Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

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For the Week Ending February 21, 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!

Click here to Register.

Catania’s cakes are the breast cakes

Poot St. Agatha; a local prefect decided to burn off her breasts because she spurned him back in the third century of the Common Era. But her city–Catania, in Sicily–honors her to this day with minni di Sant’Agata, cherry-topped, breast shaped cakes. Read more here.

This is important for you because in SIcily, breasts are “more of a symbol of femininity, motherhood, nutrition, and fertility” than the hypersexualized and fetishized body parts they have become here. Bit from time immemorial, apparently, they have served as a way to torture women.

COVID-19 vaccines get tested in pregnant people

Pfizer and Moderna launched the first trial of their COVID-19 vaccines in 4,000 people who are pregnant, half of whom will get the vaccine and half will get a placebo. Like all trials, it aims to see if the vaccine is safe, tolerated, and effective in this population. They are all between 24 and 34 weeks pregnant. Read more here.

This is important for you because people who are pregnant have been excluded from clinical trials for far too long.

Nature Research Award for Driving Global Impact

Joshua Vogel and Caroline Homer’s research group, the Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health Group at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Australia, aims to address global challenges in maternal and newborn health. Dr. Vogel was just awarded the 2020 Nature Research Award for Driving Global Impact. They study things like how to prevent preterm births and how to focus maternal care around women’s experiences and make sure it is always respectful. Read more here

This is important for you because, as Dr. Vogel said, “In many parts of the world, pregnant women don’t have access to enough care or education to stay healthy. Our research needs to reflect those realities: often, findings from richer countries with better health care can’t be applied everywhere.” 

Pregnant on Pen15

Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, co-creators and co-stars of Pen15, are both pregnant with their first babies. Soon they’ll be co-mothers. Read more here

This is important for you because how cute is that?

The most popular articles on The Pulse this week were Caring for Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord and Pregnant or Not, Should You Double Mask? Read them here and 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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