dig their heels in.
I'm glad your consultant is planning on doing a scan themselves too Duggee, nothing wrong with being thorough!

DuggeeHugs Sun 14-May-17 22:42:57

summer I'm very grateful that she's taking her hunch seriously, although a little alarmed at the number of times I'm giving to be visiting the hospital each week!

I really hope your private scans go well. There's no reason for them not to be taken seriously. If something does show up I'm assuming your midwife will need to make a referral to the consultant as opposed to that happening automatically with your scan results (I'm afraid I have no idea how the private system works, but would hope there is some information sharing in situations like this)? Although experience suggests they don't take as many chances where pregnancy is concerned. How quickly can private scans be arranged?

Summertime10 Mon 15-May-17 08:00:03

I think they can be arranged at quite short notice but they only tend to do growth scans from 24 weeks, which is what I am now. I'm not sure whether anything would really show now or whether it tends to be more when the placenta has started maturing more in the 3rd trimester.
X

BeautifulLiar Mon 15-May-17 09:11:16

The first two babies were little, but the placentas were ok x

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