Getting ready for a new family member can be an exciting and nerve-wracking period. Taking care of yourself can be lost in the current of day to day life, but it is KEY to the health of you and your future little one. Eating right, sleeping well, and exercise are well known goals to hit. But did you know that dental health is also a very important factor?

Gingivitis is linked to preterm delivery and low birthweight. Stress and hormone fluctuations make the risk of gingivitis higher in pregnant mommies. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Daily flossing, brushing and continuing to see your dentist becomes that much more important because these actions truly affect your baby.

NightLight pediatricians, such as Dr. Takemoto and Dr. Dao,  highly recommend going through the American Academy of Pediatricians website for more information on all expectant parental needs. This serves as a reliable source of a plethora of interesting subjects and questions and allows you to navigate through the prenatal stage into the teenage years. Let this site be your guide so you can focus more on self-care and enjoying your life’s journey.

Check out this post: Brushing for Two: How Your Oral Health Affects Baby

Here are some more tips to protect yourself and your baby from infections during pregnancy:

  1. Maintain good hygiene and wash your hands often – especially when around or caring for children. Learn more about how regular hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and prevent infections in our blog: A Healthy Habit to Help Decrease the Risk of Common Childhood Infections – Hand Washing!
  2. Cook your meat until it’s well done. Under cooked meats and processed meats might contain harmful bacteria.
  3. Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods, such as soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized.
  4. Talk to your doctor about vaccinations. Some are recommended before you become pregnant, during pregnancy, or right after delivery. Having the right vaccinations at the right time can help keep you healthy and help keep your baby from getting very sick or having life-long health problems. Learn about if the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women in our blog: Is the Flu Vaccine Safe for Pregnant Women?
  5. Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV and hepatitis B, and protect yourself from them. If you do, talk to your doctor about how you can reduce the chance that your baby will become sick.
  6. Try to avoid people who have an infections, such as chickenpox or rubella. This is especially important if you have not yet had it yourself or did not have the vaccine before pregnancy.
  7. Do not touch or change dirty cat litter and avoid contact with potentially contaminated soil. Dirty cat litter and soil​ might contain a harmful parasite.
  8. Only take vitamins in the doses recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may recommend a daily prenatal vitamin pill, which includes folic acid, iron, calcium and other minerals, and the fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). Make sure your doctor knows about any other supplements you may be taking, including herbal remedies.