What causes a fetus to calcify?
This phenomenon is called a lithopedion, otherwise known as a stone baby. First described back in the 10th century, the calcification usually occurs when an abdominal pregnancy — one that occurs outside the womb, somewhere inside the mother’s abdomen — goes awry.
Can a dead fetus calcify in the womb?
Amazingly, women occasionally survive abdominal pregnancy without surgery when calcification converts the dead fetus into a stone baby. It can then remain undetected for decades until discovered incidentally during a medical examination/operation for other reasons or at autopsy.
What is a lithopedion baby?
Lithopedion is a word derived from the Greek words lithos, meaning stone, and paidion, meaning child, to describe a fetus that has become stony or petrified. Lithopedion is a rare complication of pregnancy which occurs when a fetus dies and becomes too large to be reabsorbed by the body.
How common is a stone baby?
According to one report there are only 300 known cases of lithopedia in the world, recorded in over 400 years of medical literature.
How is placental calcification treated?
If your doctor finds significant calcification, they may recommend a cesarean section or induce labor to reduce the risk of the following complications:
- Preterm birth.
- Low birth weight.
- Low Apgar score.
- Postpartum hemorrhage.
- Placental abruption.
- Fetal distress.
What does it mean when your placenta starts to calcify?
Placental calcification is the deposition of calcium-phosphate minerals in placenta tissue. It is seen in patients with and without placental diseases (Tindall and Scott, 1965).
How long after a fetus dies Do you miscarry?
Eventually, the pregnancy tissue (the fetus or baby, pregnancy sac and placenta) will pass naturally. This can take a few days or as long as 3 to 4 weeks. It can be very hard emotionally to wait for the miscarriage because you don’t know when it will happen.
How long can a dead fetus stay in the womb?
Hospitals are obligated to remove the dead fetus from a woman as quickly as possible; at most within 3 days from when the loss was discovered.
How fast does placenta calcify?
Placental calcification commonly increases with gestational age, and becomes apparent after 36 weeks’ gestation.
What does it mean when the placenta starts to calcify?
A calcified placenta occurs when small, round calcium deposits build up on the placenta, causing it to deteriorate gradually. The process occurs naturally as you get closer to the end of your pregnancy. However, if placental calcification occurs before your 36th week, it could cause complications for you and your baby.