Oral Health and Pregnancy
I felt him kick.
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,
Disease…These Were Mere
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.