Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

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For the Week Ending September 17, 2017.

Serena Williams’ baby girl

Last week Serena Williams gave birth to a baby girl, and this week announced her daughter’s name: Alexis Olympia. Alexis is named after her father, Williams’ fiancé Alexis Ohanian, the cofounder of Reddit. Read more here.

This is important for you because Serena won the Australian Open while seven months pregnant. You can do anything.

Preventing Peanut Allergies

There was a time when doctors thought that introducing allergens, like peanuts, to infants early might increase their risk of developing allergies later. Now the pendulum has swung the other way, and the consensus seems to be that introducing allergens early might instead decrease the risk of developing allergies later. The FDA has issued a statement to this effect; feeding peanut butter to babies as young as four months old, even those with eczema, could prevent peanut allergies later. Read more here.

This is important for you because as you introduce your baby to solid foods, adding in allergens early may prevent allergies later.

Sonograms by Skype

Pregnancy in rural America can be dangerous; many of the patients are high risk, and small hospitals don’t necessarily have the specialized experts and equipment they require. But new initiatives in telemedicine are allowing these patients to consult with specialists in big cities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you need a specialist but can’t get to one this may be a viable option.

Do you need a C-section?

All too often, the answer to this question depends more on who you ask than on who you are. Rates of caesareans vary widely among hospitals in the US, largely due to the different cultures of different labor and delivery wards. With education, these cultures can be changed. Read more here.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Pregnancy. You get heartburn because the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy also slow down digestion, allowing stomach acids to creep up into the esophagus. The growing baby pushing on your stomach certainly doesn’t help matters.

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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