Monday, January 9, 2017

Babies Learning Before Birth :

Call +919825463394 to book your Consultation for Learning more how to communicate with your unborn baby: 

Babies are learning their native language before birth. This is made possible by the development of hearing as early as 16 weeks gestational age. A mother's voice reaches the uterus with very little distortion as the sound waves pass directly through her body. Acoustic spectroscopy, which makes possible elaborately detailed portraits of sound similar to fingerprints, has documented prenatal learning of the mother tongue. By 27 weeks of gestation, the cry of a baby already contains some of the speech features, rhythms, and voice characteristics of its mother. Newborn reactions to language are based on the sounds heard in utero: French babies prefer to look at persons speaking French while Russian babies prefer to watch people speaking Russian.

Babies can learn their mother's emotional state. 

life in the womb is extremely active and interactive and the womb is, in fact, a classroom.

Babies in the third trimester can already hear very well, and studies  show that they recognise their mother’s voice, and newborns remember and show attentiveness to nursery rhymes that were read to them by their mother during the last trimester of pregnancy. The baby becomes familiar with the rhythm of the lines, and with the unique melody of the reader’s voice, and responds to the sound after she’s born. Yes, you really will be bonding with her well before birth, and she’ll be soothed by these same stories as a newborn.

Studies also show that reading to babies in utero is particularly powerful. Newborns have been found to respond to rhythmic, rhyming stories that were read to them regularly in the last weeks before birth. When your newborn baby cries, you can read her a poem or story you’ve practiced repeatedly during pregnancy and she will immediately be stilled by the familiar beat and the beauty of the voice she has been listening to for months. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one more way of comforting your new baby when she gets fussy? If you start talking, singing, and reading to your baby in the womb, you’ll see her face light up when she hears you in person! Until then, you can know that she is already loving, and learning from, the sweet sound of her mother’s voice

“If we aim to create a nonviolent world,”  “we must begin with love and nourishment in the womb.” In other words, if you foster calm and peace in your baby’s environment even before she’s born by communicating with her consciously, the effects can last through her childhood, perhaps carrying that deep-seated feeling of well-being throughout her life. Imagine a world where all babies experienced this “magical beginning”! It could become a reality, starting with you. Now, that opportunity is a lot to be thankful for.


Sensitivity to Touch
The maternal womb is an optimal, stimulating, interactive environment for human development. Activity never ceases and a fetus is never isolated. Touch, the first sense, is the cornerstone of human experience and communication, beginning in the womb (Montagu, 1978). Just before 8 weeks gestational age (g.a.), the first sensitivity to touch manifests in a set of protective movements to avoid a mere hair stroke on the cheek. From this early date, experiments with a hair stroke on various parts of the embryonic body show that skin sensitivity quickly extends to the genital area (10 weeks), palms (11 weeks), and soles (12 weeks). These areas of first sensitivity are the ones which will have the greatest number and variety of sensory receptors in adults. By 17 weeks, all parts of the abdomen and buttocks are sensitive. Skin is marvellously complex, containing a hundred varieties of cells which seem especially sensitive to heat, cold, pressure and pain. By 32 weeks, nearly every part of the body is sensitive to the same light stroke of a single hair.

The Fetus In Motion
The first dramatic motion, one that has come to symbolize life itself, is the first heartbeat at about three weeks after conception. This rhythmic activity continues while valves, chambers, and all other parts and connections are under construction--illustrating an important fact about development: parts are pressed into service as they become available. Furthermore, use is necessary for development. Between week six and ten, fetal bodies burst into motion, achieving graceful, stretching, and rotational movements of the head, arms and legs. Hand to head, hand to face, hand to mouth movements, mouth opening, closing, and swallowing are all present at 10 weeks (Tajani and Ianniruberto, 1990). By 14 weeks, the complete repertoire of fetal movements seen throughout gestation are already in evidence (deVries, Visser, and Prechtl, 1985). Movement is spontaneous, endogenous, and typically cycles between activity and rest. Breathing movements and jaw movements have begun. Hands are busy interacting with other parts of the body and with the umbilical cord. From this early stage onward, movement is a primary activity, sometimes begun spontaneously, sometimes provoked by events. Spontaneous movement occurs earliest, probably expressing purely individual interests and needs. Evoked movement reflects sensitivity to the environment. For example, between 10 and 15 weeks g.a., when a mother laughs or coughs, her fetus moves within seconds. The vestibular system, designed to register head and body motion as well as the pull of gravity begins developing at about 8 weeks. This requires construction of six semicircular canals, fluid-filled structures in the ears, which are sensitive to angular acceleration and deceleration, and help maintain balance.

