Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending March 15, 2020. 

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.

Wash your hands

When Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis started working in maternity wards in Vienna in 1846, he was rightly appalled at the high death rates he saw there; of women, of infants, and even of doctors. After much observation and study, he suggested that these death rates would drop if only the medical staff washed their hands more frequently. He was proven to be right; but he was fired, and ended up dying in a mental asylum. Read more here.

This is important for you because washing your hands is still one of the most effective ways to protect you and your loved ones from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and other pathogens. Do it as soon as you walk into your home or office from outside, before preparing food or eating, and obviously after using the bathroom. Scrub your hands–front, back, between your fingers and under your nails–with soap and warm water for a good 20 seconds. Antibacterial soap is not (ever) necessary; any regular soap will do the trick just fine.

Perennially Pregnant

Swamp wallabies have two uteruses. Adult females are ALWAYS pregnant; they can conceive in one uterus before delivering from the other. Of course, once they do deliver they are nursing while still pregnant with the next. Read more here.

This is important for you because count your blessings. 

“Parenting After the Singularity”

Ken Liu made his name by translating Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem into English, bringing Chinese science fiction to the Western world. Now he is championing his own work, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, a book of short stories many of which deal with children and parenting. Read more here.

This is important because you might need some good reading material while nursing.

GoCheck Kids

Photoscreening, using a smartphone, can check kids for vision problems well before they can identify letters or even pictures; it can find vision problems before kids can speak. The app analyzes how light bounces off the kids’ eyes to look for potential vision problems. