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Oral Health and Pregnancy

It’s the

First time

I felt him kick.

Soft soles

Marching

On

The inside,

As if the to map

My womb, eager to

Determine which way

Was north…and then it all

Went south. He’s out.

The doctor says,

“Your son will

Have some psychological anomalies

And he’s at risk of cardiovascular and

Respiratory diseases. He will not live a

Normal life”. I must have fallen unconscious

‘Cause the Nurse on my right kept calling my

Name as if I were a mile away. “Rebecca!

Rebecca!” She said. Still held Captive by

My thoughts, I whispered to myself,

Cardiovascular…Respiratory…

Disease…These Were Mere

Words, But

I could

Have

Sworn

They

Wore

Wigs

And each

Held a gavel

Judging me GUILTY!

 

Even I could not deny the evidence,

I felt it.

I had a gum disease

But I watched

As it ruined us with ease.

 

A pregnant woman with bad oral health is at risk of having pregnancy hypertension, which is also risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, and delivering pre-term babies and low birth weight babies who are also at risk of a plethora of diseases. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to brush at least twice aday, especially after vomitting, eat sugar-free snacks and make visits to the dentist. Visiting a dentist is crucial, so also is knowing what to say to your dentist. Pregnant women (patients in general) should ask questions. For example, if the doctor says your oral health (or health) is good, ask them, "what does that mean for me as a pregnant woman, woman, or man?", "what does that mean for my ethinicity or my age group?", questions like this encourage you to advocate for your health. If you are pregnant or know someone that is pregnant encourage them to ask their physician for a referral to a dentist. By doing this we are "nipping it at the bud", that is, we are fight non-communicable diseases by preventing them as early as possible.

For more information on oral health and pregnancy visit this site: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-sante/pregnancy-grossesse/oral-buccodentaire-eng.php

 

Jadesola Giwa is a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honors) with a major in Health and Society and concentration in psychology and a soon-to -be University of Calgary Graduate (June 2014). She is interested in improving the socioeconomic status of low and middle income countries by encouraging preventive care in oral health. She is also currently involved in developing health interventions that address health inequities by ensuring that women of all ethnic backgrounds receive health interventions in a way that increases knowledge and encourages preventive behaviours.

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Fighting non-communicable diseases in Africa through the voices and creativity of everyday people

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