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My baby has eczema, what do I do?

Help! My baby has eczema – now what?

Many infants and small children develop skin irritations, including rashes and eczema. Here’s how to identify if it’s eczema and the best ways to treat it.

 Is it definitely eczema?

Here’s a list of symptoms to look out for:

  1. Is your baby’s skin dry and itchy? Your baby may consistently scratch or rub the affected areas.
  2. Is your baby’s skin red and inflamed? The skin affected by eczema may appear red, inflamed or irritated.
  3. Is your baby developing rashes? Eczema can cause red or brownish-gray patches of skin, and these patches may develop small, raised bumps that may ooze or crust over.
  4. Are the skin irritations commonly appearing in these places: on the face, especially the cheeks and chin, as well as on the hands, wrists, elbows and behind the knees?

How do I treat this with home remedies?

If you suspect that your baby has eczema based on the above, here are some things that you can do immediately to alleviate the symptoms.

  1. Avoid using harsh soaps, detergents or creams that may exacerbate the condition. Choose hypoallergenic and fragrance-free skincare products specifically designed for babies with sensitive skin.
  2. Regularly apply a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturiser to keep your baby’s skin hydrated. Moisturizing is crucial in managing eczema and preventing flare-ups.
  3. Dress your baby in soft, breathable fabrics. Avoid wool or synthetic materials that may irritate sensitive skin.
  4. Keep your baby’s nails short to prevent scratching, as scratching can worsen eczema and lead to infections. Consider using mittens or clothing with fold-over cuffs to protect the skin.
  5. In dry climates, consider using a humidifier in your baby’s room to maintain appropriate moisture levels.

When do I need to go to a doctor?

If your baby’s symptoms persist, get worse and you start to notice swelling or oozing fluids, it’s advisable to seek expert medical attention. Take note of the following symptoms:

– If your baby is experiencing significant discomfort, sleep disturbances or distress due to eczema, consult with your GP for guidance and medication to assist with managing these issues.

– If you notice signs of infection, such as increased redness, warmth, swelling or the presence of pus, consult a doctor immediately.

– If you suspect that certain foods, environmental factors or substances may be triggering or worsening eczema, it may be time to consider allergy testing.

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5 Signs Your Child Might Be Diabetic

Worried your little one or teen might be diabetic? Here are five signs to look out for.

While Type-1 Diabetes (which cannot be prevented) is more commonly found in children, numbers of children developing Type-2 diabetes are on the rise. Type-1 occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, leading to high blood-sugar levels. Type-2 which is a lifestyle disease, largely due to obesity and sedentary lifestyles, is becoming more prevalent in children. In Type-2, the body doesn’t use insulin properly, leading to insulin resistance.

If you suspect that your child may have diabetes, contact your doctor ASAP for a proper evaluation.

Here are five signs to look out for that could potentially indicate diabetes in children.

1. Frequent urination – in children this may include bed wetting.

  1. Excessive thirst – if your child drinks more than usual and complains of being thirsty it may be a cause for concern.
  2. Extreme hunger – despite eating a “normal” or even an increased amount of food, children with diabetes may experience intense hunger.
  3. Unexplained or sudden weight loss – if your child loses weight for no apparent reason, this could also be a cause for concern.
  4. Fatigue and irritability – persistent fatigue and irritability could indicate that the body is not effectively using glucose for energy and thus your child could experience mood swings and tiredness.

Any of these symptoms could be indicative of other underlying health conditions, so it’s important to keep track over a period of time. Always check with your medical doctor and ask for a blood test to confirm.

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Medshield Mom | Postpartum Depression

While many regard the birth of a baby as one of the happiest occasions in a couple’s life, the sad reality is that it can be a very dark time for many women who experience postpartum depression (also referred to as peripartum depression or major depressive disorder with peripartum onset). It’s believed that postpartum depression affects one in seven women, yet few speak about due to fear of being judged and misunderstood.

The official term, ‘peripartum depression’ recognizes that signs of depression are often present even before delivery. Women experience hormonal, physical and emotional changes during and shortly after pregnancy. While most women experience the ‘baby blues’ after childbirth (changes in mood due to hormonal changes, inadequate sleep and adjusting to a new baby), this passes in a week or two after delivery. The effects of postpartum depression are more significant and persistent.

