Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending January 3, 2021. 

More than 12,000 pregnant and recently pregnant women are already participating. Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

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Pregnancy and medical research

Debate around whether pregnant women should be given the COVID-19 vaccine has only highlighted the problem that they have historically rarely been–and yet they must be–included in medical research. A new federal task force, the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women, has just released guidelines on how to include them safely, effectively, and ethically. Read more here.

This is important for you because pregnant people get sick, and sick people get pregnant, all the time. We need to know which medications are safe.

Postpartum recovery kits

Sure, you can try to anticipate your postpartum wants and needs, and pack your own hospital bag and stock your own closet. Or, you can outsource to those who have gone through this before. Read more here.

This is important for you because this is an easy–but not cheap–way of crossing this item off your to-do list.

How to make an egg (in mice)

Egg cells (oocytes) develop in female embryos along with all other cell types, so women are born with all of the egg cells they will ever have. It had not really been known exactly which genes determine which cells become egg cells, but now a team of researchers in Japan has identified a core group of eight genes that can make mouse stem cells differentiate into mouse oocytes–even in a petri dish. Read more here.

This is important for you because it can help provide insights into reproductive biology and medicine.

Reproductive freedom

Our newest Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett may not just limit abortion rights. She may limit birth control as well, especially if she claims that the Constitution protects “fetal personhood.” Read more here.

This is important for you because babies are great, when you want them. But contraception is great when you don’t.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Some of the Most Frustrating 3rd Trimester Moments. 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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