Tasting and Smelling
The structures for tasting are available at about 14 weeks g.a. and experts believe that tasting begins at that time. Tests show that swallowing increases with sweet tastes and decreases with bitter and sour tastes. In the liquid womb space, a range of tastes are presented including lactic, pyruvic, and citric acids, creatinine, urea, amino acids, proteins and salts. Tests made at birth reveal exquisite taste discrimination and definite preferences. Until recently, no serious consideration was given to the possibilities for olfaction in utero, since researchers assumed smelling depended on air and breathing. However, the latest research has opened up a new world of possibilities. The nasal chemoreceptive system is more complex than previously understood, and is made up of no less than four subsystems: the main olfactory, the trigeminal, the vomeronasal, and the terminal system, which provide complex olfactory input to the fetus. The nose develops between 11 and 15 weeks. Many chemical compounds can cross the placenta to join the amniotic fluid, providing the fetus with tastes and odors. The amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus bathes the oral, nasal, and pharyngeal cavities, and babies breathe it and swallow it, permitting direct access to receptors of several chemosensory systems: taste buds in three locations, olfactory epithelia, vomeronasal system, and trigeminal system (Smotherman and Robinson, 1995). Associations formed in utero can alter subsequent fetal behavior and are retained into postnatal life. The evidence for direct and indirect learning of odors in utero has been reviewed by Schaal, Orgeur, and Rogan (1995). They point to an extraordinary range of available odiferous compounds, an average of 120 in individual samples of amniotic fluid! In addition, products of the mother's diet reach the baby via the placenta and the blood flowing in the capillaries of the nasal mucosa. Thus, prenatal experience with odorants from both sources probably prepare this sensory system to search for certain odors or classes of odors. In one experiment, babies registered changes in fetal breathing and heart rate when mothers drank coffee, whether it was caffeinated or decaffeinated. Newborns are drawn to the odor of breastmilk, although they have no previous experience with it. Researchers think this may come from cues they have learned in prenatal life.

Listening and Hearing
Although a concentric series of barriers buffer the fetus from the outside world--amniotic fluid, embryonic membranes, uterus, and the maternal abdomen--the fetus lives in a stimulating matrix of sound, vibration, and motion. Many studies now confirm that voices reach the womb, rather than being overwhelmed by the background noise created by the mother and placenta. Intonation patterns of pitch, stress, and rhythm, as well as music, reach the fetus without significant distortion. A mother's voice is particularly powerful because it is transmitted to the womb through her own body reaching the fetus in a stronger form than outside sounds. For a comprehensive review of fetal audition, see Busnel, Granier-Deferre, and Lecanuet 1992. Sounds have a surprising impact upon the fetal heart rate: a five second stimulus can cause changes in heart rate and movement which last up to an hour. Some musical sounds can cause changes in metabolism. "Brahm's Lullabye," for example, played six times a day for five minutes in a premature baby nursery produced faster weight gain than voice sounds played on the same schedule (Chapman, 1975). Researchers in Belfast have demonstrated that reactive listening begins at 16 weeks g.a., two months sooner than other types of measurements indicated. Working with 400 fetuses, researchers in Belfast beamed a pure pulse sound at 250-500 Hz and found behavioral responses at 16 weeks g.a.--clearly seen via ultrasound (Shahidullah and Hepper, 1992). This is especially significant because reactive listening begins eight weeks before the ear is structurally complete at about 24 weeks. These findings indicate the complexity of hearing, lending support to the idea that receptive hearing begins with the skin and skeletal framework, skin being a multireceptor organ integrating input from vibrations, thermo receptors, and pain receptors. This primal listening system is then amplified with vestibular and cochlear information as it becomes available. With responsive listening proven at 16 weeks, hearing is clearly a major information channel operating for about 24 weeks before birth.

