Publication Date



calcium carbonate, pregnancy, labor dystocia, Tums, obstetrics, cesarean


Anecdotally, there are attestations from clinicians of calcium carbonate being used successfully for laboring people experiencing labor dystocia. The goal of this narrative review was to provide a synopsis of pertinent literature on calcium use in obstetrics to explore the potential benefit of calcium carbonate as a simple and low-cost intervention for prevention or treatment of labor dystocia. To answer how calcium and carbonate physiologically contribute to myometrium contractility, we conducted a literature search of English-language peer-reviewed articles, with no year limitation, consisting of the keywords “calcium,” “calcium carbonate,” “calcium gluconate,” “pregnancy,” “hemorrhage,” and variations of “smooth muscle contractility” and “uterine contractions.” Though no overt evidence on calcium carbonate’s ability to prevent labor dystocia was identified; relevant information was found regarding smooth muscle contractility, calcium’s influence on uterine muscle contractility, and carbonate’s potential impact on reducing amniotic fluid lactate levels to restore uterine contractility during labor. Studies reporting the potential effectiveness of calcium gluconate and sodium bicarbonate in preventing labor dystocia offer background, safety information, and rationale for a future randomized control trial to evaluate the ability of calcium carbonate to prevent labor dystocia and reduce rates of cesarean section.



August 31st, 2022


January 13th, 2023


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