Symptoms of peripartum depression:

  • depressed mood
  • sleep disturbances (insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • tearfulness
  • anhedonia (loss of pleasure in activities previously enjoyed)
  • feelings of guilt
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • appetite changes (no appetite or comfort eating)
  • thoughts of death or suicide (in severe cases)

Postpartum depression is very difficult for women to talk about, for the fear of being judged. Society often tells us what a blessing it is to have a baby and that one should be grateful. While such comments might be true, they often prevent new mums from sharing their struggles for the fear of invalidation. This leads to many new mums suffering in silence. There is sadly still a stigma associated with postpartum depression, leaving many new mums lonely and unsupported.

Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors for postpartum depression include a history of depression or anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, high risk or complicated pregnancies, traumatic birthing experience, marital conflict and a lack of psychosocial support.

Treatment

If you suspect that you may have postpartum depression or are struggling to adjust to the birth of your newborn, speak to your gynaecologist or GP. They will refer you to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or both. If these symptoms occur during pregnancy, see a psychologist immediately so the symptoms may be treated to prevent further stress during the pregnancy.

Treatment options are psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioural therapy and supportive psychotherapy, couples therapy (as a supportive partner can greatly help improve symptoms through the support they provide) and in some cases, medication. Many new mums may be resistant to the idea of medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In severe cases, where symptoms are impacting on the mum’s daily functioning, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication that is considered to be safe in pregnancy. Mums who are breastfeeding may discuss the pros and cons as well as safe treatment options with a psychiatrist.

Supporting a Loved One

If you’re a partner or family member of someone who is pregnant or has just delivered, educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, so you can facilitate professional help-seeking. Provide emotional support through regular check-ins about how they are feeling, what they are struggling with the most and how you can support them better. Encourage rest and try to alleviate the new mum of some responsibilities so she has time for little self care activities. Assist with finding a suitable professional and help facilitate an appointment, if necessary. Help by normalizing their experience and assuring them of your support.

The key to effective recovery is seeking help as soon as symptoms are recognized. Effective treatment not only manages the depressive symptoms, but plays a significant role in the mother-infant bond and the development of the baby.

by Rakhi Beekrum, counselling psychologist.

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Medshield Mom | Gentle Parenting: Empowering Children with Compassion and Respect

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in parenting styles, with gentle parenting gaining traction as a prevailing trend. As parents strive to raise emotionally healthy and confident children, the principles of gentle parenting have garnered attention for their focus on empathy, communication, and understanding. In this article, we will explore what gentle parenting is, why it has become a prominent trend, and discuss some of the pros and cons associated with this nurturing approach to raising children.

Understanding Gentle Parenting

Gentle parenting is a parenting philosophy that centres on building a strong, supportive bond between parent and child. At its core, gentle parenting revolves around treating children with respect, compassion, and understanding rather than relying on traditional authoritarian or punitive methods. It emphasises the belief that children should be guided with love and empathy, encouraging them to learn from their experiences and emotions.

Unlike more traditional parenting approaches, gentle parenting aims to avoid punitive discipline methods such as spanking or yelling, instead opting for non-violent communication and problem-solving techniques. It promotes active listening, validating children’s feelings, and engaging them in open, honest conversations, thus fostering a deeper level of trust and emotional connection.

The Rise of Gentle Parenting

The rise of gentle parenting can be attributed to several factors. First and foremost, society’s overall approach to child-rearing has evolved over time. As research and knowledge about child development continue to expand, parents are increasingly looking for more effective and compassionate ways to raise their children.

Additionally, the advent of social media and access to information has facilitated the sharing of parenting experiences and techniques. This interconnectedness has allowed the gentle parenting movement to spread rapidly, connecting like-minded parents seeking alternative methods of discipline and guidance for their children.

Furthermore, the long-term impact of traditional punitive parenting methods has come under scrutiny. Studies have shown that harsh disciplinary techniques can lead to negative emotional and psychological consequences for children, impacting their self-esteem and overall well-being. In contrast, gentle parenting has gained popularity as an alternative approach that aims to empower children and foster healthier relationships within the family dynamic.