Development of Vision
Vision, probably our most predominant sense after birth, evolves steadily during gestation, but in ways which are difficult to study. However, at the time of birth, vision is perfectly focused from 8 to 12 inches, the distance to a mother's face when feeding at the breast. Technical reviews reveal how extraordinary vision is in the first few months of life (Salapatek and Cohen, 1987). Although testing eyesight in the womb has not been feasible, we can learn from testing premature babies. When tested from 28 to 34 weeks g.a. for visual focus and horizontal and vertical tracking, they usually show these abilities by 31-32 weeks g.a. Abilities increase rapidly with experience so that by 33-34 weeks g.a., both tracking in all directions as well as visual attention equals that of babies of 40 weeks g.a. Full-term newborns have impressive visual resources including acuity and contrast sensitivity, refraction and accommodation, spacial vision, binocular function, distance and depth perception, color vision, and sensitivity to flicker and motion patterns (Atkinson and Braddick, 1982). Their eyes search the environment day and night, showing curiosity and basic form perception without needing much time for practice (Slater, Mattock, Brown, and Gavin, 1991). In utero, eyelids remain closed until about the 26th week. However, the fetus is sensitive to light, responding to light with heart rate accelerations to projections of light on the abdomen. This can even serve as a test of well-being before birth. Although it cannot be explained easily, prenates with their eyelids still fused seem to be using some aspect of "vision" to detect the location of needles entering the womb, either shrinking away from them or turning to attack the needle barrel with a fist (Birnholz, Stephens, and Faria, 1978). Similarly, at 20 weeks g.a., twins in utero have no trouble locating each other and touching faces or holding hands!

The Senses in Action
Sense modalities are not isolated, but exist within an interconnecting, intermodal network. We close this section about fetal sensory resources by citing a few examples of how fetal senses work in tandem. We have already indicated how closely allied the gustatory and olfactory systems are, how skin and bones contribute to hearing, and how vision seems functional even with fused eyelids. When prenates experience pain, they do not have the air necessary to make sound, but they do respond with vigorous body and breathing movements as well as hormonal rushes. Within ten minutes of needling a fetus's intrahapatic vein for a transfusion, a fetus shows a 590% rise in beta endorphin and a 183% rise in cortosol--chemical evidence of pain (Giannakoulopoulos, 1994). Ultrasonographers have recorded fetal erections as early as 16 weeks g.a., often in conjunction with finger sucking, suggesting that pleasurable self-stimulation is already possible. In the third trimester, when prenates are monitored during parental intercouse, their hearts fluctuate wildly in accelerations and decelerations greater than 30 beats per minute, or show a rare loss of beat-to-beat variability, accompanied by a sharp increase in fetal movement (Chayen et al, 1986). This heart activity is directly associated with paternal and maternal orgasms! Other experiments measuring fetal reactions to mothers' drinking one ounce of vodka in a glass of diet ginger ale show that breathing movements stop within 3 to 30 minutes. This hiatus in breathing lasts more than a half hour. Although the blood alcohol level of the mothers was low, as their blood alcohol level declined, the percentage of fetal breathing movements increased (Fox et al, 1978). Babies have been known to react to the experience of amniocentesis (usually done around 16 weeks g.a.) by shrinking away from the needle, or, if a needle nicks them, they may turn and attack it. Mothers and doctors who have watched this under ultrasound have been unnerved. Following amniocentesis, heart rates gyrate. Some babies remain motionless, and their breathing motions may not return to normal for several days. Finally, researchers have discovered that babies are dreaming as early as 23 weeks g.a.when rapid eye movement sleep is first observed (Birnholz, 1981). Studies of premature babies have revealed intense dreaming activity, occupying 100% of sleep time at 30 weeks g.a., and gradually diminishing to around 50% by term. Dreaming is a vigorous activity involving apparently coherent movements of the face and extremities in synchrony with the dream itself, manifested in markedly pleasant or unpleasant expressions. Dreaming is also an endogenous activity, neither reactive or evoked, expressing inner mental or emotional conditions. Observers say babies behave like adults do when they are dreaming (Roffwarg, Muzio, and Dement 1966).

