Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending February 11, 2018.

Watch the new vlog “Joey’s Baby Diaries” sponsored by Pregistry. It is hilarious! You will also learn one or two things about how pregnancy feels!

 

Grandparents are great

Having your child spend time with your parents is not only free babysitting and a break for you – it can also help make your children more tolerant. People are generally less tolerant towards types of people to which they’ve had no exposure, so time with grandparents can make them less ageist. Read more here.

This is important for you because your parents can be taxing. But unconditional love from grandparents is terrific for your baby.

Playtime

It seems like there are so many things modern parents absolutely must do to make sure their kids turn out ok. But parenting needn’t be as complicated as all those intimidating blogs and sites and articles make it out to be; just get down on the floor and play. It will help you bond and attach, and encourage your child’s creativity, confidence, executive function, and EQ. And yours. Read more here.

This is important for you because when parenting gets difficult and stressful – which it will – remember that you can always just play.

Mothers make less

“Equal work is in practice not an option for most women, because they have to take care of the children and therefore have different kinds of jobs and different kinds of hours,” said Henrik Kleven, an economist at Princeton who just published a paper showing that mothers earn less money than women without children. They often take less prestigious jobs with shorter hours – and less pay – to spend time with their children. This wage gap will not disappear until fathers do the same. Read more here.

This is important for you because in order for employers to stop penalizing mothers, everyone in society has to agree that dads should spend more time in child rearing.

Baby microbiomes

The essential microorganisms that reside in our guts are seeded there as soon as we are born, and if the wrong population of microbes takes hold it can cause health problems for the rest of the baby’s life. Data continues to accumulate indicating that vaginal births and exclusive breast feeding during infancy can help your baby establish a healthy microbiome. Read more here.

This is important for you because we are very lucky to live in a time and place where cesarean sections and baby formula are available to those who need them – but we should not overuse these technologies just because they’re there.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was How Do Babies Breathe In The Womb? In utero, babies do not breathe through their nose and mouth like we do. Instead, they get oxygen delivered straight to their blood from your blood through the umbilical cord. They take their first breath at birth – hence the iconic movie screen, when the baby screams as soon as it emerges. 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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