Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending January 7, 2018.

Take your vitamins

A new study done in Israel has again confirmed that taking prenatal vitamins – especially folic acid – can significantly reduce the risk of autism. It was a retrospective study that followed 43,500 children born between 2003 and 2007 until 2015, so until they were 8-12 years old, and correlated the incidence of autism with whether their mothers had been prescribed multivitamins when pregnant. Of course, autism spectrum disorders have an extraordinarily complicated etiology; neither taking vitamins nor anything else can guarantee protection against them, and parents of kids with autism should not be blamed by themselves or anyone else. Read more here.

This is important for you because you should definitely take your prenatal vitamins.

Keep those eggs fresh

Women are born with a lifetime supply of eggs. While we are children – for the 9-14 years or however long it is before we hit puberty – those eggs must be kept in a dormant state. New research has just helped elucidate how that is accomplished: as the eggs develop, their DNA packaging gets a special mark. The cool part is that usually this mark serves to activate the genes near it; but in eggs, it silences them. Read more here.

This is important for you because isn’t it amazing that basic research is still revealing amazing insights about biological processes as fundamental and well characterized as egg formation?

Anastasia Gray is expecting

Fifty Shades Freed, the last installment in the smutty blockbuster movie series based on the smutty blockbuster book series, has Anastasia – now the respectable Mrs. Grey –  all knocked up. Seems like all those shenanigans in the red room end up just like vanilla sex: with a bun in the oven. Read more here.

This is important for you because – well – it kind of depends what you’re into…

Black Moms Matter

Maternal mortality in the US, especially among the black community, is disgracefully higher than it should be. Much of the problem is due to inaccessible and/ or inadequate prenatal care. So the Black Mamas matter Alliance is initiating a Black Maternal Health Week, slated to occur from April 11-18. Read more here.

This is important for you because one of the primary benefits of modernity is safe childbirth, and that should be accessible to every woman.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Adenomyosis: A Condition More Common That You Might Expect. Adenomyosis is when the tissue that lines the uterine wall grows into that wall, causing pain and bleeding. It had been thought to be more prevalent in older women, so doctors didn’t really look for it in younger ones. But now that they have started looking, they are finding it more in women of childbearing age. 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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