Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending August 20, 2017.

Sleep well for a full-term birth

Women with sleep disorders, like insomnia and sleep apnea, have been found to have an increased risk of delivering their babies early – before thirty-seven weeks of gestation. Read more here.

This is important for you because while sleep is generally disrupted by pregnancy, if your sleep problems are severe please tell your doctor.

The Downside of Personalized Medicine

The promise of personalized, or precision, medicine is that a drug can be tailor made to treat the specific biological abnormalities afflicting each individual patient. But even if these drugs are identified, they may not be lucrative enough for pharmaceuticals companies to make. Because pharmaceuticals companies are, in fact, companies, and must turn a profit to survive – even if it means depriving a baby of life saving medication. Read more here.

This is important for you because we must bear in mind that while pharmaceuticals companies do have an obligation to society and to patients, their most pressing obligation is to their bottom line.

Pregnant Women Addicted to Opioids Often Forego Treatment

Opioid addiction has been labeled a national epidemic, and pregnant women are not immune. It is often difficult for these women to receive treatment, as caregivers are concerned about how withdrawal symptoms and treatments will affect the fetus. And many women are afraid that if they seek treatment, their babies will be taken from them. Read more here.

This is important for you because – hopefully, it isn’t. But if it is, you must get healthy yourself in order to properly be able to care for your baby.

Vitamin B3 May Help Protect Against Birth Defects and Miscarriage

Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is found in red meat and green leafy vegetables. It has just been found to reduce the rate of miscarriages and certain birth defects in women who might be genetically predisposed towards them. The amount of vitamin B3 in standard prenatal vitamins is thought to be sufficient for most women – there is no need to take more. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is a good reminder to take your prenatal vitamins.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week, in timely fashion, was Pregnancy, Birth, and Solar Eclipse Events in History. Although astrologers might get all worked up about your having a baby during an eclipse, really it will not affect your labor, birth, or baby. Although Soleil, French for sun, could make a pretty and fitting name. Read it here.

Diana Gitig
Dr. Diana Gitig has a Ph.D. in cell biology and genetics from Cornell University, and has been writing about issues in biology – from molecular biology to cancer to immunology to neuroscience to nutrition to agriculture - for the past fifteen years. She has three teenaged children.

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