Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending September 24, 2017.

More Catholic Hospitals Means Fewer Abortions

As hospitals in US are consolidating, more and more are becoming sponsored by or affiliated with the Catholic church. Almost fifteen percent of acute care hospitals in the country are Catholic at this point. And these hospitals are limiting access to abortions and surgical forms of contraception. Read more here.

This is important for you because in some communities, a Catholic hospital is the only hospital. And this could have ramifications for your reproductive health.

Mindy’s Preggers

Mindy Kaling, the writer, actor, and comic, is pregnant with her first child at age thirty-eight. Apparently, she favors little black dresses. Read more here.

This is important for you because its celebrity gossip. Duh.

CRISPR-Cas9 as a research tool

CRISPR has been widely touted as quick, easy, and relatively error proof way to edit genes; it has been used to amend human embryos in China, and there was a report of it having been done here in the US as well (although that report has been questioned). In a goal slightly more modest than gene therapy, the technique has recently been used to elucidate the role of a specific gene early during human embryogenesis. The authors note that the method can help us to understand the development of, and therefore exploit the clinical benefits of, stem cells in the future. Read the paper here.

This is important for you because stem cell research and genetic editing are complex ethical issues that deserve your thought and consideration.

Homeopathy still doesn’t work

Homeopathy, the practice of curing ills by treating them with substances infinitely diluted in water, has been soundly debunked. Again. Homeopathic remedies have been peddled to treat pregnancy related maladies like nausea, breast tenderness, heartburn, and constipation; the risk of turning to homeopathy is that it might cause you to forego real medicines that can actually help you. Read more here.

This is important for you because it can be tempting to think that homeopathy “can’t hurt” – but if it means you are therefore not taking the medicine you need, then it most certainly can.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was How to Be a Useful Birth Partner During Delivery. Read this great article 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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