What is Postmaturity in the Newborn

Postmaturity  also known as dysmaturity is used to describe babies born after 42 weeks. The normal length of pregnancy is  37 to 41 weeks. Early term is  37 to 38 weeks and 6 days. Full term is  39 weeks to 40 weeks and  6 days. Late term is 41 weeks to 41 weeks and 6 days. Very few babies are born at 42 weeks or later. Other terms  used to describe these  births include post-term, postmaturity, prolonged pregnancy and post-date pregnancy.

Causes of postmaturity in the newborn

It is not known why some pregnancies last longer than others. Sometimes the pregnancy may be off because the mother is not sure of her last menstrual period. Getting the date wrong will mean the baby will be born earlier or later than expected. The most accurate way to tell the date of a  pregnancy is through an ultrasound in the first trimester unless the date of conception is specifically known such as an in vitro fertilization. read more

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Pregnancy and Oral Health

Are pregnant women really at higher risk of gingivitis ?

During pregnancy , the body goes through complicated changes. Most pregnant women notice that their gums are sore, puffy and prone to bleeding. These are symptoms of gingivitis which is an infection of the gum tissue. Anyone can develop gingivitis but pregnant women are at higher risk because of hormonal changes. Left untreated , gingivitis can lead to serious gum infection and in turn lead to teeth loss.

gum disease

Does an unborn baby really steal his/her mom’s calcium ?

This is not true. During pregnancy , a woman risk for tooth decay increases because she  eats  more to prevent nausea. You can prevent tooth decay. However if left untreated , tooth decay can cause toothache  and lead to tooth loss. read more

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Teratogens

A teratogens  is an agent that can cause  or increase the chances of a birth defect. It is usually something in the environment that the mother has been exposed to during pregnancy . It could be a prescribed medication , a street drug , alcohol use , chemical exposure or an infection present in the mother. All of these can increase the risk of a baby being born with birth defect.

What are the most sensitive  periods of teratogen in pregnancy ?

After conception , it takes about  6 to 9 days for the  egg  to implant in the uterus. After implantation, a common blood supply exist between the mother and the embryo. Something in the mother’s blood can cross over to the developing fetus. For example, for teratogen to interfere with the closure of the neural tube, the exposure should occur between 3.5 to 4.5 weeks of pregnancy. There are some organ systems that are sensitive to teratogens throughout pregnancy  such as the central nervous system. This includes the brain and spinal cord. Alcohol is one teratogen which affects the central nervous system. Use of alcohol anytime during pregnancy has the potential to  cause birth defects  and health problems in a baby because the central nervous system is sensitive to teratogen throughout all the nine months of pregnancy. That is why it is important to avoid alcohol consumption completely during pregnancy . read more

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Tips for Healthy Pregnancy

Having a baby is a big deal. It can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. There are steps you can take to get a healthy pregnancy.

Guidelines for a healthy pregnancy

  • Go for all your prenatal appointments throughout pregnancy .
  •  Do not take any medications  ( prescription and over the counter) without the doctor’s OK.
  • Do not smoke .
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not take illegal drugs.
  • Eat healthy .  You’ll need extra protein, calcium and  iron. You need to talk to your doctor about how many calories you need during pregnancy.
  • Stay active unless your doctor suggests  otherwise. Exercise can help you feel better, reduce  discomfort and fatigue . It  promotes faster recovery after delivery. Waking and swimming is actually recommended. However strenuous exercises  and sports such as  roller –  skating and horse back riding is not recommended.
  • Avoid saunas , steam baths  and hot tubs . High heat can harm your baby.
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    Pregnancy Risk factors

    Are you planning a pregnancy ? It is important to find out if you have a risk factor. Some women have a greater chance of high risk pregnancy because of certain risk factors. These include genetic background,  medical condition and lifestyle.

    Pregnancy risk factors include the following :

  • Being younger than 18 or older than 35 years
  • Being underweight or underweight
  • Having anemia
  • Not eating healthy
  • Having giving birth more than 4 times
  • Having a previous preterm birth
  • Having a previous pregnancy loss
  • Having giving birth to a very large or small baby
  • Having a family history of genetic disease or previous baby with genetic defects
  • Substance abuse such ( cigarette, alcohol, drugs)
  • Having a medical condition such as  diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Having a low socioeconomic status
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    Small for Gestational Age SGA : Know the causes

    Small for gestational age is used to refer to a baby who is smaller than the usual size  for the number of weeks of pregnancy. These babies usually have the birth weights below the 10th percentile for babies of the same gestational  age. They may appear physically and neurologically mature  but are smaller than other babies of the same gestational age. SGA babies may be proportionately small (equally small all over) or they may be of normal length and size but have lower weight and body mass. This condition can occur in babies who are premature, full term or post term. read more

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