Improved oral hygiene 'could limit pregnancy complications'

A new study has indicated that improved oral hygiene could reduce pregnancy complications and help newborn babies.

Cecilia Gonzales-Marin and colleagues from Queen Mary University of London, UK, say bacteria from a mother's mouth can be transmitted through the blood and amniotic fluid in the womb to her unborn child.

They claim this can increase the risks of premature delivery, a low birth-weight, the early onset of contractions and infections in the newborn child.

Ms Gonzales-Marin says sampling the stomach contents of newborn babies by using gastric aspirates can provide "a reliable method" of microbial identification.

She added: "Hospitals routinely take these samples as part of the care of the babies born from a complicated pregnancy and/or at risk of serious infection.

"They provide a more accessible alternative to amniotic fluid. Our research group is using DNA techniques to confirm if bacteria from the newborn matches the bacteria in the respective mother's mouth".

Last month, Branwen Hennig from the Medical Research Council International Nutrition Group based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, claimed that the diet of the mother during pregnancy may impact upon the health of her child in later life.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19100438-ADNFCR