The Pros of Gentle Parenting

  1. Strong Parent-Child Bond: Gentle parenting places a significant emphasis on building a strong emotional bond between parents and their children. This nurturing connection can lead to a more secure attachment, promoting emotional well-being in children as they grow and develop.

  2. Positive Discipline: By focusing on non-punitive discipline methods, gentle parenting helps children develop better emotional regulation and problem-solving skills. They learn from their mistakes and develop a sense of responsibility for their actions.

  3. Encourages Independence: Gentle parenting encourages children to think independently and make decisions, fostering a sense of autonomy and self-confidence.

  4. Emphasis on Empathy: By empathising with their children’s feelings and needs, parents practising gentle parenting model emotional intelligence, teaching children how to express themselves and understand others better.

 

The Cons of Gentle Parenting:

  1. Time-Intensive: Gentle parenting requires a considerable investment of time and patience. It involves frequent communication, active listening, and understanding, which can be challenging for busy parents.

  2. Lack of Clarity: Critics argue that gentle parenting’s non-punitive approach might lead to a lack of clear boundaries and consequences for children’s behaviour, potentially hindering their understanding of appropriate conduct.

  3. Cultural and Social Challenges: Gentle parenting may face resistance in societies or communities where more traditional authoritarian parenting styles are deeply ingrained. Ultimately, you can only do what feels right for you and your family and try not to be concerned about what everyone else thinks.

  4. Potential Misunderstanding: The gentle parenting approach can sometimes be misinterpreted, leading to the misconception that it permits permissiveness or lack of parental authority.

 

In conclusion, gentle parenting is a contemporary parenting style that is gaining popularity due to its focus on building strong emotional bonds and fostering healthy communication between parents and children. As a response to the drawbacks of punitive parenting methods, gentle parenting promotes empathy, positive discipline, and child empowerment. While it may not be without its challenges, the growing appeal of this nurturing approach suggests that many parents are finding it to be a promising path towards raising emotionally resilient and confident children. As with any parenting style, it’s essential for parents to find what works best for their unique family dynamics and their child’s individual needs.



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Best Foods For Breastfeeding Moms

What Should Breastfeeding Moms Eat?

Breastfeeding and being a new mom is a lot of work – your body is healing, you’re hardly sleeping and, now, you’re responsible for an infant. And as mom is passing on highly nutritious and calorie-dense food to her baby, she too needs to make sure that she is adequately fuelled. Here are the best foods for breast-feeding moms to include in their diet.

  1. Eat more protein
    Breast milk contains high levels of protein to help your baby grow and it’s important that during breastfeeding, that moms increase their level of protein intake. It’s advised to have healthy protein at each meal. Include oats or eggs at breakfast, add in lean meats and oily fish (trout, salmon, mackerel) and plant-based protein such as legumes and beans.
  2. Eat more
    You may need to include an additional 300 to 500 calories in your diet while breastfeeding. It’s important to consult your doctor about this as each body is different.
  3. Up your vitamins and minerals
    While breastfeeding it’s important to make sure that moms have adequate amounts of vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, eggs), D (mushrooms, eggs, oily fish) and E (avocado, broccoli, peppers, almonds) and well as B12 (shellfish, liver, yogurt, oily fish, nutritional yeast, eggs) selenium (brazil nuts, seafood, whole grains and seeds) and zinc (oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, dairy). Consult with a dietician to make sure that your eating plan contains all the necessary nutrients or alternatively the appropriate supplements, as discussed with your doctor.
  4. Drink more water
    When breastfeeding you may feel thirstier. Remember that “mature” breast milk (click here to read about the different breast-milk stages) contains 90% water, so it’s important that new moms stay well hydrated.

For a tailor-made diet plan that suits your lifestyle and requirements, consult with a dietician or your medical doctor.

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The Three Stages of Breastfeeding And Tips For Success

Wanting to fall pregnant or the first baby is on its way? Here’s what to know about the different stages of breastfeeding, what to expect and tips for successful breastfeeding.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, In the first two weeks after a baby is born, breast milk progresses through three main stages: colostrum, transitional breast milk, and mature breast milk.

Breastfeeding stage 1: Colostrum

The Colostrum stage is the first type of breast milk and this is already present towards the end of your pregnancy and during the first few days after the baby is born. The low volume of colostrum can range between white and milky to sticky and yellowish. It contains all the nutrients your newborn needs: high in protein, white blood cells and antibodies. It’s also a natural laxative for your baby and helps to prevent jaundice.