Through many windows of observation, we can now see--for the first time in human history--what is actually happening in the womb. There is good news and bad news. We can no longer think that the placenta can protect the prenate from anything bad going on in the mother's body, or that the mother's body can protect the prenate from bad things going on in her world. Mother and baby face together the perils of air, water, and earth compromised by the toxic residues of modern chemistry and physics. Parents are perhaps the last ones to learn (and their children the first ones to suffer) these tragic realities of modern life. Pollution has many sources, beginning with the physical environment surrounding the mother and father. Numerous chemicals loose in the environment reach them where they work or find them in the garage or in cleaning supplies in the kitchen. Solvents, metals, pesticides, preservatives, fumes, and various forms of radiation are capable of interfering with reproduction. Chemical pollution also reaches us in the medical system through prescribed drugs which may put the well-being of the prenate at risk. Some medicines, like aspirin are hazardous at birth, as are some powerful anesthetics. Not long ago, an antibacterial soap used widely in hospitals and dispensed in public areas was discovered--after years of use--to be neurotoxic. Parents, too, can be a source of contamination and injury to the unborn baby as a consequence of their personal habits and lifestyle choices. Drugs thought to be harmless to adults can be harmful to babies because they are not able to handle these chemicals in adult doses. Nicotine, caffein, and aspirin, substances ubiquitous in adult life, can affect the course of growth and development of babies. The damaging effects of alcohol have been known for centuries and the most recent research (2005) warns that no level of alcohol in the pregnant mother is safe. Not so well known, and perhaps not yet even tested, are the toxic effects of experimental “street drugs” which damage parents as well as babies. All these discoveries are revealing the profound importance of very early parenting, beginning, not at the time of birth, but even before the time of conception when it is still possible to avoid a host of serious problems. An additional reason for parents to begin active parenting at conception is the discovery that babies in the womb are also developing more rapidly than previously thought possible. From the second month of pregnancy, experiments and observations reveal an active prenate with a rapidly developing sensory system permitting exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness. Long before the development of advanced brain structures, prenates are seen interacting with each other and learning from experience. They seem especially interested in the larger environment provided by mother and father, and react to individual voices, stories, music, and even simple interaction games with parents. The quality of the uterine environment is determined principally by parents. The opportunities for parents to form a relationship with the baby in the womb are significant and remarkable. This contrasts sharply with the previous view that prenates did not have the capacity to interact, remember, learn, or put meaning to their experiences. Only a decade ago, doctors typically told pregnant mothers and fathers that talking to a baby in the womb was useless and unrealistic. Now there is mounting evidence for memory and learning in utero and for precocious communication before the stage of language. These abilities of unborn babies underlie the successes reported in a series of scientific experiments with prenatal stimulation and bonding. They are also a basis for the personal stories occasionally shared by children and adults about their experiences before birth.

David B Chamberlain

Atkinson, J. and Braddick, O. (1982). Sensory and Perceptual Capacities of the Neonate. In Psychobiology of the Human Newborn. Paul Stratton (Ed.), pp. 191-220. London: John Wiley.

Birnholz, J., Stephens, J. C. and Faria, M. (1978). Fetal Movement Patterns: A Possible Means of Defining Neurologic Developmental Milestones in Utero. American J. Roentology 130: 537-540.

Birnholz, Jason C. (1981). The Development of Human Fetal Eye Movement Patterns. Science 213: 679-681. Busnel, Marie-Claire, Granier-Deberre, C. and Lecanuet, J. P.(1992). Fetal Audition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 662:118-134.

Chapman, J. S. (1975). The Relation Between Auditory Stimulation of Short Gestation Infants and Their Gross Motor Limb Activity. Doctoral Dissertation, New York University.

Chayen, B., Tejani, N., Verma, U. L. and Gordon, G.(1986). Fetal Heart Rate Changes and Uterine Activity During Coitus. Acta Obstetrica Gynecologica Scandinavica 65: 853-855.

deVries, J. I. P., Visser, G. H. A., and Prechtl, H. F. R.(1985). The Emergence of Fetal Behavior. II. Quantitative Aspects. Early Human Development 12: 99-120.

