Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending January 14, 2017.

Pregnancy newsThe More Things Change…

When photographer Ken Heyman finally cleared out his storage facility – at his agent’s urging – he stumbled across a box labeled “Mothers.” Inside were fifty-year-old photos of mothers doing what we’ve always done: caring for our kids. See the pics here.

This is important for you because it is art. It doesn’t need more of a reason than that.

Birth Defects Prevention

The CDC has declared every January to be National Birth Defects Prevention Month. It aims to educate people as to how to prevent birth defects, and to advocate for families living with them. Read more here.

This is important for you because there are many easy steps you can take to increase your chances of having a healthy baby, and it is worth learning about them.

Child Mortality

This space has featured disturbing statistics about the rate of maternal mortality in this country. But the US also has the highest rate of child mortality of nineteen other industrialized nations. Infants were particularly at risk, and firearms bear some of the blame. Read more here.

This is important for you because guns and babies don’t mix.

If you’re having a girl, think twice about that Tylenol

A recent study indicates that taking Tylenol while pregnant can cause language delays in the baby, but only if that baby is female. The study, done in Sweden, assessed the language abilities of hundreds of two-year-olds and then went back and correlated them to the amount of acetaminophen their mothers took while pregnant. The researchers don’t know why acetaminophen might have this gender specific effect.

This is important for you because Tylenol is a component of many over the counter medications, so you may be taking more than you intend. It is safe, but in limited quantities.

You can gain weight while pregnant, but maybe lose some before

More and more women are getting pregnant while overweight. This is a problem not only because it can cause health problems for the baby, but because it can also make birth and delivery more dangerous. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is ALWAYS important to maintain a healthy weight.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Healthy Mouth, Healthy Pregnant Mom, Healthy Baby. It can be all too easy to forget to care for your teeth and gums while pregnant, but it is more important now than ever. 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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