 Breastfeeding stage 2: Transitional Milk

Transitional Milk is the next type of milk produced by your body and this stage lasts up to two weeks. This milk is a combination of Colostrum and Mature Milk and is higher in calories than Colostrum. This milk includes high levels of fat, lactose and water-soluble vitamins. Your breasts may become fuller and warmer and your milk slowly changes to a bluish-white color.

Breastfeeding stage 3: Mature Milk

This stage can start as early as 10 days after giving birth, but usually begins around two weeks post birth. About 90% of this milk is water, which is important for keeping your infant appropriately hydrated. The remaining 10% is carbs, protein and fats – all the macronutrients needed for growth and energy.

A 2018 study published in the journal “Nutrients” revealed that: in the milk of mothers breastfeeding for longer than 18 months, fat and protein increased and carbohydrates decreased significantly, compared with milk expressed by women breastfeeding up to 12 months. This shows again how the breast milk nutrient levels change – this time to accommodate what a toddler may need.

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

– Cuddle your baby on your chest .Holding your baby skin-to-skin will help your body to start making milk and will wake up your baby’s feeding reflexes.

– Look out for movements such as: your baby turning its head “looking for food”, licking lips or putting their hands or mouth. Crying is a late cue and your baby may need to be calmed down first in order for successful breastfeeding to happen.

– It’s important for mom to sit or lie down comfortably and to relax shoulders.

– Express milk by hand: a few drops of milk on your nipple will help to get your baby’s attention to start feeding.

– When holding your baby, place their nose to your nipple until your baby’s mouth opens as big as a yawn to take a mouthful of your breast. You will feel your baby suckling gently at first, and then stronger with a rhythm of one or two sucks per swallow, and little pauses to rest.

 

Contact your doctor for further information and any medical advice you may need for your own breastfeeding plan.

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The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Baby

World Breast-Feeding Week 1-7 August. |

Here we mention the health benefits of breastfeeding your baby and why it’s good for mom too!

The aim of World Breastfeeding Week is to help raise awareness about the health benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mom.

Did you know that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies? According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), as your baby grows, your breast milk will change to meet your baby’s nutritional needs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 12 months or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action encourages breastfeeding as a way to ensure food security and nutrition for infants up to two years old. They also state that it contributes to improved health and wellness for mothers. Let’s look at what some of the most crucial health benefits are.

In the journal “Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countrie”, the following results were published:

Babies who were breastfed for longer than six months showed a:

63% reduced risk for upper respiratory tract infections

Babies who were breastfed for at least 3 months showed a:

40% reduced risk of getting asthma

– Between 30 and 40% reduced risk of dermatitis

30% less risk of inflammatory bowel disease

30% less risk of Type 1 Diabetes.

And that any breastfeeding at all has the chance of lowering your child’s risk of obesity by 24% and Type 2 Diabetes.

The WHO says that Breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one third during the second year of life.

It also says that studies have shown that Breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes later in life. Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

For more information about breastfeeding health benefits and best practice or assistance, contact your doctor.

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Medshield Mom | Mom Guilt

You are a mother; not a martyr!

If you grew up with a mother or around mother figures who were self-sacrificing, always putting others first and who seemed able to do it all, it makes sense that you might struggle with mom guilt.

Mom guilt is the irrational belief that you are not a good-enough mother, despite doing your absolute best under the circumstances. While guilt can be healthy when it motivates us to act in accordance with our values, irrational guilt can lead to low self worth, depression and anxiety.

What causes mom guilt?

  • Mom guilt may occur as a result of postpartum depression (but is not an indicator that one has postpartum depression).
  • Existing anxiety disorders – mums who are anxious are more likely to worry that they are not a good enough mum.
  • Societal pressures play a significant role in mom guilt. This includes messages from our own family and friends about how we should parent, comparing ourselves to other mums, social media’s portrayal of mums who seem to do it all so effortlessly (while looking glam), mums at school who seem to be doing so much more than us and social media posts that are constantly telling us about what is best for our child.
  • Working mums (who are actually working to give their children a better life) often struggle with not spending enough time with their children, not having enough energy at the end of a busy day and missing events in their child’s life (such as sports).
  • Over-identifying with the role of mother can also play a role in mom guilt. While being a mom might be one of the most special roles in your life, you are more than just a mom.