Fox, H. E., Steinbrecher, M., Pessel, D., Inglis, J., and Angel, E.(1978) Maternal Ethanol Ingestion and the Occurrence of Human Fetal Breathing Movements. American J. of Obstetrics/Gynecology 132: 354-358.

Giannakoulopoulos, X., Sepulveda, W., Kourtis, P., Glover, V. and Fisk, N. M.(1994). Fetal Plasma Cortisol and B-endorphin Response to Intrauterine Needling. The Lancet 344: 77-81.

Montagu, Ashley (1978). Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin. New York: Harper & Row.

Roffwarg, Howard A., Muzio, Joseph N. and Dement, William C. (1966). Ontogenetic Development of the Human Sleep-Dream Cycle. Science 152: 604-619.

Salapatek, P. and Cohen, L.(1987). Handbook of Infant Perception. Vol. I. New York: Academic Press.

Schaal, B., Orgeur, P., and Rognon, C. (1995). Odor Sensing in the Human Fetus: Anatomical, Functional, and Chemeo-ecological Bases. In: Fetal Development: A Psychobiological Perspective, J-P. Lecanuet, W. P. Fifer, N. A., Krasnegor, and W. P. Smotherman (Eds.) pp. 205-237. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Shahidullah, S. and Hepper, P. G. (1992). Hearing in the Fetus: Prenatal Detection of Deafness. International J. of Prenatal and Perinatal Studies 4(3/4): 235-240.

Slater, A., Mattock, A., Brown, E., and Bremner, J. G. (1991). Form Perception at Birth: Cohen and Younger (1984) Revisited. J. of Experimental Child Psychology 51(3): 395- 406.

Smotherman, W. P. and Robinson, S. R.(1995). Tracing Developmental Trajectories Into the Prenatal Period. In: Fetal Development, J-P. Lecanuet, W. P. Fifer, N. A. Krasnegor, and W. P. Smotherman (Eds.), pp. 15-32. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Tajani, E. and Ianniruberto, A. (1990). The Uncovering of Fetal Competence. In: Development Handicap and Rehabilitation: Practice and Theory, M. Papini, A. Pasquinelli and E. A. Gidoni (Eds.), pp. 3-8. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail. 
Dr Unnati Chavda 
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pregnancy, & Early Childhood Cavities: Understanding the Connection

Dental and gum health (or lack thereof) is strongly associated with many aspects of our health including cardiovascular, glucose metabolism, reproductive, and respiratory health. During pregnancy, poor dental health and gum disease has been associated with premature labor & low birth weight babies, pre-labor rupture of membranes, and pre-eclampsia. Preterm labor and pre-labor rupture of membranes is often caused by vaginal dysbiosis and/or urogenital infections – often associated with oral dysbiosis and gum disease. Further, early childhood cavities are actually a chronic infectious disease that can be passed from parent to child (especially from mother to child via transmission of microbiota during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting).

So what can be done? 

One of the first steps in prevention of childhood cavities is balancing your own microbiota and supporting the microbiota in your baby or child. The bacterial balance (or imbalance) in your baby’s mouth will affect their likelihood of developing early childhood cavities (and influence a variety of other health-related issues). Certain strains of Streptococcus bacteria, especially S. mutans are a primary cause of tooth decay. Balancing parents and babies’ oral microflora can prevent proliferation of these bacteria and the resulting decay. While there are many aspects to preventing early childhood cavities, I’ll focus on a few tips for preventing oral dysbiosis in babies.

First, for parents who have dental issues and want to avoid passing them to children, it is essential to floss once per day after brushing and finish with an herbal mouth rinse to inhibit the growth of cariogenic (cavity-causing) bacteria.

