Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is here and affecting tens of thousands of people worldwide. Learn about the potential risks to a pregnant woman and her baby here in The Pulse. We also have an extensive report written by one of our medical experts here.

Kids and the coronavirus

Kids generally spread germs, but the extent to which kids will spread this germ is not yet known. As the virus becomes more prominent in the US, information like this will be necessary to determine if schools and daycare centers should close to protect public health. Read more here

This is important for you because although kids seem to get only mildly sick from the COVID-19, they may play a role in transmitting it.

The Dance of Life

In their book The Dance of Life: Symmetry, Cells and How We Become Human, the mom and embryologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz and the science journalist Roger Highfield describe how life begins and develops. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s a great way to learn about the biology of what’s happening inside you right now, and about how new research into and understanding of these processes can shape society moving forward.


Breastfeeding can be hard. But formula can be kind of gross, and quite expensive. Hence: breast milk, or at least a couple of the key components of breast milk, harvested from mammary cells grown in a lab. A shadowy facsimile of breast milk, without the breast. Read more here.

This is important for you because although it is definitely not a substitute for complete breast milk, this technology could help babies and mothers who have trouble nursing.

The ‘organic child’

It has always been viewed as primarily the mother’s job to protect her children from bad forces in the world, whatever those forces are considered to be in any particular time period. And because this is an impossible job, mothers are often blamed–by others, but especially by themselves–for not doing it perfectly, all the time. Feeding your child an expensive, hard-to-procure all-organic diet to shield her from environmental toxins is only a recent iteration of this old idea. And feeding children nutritious food should be a societal responsibility, not an individual one; blaming moms only allows our broken food system to remain the status quo. Read this important piece here.

This is important for you because you should definitely feed your family healthy food–even organic food, if you’d like. But you’re not a terrible mother, or a terrible person, if you don’t, and especially not if you can’t because of financial or other constraints.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was These Common Medications are Safe to Take During Pregnancy. 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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