We don’t talk about enough about mom guilt for some of the following reasons:

  • Constant reminders of what a blessing it is to be a mum
  • Being reminded that our mums did it without complaining
  • Social media mostly portrays the fun and glamorous aspects of parenting
  • We feel that sharing our difficulties means that we don’t love our kids
  • We feel that we’re the only one whose struggling
  • We compare ourselves unfairly to moms who (outwardly) seem to have it all together.

You are only human! The mental load of motherhood is exhausting, because there is a lot to juggle (including the mental labor of planning so that everything can go as smoothly as possible).

If this is something you struggle with, here are some important reminders:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others mums because (a) you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes; and (b) you don’t know what their load is and what resources they have available.
  • Being a good mom does not mean doing more or spending more time with your child. A good mom is a present mom. What matters most is the quality of time you spend with your child.
  • In order to be a good mom, you have to fill your own cup. You are not being selfish by taking care of your physical and mental health needs. Children need parents who are present and emotionally regulated. Your stress levels have an impact on your child -so take care of you!
  • Recognise who you have in your village. How can you share the load? What resources can you call on? What can you outsource or delegate?
  • Be mindful of your own self talk and remind yourself that you are trying your best.
  • Know who you can turn to for reassurance – fellow mums or a mom blogger, whose posts resonate.
  • Trust that you are doing your best.

Your child does not need a perfect mom – your child needs a present and mindful mom.

– Rakhi Beekrum | Psychologist, motivational speaker and mental health advocate 

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Preparing your home for a new born

Bringing a new born baby home is an exciting time for new parents, but it can also be overwhelming. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort is to prepare your home ahead of time. Here are some tips for creating a safe and welcoming environment for your new arrival.

1. Create a designated changing area: Choose a comfortable, flat surface, such as a changing table, for diaper changes. Stock up on diapers, wipes, and diaper cream, and keep them within reach. Make sure to never leave your baby unattended on the changing table.

2. Prepare the nursery: Your baby’s nursery should be a comfortable and safe space. Ensure that the crib or bassinet is up to safety standards and has a firm, flat mattress. Avoid placing any soft or loose objects, such as pillows or blankets, in the crib. Install baby-proof window coverings and consider a baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby while they sleep.

3. Stock up on baby essentials: In addition to diapers and wipes, you’ll want to have a few key baby essentials on hand. This includes a car seat, stroller, baby carrier, and breastfeeding or bottle-feeding supplies, depending on your preferred method of feeding.

4. Consider temperature and humidity: Babies are sensitive to temperature and humidity, so it’s important to create a comfortable environment. Keep the temperature between 20 to 22.2 degrees Celsius and use a humidifier to maintain a humidity level between 40 and 60 percent.

5. Baby-proof common areas: Your baby will spend a lot of time in common areas of the home, so it’s important to baby-proof these areas as well. Cover sharp corners on furniture with padding, secure cabinets and drawers, and install baby gates to prevent access to stairs or other potentially dangerous areas.

6. Prepare siblings and pets: If you have other children or pets in the home, prepare them for the arrival of a new baby. Teach your children how to interact with the baby, and make sure they know the importance of being gentle and quiet around the baby. Introduce pets to the baby slowly and always supervise interactions.

7. Remove hazards: Babies are naturally curious and will explore their environment by touching, grabbing, and putting things in their mouths. To keep your baby safe, remove any potential hazards from the home. This includes items that are sharp, toxic, or can be swallowed, such as small objects, cleaning products, and medications.

8. Secure furniture and electronics: To prevent accidents and injuries, secure any large furniture, such as dressers or bookshelves, to the wall. Cover electrical outlets and ensure that cords from electronics are out of reach of your baby. By taking the time to prepare your home for your new baby, you can ensure that your baby is safe, comfortable, and happy. With a little planning and preparation, you can create a welcoming environment that will help your family adjust to the exciting and rewarding journey of parenthood.