Second, avoid antibiotic use during pregnancy, labor and in young babies unless absolutely necessary. A child’s microflora is established within the first two years of life and exposure to antibiotics can disrupt this process. Proactive strategies for the mom during pregnancy and breastfeeding as well as during the child’s first two years of life are critical to correct dysbiosis and set the child up for a healthy mouth and healthy immune system. If antibiotics must be used or if parents have signs of oral dysbiosis (cavities, bleeding gums, chronically enlarged tonsils, bad breath, GBS positive during pregnancy) rebalancing the microflora is recommended to prevent transmission to babies during or after birth. Babies who are born by cesarean are also prone to dysbiosis due to use of antibiotics during surgery and altered microflora caused by not passing through the vagina at birth. There is emerging evidence on the benefits of “seeding” the microbiome of a baby following cesarean using gauze inserted into the vagina before the surgery. Pregnant and postpartum moms can also take up to 100 billion CFUs of probiotics (focusing on both lactobacillus and bifidus strains) for a minimum of 3 months following a disruption such as antibiotic use or cesarean surgery. 

Infants exposed to antibiotics during pregnancy or birth should ideally be breastfed to help normalize the flora, and also, consider supplementing with bifidus strains of probiotics (up to 5 billion CFUs per day) formulated for infants – the powder can be mixed with breastmilk. All infants should have their gums “brushed” twice per day with a clean damp washcloth wrapped over the parent’s finger and gently massaged around all surfaces of the gums. The washcloth can be dampened with warm chamomile or fennel tea – especially good for teething infants.

General Recommendations

Here are a few other general recommendations for anyone experiencing signs of oral dysbiosis, gum inflammation or poor dental health:

Avoid/minimize sugars in the diet (especially highly refined sugars)
Stevia (the actual herb – green powder or dried green leaves – not some of the synthetic extracts on the market) not only tastes sweet but is anti-cariogenic (anti-cavity).

Floss well once per day – this one is so important and too easily ignored!

Eat lacto-fermented foods daily (and consider taking probiotics and/or gently swishing an opened up probiotic capsule mixed with a little water in the mouth)

Eat a whole foods diet rich in minerals & vitamins (especially vitamin D3, vitamin K2, calcium and phosphorus)

Receive regular dental cleanings with a holistic-oriented dentist

Consider tongue scraping in the morning

Reduce any nasal congestion in order to avoid mouth breathing which dries out the mouth and allows cariogenic and periodontogenic bacteria to flourish (consider neti-pot, decongestant herbs, and sleeping with warm-mist humidifier if mouth breathing is an issue).

(Herbs are available for pregnanant ladies at my hospital for mouth rinse to prevent cariogenic bacteria from adhering to teeth and the process of Oil Pulling is also available. Call +919825463394)

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body: Gum Disease Can Affect Your Unborn Child

For many women, pregnancy is a time that’s part blissful… and part stressful. As your body begins a process of dramatic changes, you may start paying more attention to your overall health and well-being. That’s good!

What’s not so good is that, with all the demands of pregnancy, it can be hard to take care of every little detail. Perhaps, with everything else that’s going on, you may be tempted to slack off on your oral hygiene routine. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

You probably know that many of the physical and emotional changes in pregnancy are mediated by hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. These chemicals, produced by the body, help regulate how cells use energy, grow and change. Hormone levels increase naturally during pregnancy; but while necessary, these high hormone levels can have a few unwanted side effects—including an increased susceptibility to gum disease. This can cause a condition, relatively common in expectant mothers, called “pregnancy gingivitis.”

Hormones aren’t solely responsible for this type of gum disease; pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria must be present in the mouth already. Under normal circumstances, regular brushing and flossing may be enough to keep these harmful bacteria under control. In the absence of good oral hygiene, however, a sticky substance called plaque starts to build up on the surfaces of your teeth—and that’s where harmful bacteria can flourish. Put plaque bacteria together with gums that are affected by pregnancy hormones, and you’ve got a recipe for a more aggressive gum disease than normal.

Gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. This is a bacterial infection that can attack not only the gums, but also the bone that supports the teeth; the loss of supporting bone can eventually lead to tooth loss. But moms aren’t the only ones who feel the effects of gum disease: A number of studies indicate that it may cause health problems in unborn children as well.

While the exact mechanism isn’t yet clear, research suggests that harmful oral bacteria can pass through the placenta into the fetus, triggering an inflammatory response. This can cause labor to begin prematurely, and may result in low birth weight. Some studies also point to a link between gum disease and a condition called pre-eclampsia—a form of dangerously high blood pressure that may occur during pregnancy.