Posted in Mom
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Oral health during pregnancy

Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. Some may breeze through it with that wonderful glow while others may experience nausea for the majority of the nine months. A woman’s body undergoes numerous changes during this time and the mouth is no exception. Good oral health care is essential during this time and there should be a conscious increase in preventative care.

Common oral problems during pregnancy:

Erosion of teeth

During pregnancy, the oral cavity is exposed to an increase of gastric acid due to morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum or reflux. The increased levels of gastric acid can cause erosion of teeth.

Women are advised to rinse their mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water after vomiting and not brush immediately to avoid brushing the acid into their teeth. Management also includes seeking medical advice on reducing acid exposure through dietary and lifestyle changes or the use of antiemetic’s or antacids.

Caries

Pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing dental caries due to sugary cravings, increased levels of oral acidity and a reduction in oral care. Pregnant patients are encouraged to reduce their risk of decay by brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing, reducing their sugar intake and maintaining regular visits to the dentist.

Pregnancy oral tumor

Pregnancy oral tumour is a benign vascular lesion caused by a combination of increased progesterone levels, irritants and bacteria. Up to 5% of women experience these lesions during pregnancy and they usually appear red, smooth and lobulated. They are most frequently found on the gums but can also present on the tongue, palate and inner cheek. These tumours are most common during the first trimester and classically recede after delivery. Management usually involves observation unless the tumour bleeds or interferes with oral hygiene or eating.

Mobile teeth

The increased levels of oestrogen and progesterone can cause tooth mobility during pregnancy. This condition is usually temporary in cases with minimum mobility and in the absence of other conditions.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue and is characterized by redness, swelling, tenderness or bleeding of the gums. 60 to 75% of women experience gingivitis during pregnancy. Approximately half the women with pre-existing gingivitis have a significant exacerbation during pregnancy. Gingivitis is aggravated by variations in hormone levels in combination with changes in oral flora and a decreased immune response. 

Thorough oral hygiene measures, including tooth brushing and flossing, are recommended to minimise inflammation. Patients with severe gingivitis may require professional cleaning followed by the use of medicated mouth rinses.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a more destructive inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Toxins produced by bacteria, cause a chronic inflammatory response, resulting in tissue breakdown and pockets of infection.

Management of periodontitis during pregnancy is based on early diagnosis and deep root scaling. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant undergo periodontal examination and any necessary treatment. Women with pre-existing periodontal disease can reduce the risk of it worsening during pregnancy through proper oral hygiene.

Dental care during pregnancy:

Daily dental care routine:

Maintain a good oral hygiene regime which should include brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day.

Routine screening and prevention:

A common misconception is that all dental treatment including scaling and polishing should be stopped during pregnancy. It is recommended that pregnant patients maintain their 6 monthly dental visits, to ensure optimal oral health as well as to assess and treat any conditions in the early stages. Professionally applied preventative measures such as fluoride treatment can also assist in maintaining good oral health. Most non-emergency conditions can be deferred to the second trimester or after birth. Often your dentist will work with your treating doctor/gynaecologist to ensure that you receive the safest treatment for you and your baby.

Xylitol & chlorhexidine

The topical use of Xylitol pastes and chlorhexidine mouthwashes can reduce the transmission of cavity causing bacteria from mother to child. These products can be used during late pregnancy or in the postpartum period.

Neutralize the acid:

If you suffer from morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum or gastric reflux, rinsing with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, may help neutralize the associated acid.

Ease the gagging reflex:

You can help ease gagging during brushing by using a toothbrush with a small head and taking your time while brushing. It may help to close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing or try distractions such as music. If the taste of the toothpaste seems to provoke the reflex, try switching brands.

Avoid the sugary snacks

We know it’s not easy, especially when those cravings start but try choosing healthier options such as fresh fruit. If you do happen to give in, ensure that you rinse with water after a snack.

Maintain a healthy diet

In addition to avoiding the sweet treats, frequent snacking should be avoided as it increases the likelihood of tooth decay. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet will also benefit your baby as their first teeth begin to develop at 3 months into pregnancy. Dairy products and other sources of calcium will provide baby with essential minerals for developing healthy teeth, gums and bones.

One of the first things your baby will see is your smile! So don’t forget to work with your dentist in taking care of those pearly whites while enjoying your pregnancy. 

By Dr Saadia Desai

 

Posted in Mom
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