The good news is: There are several things you can do to help keep gum disease from getting out of hand. First, try to control your diet as much as possible. Eat plenty of fruits, whole grains and vegetables, and avoid sugary treats—especially between meals. If you smoke, quit. Tobacco users are far more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers; your gums (and your new baby) will thank you.

Be sure to keep up your regular oral hygiene routine during pregnancy. That means brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing every day. But even with consistent at-home care, you still need to see your Dental Surgeon regularly—especially during pregnancy. At the dental office you’ll get a thorough cleaning, a thorough exam, and, if needed, appropriate treatment—including effective treatment for gum disease. Following your Dental Surgeon advice is the best way to make sure that your gums will stay healthy throughout your pregnancy—and to make sure you keep healthy smiling after your baby’s birth.

Is Your Breast Fed Baby at Risk for Early Childhood Caries?

It is important for Moms who breast feed their baby to know that just because a baby is breast fed, does not mean they are immune to early childhood caries.

Mother Breastfeeding Baby In NurseryTooth decay can arise when a young child nurses from the breast, because breast milk also has sugar in it.  However, breastfeeding is associated with a low risk of developing tooth decay, compared with bottle feeding. Nevertheless, breast milk does contain sugars and some infants who breast feed for long periods throughout the day or night may develop tooth decay.

For Breast-fed Babies

Avoid :  feedings that last more than 30 minutes.
Avoid :  prolonged and unrestricted night time feeding.
Avoid :  frequent, on-demand (“at-will”) feedings once the first teeth erupt.
Avoid:   nursing your child to sleep.  If your baby is breastfed, and won’t fall asleep without being nursed, try to avoid letting him/her sleep with the nipple in his/her mouth. After he/she falls asleep, remove the nipple to prevent pooling of liquid.
After each feed, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.    You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first teeth come in.  Gently brush with a child-sized toothbrush and water.

“Lift the Lip” to check for signs of Early Childhood Caries  Once the primary teeth have erupted, parents can lift the baby’s upper lip and visually check both front and back of the four upper front teeth at least once a month.


Checking a child’s teeth takes only a minute. It is helpful to have one adult hold the baby while a second adult looks at the teeth. A small dental mirror can help in viewing the back surfaces of the teeth. White spots on the surface of the upper front teeth or whitish lines at the base of the teeth along the gum line are indicators of Early Childhood Caries. If a parent notices any white spots on the teeth, a dentist visit is warranted. At this stage, Early Childhood Caries may still be reversible with prompt treatment. If left unchecked, the “white spot” lesions can rapidly develop to brown spots and general decay of the teeth.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay


If you must give the baby a bottle as a comfort at bedtime, it should contain only water.

If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks, progressing to strictly water in the bottle.

Baby-Care-and-Cleaning-TipsAfter each feed, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.    You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first teeth come in.  Gently brush with a child-sized toothbrush and water.  Rinsing the mouth is an option you can try with older children.

Fluoridated toothpaste can be used safely when you are sure that your child spits out all of the toothpaste after brushing. Older children can use a toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles. Use a very small amount of toothpaste (no more than the size of a pea). (You should consult the child’s dentist before considering using fluoride toothpaste).

Avoid letting your infant walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier or security object.  Do not allow your child to sip on a bottle filled with juice, milk, or formula for long periods of time as a pacifier

Start to teach your child to drink from a cup at about six months of age. Plan to stop using a bottle by 12 to 14 months at the latest.

Always be sure your baby’s pacifier is clean. Don’t ever dip it in anything (such as sugar or honey). Don’t clean your baby’s pacifier by sucking on it yourself, a common but unhealthy practice, since you are passing bacteria from your mouth over to your baby!

Since some medications are more than 50% sugar, they can also cause cavities to form. Be sure to have your child rinse or brush after taking medications.

Inspect your baby’s teeth frequently and have them checked by your child’s doctor or a dentist.

Start dental visits by your child’s first birthday.

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail. 
Dr Unnati Chavda 
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)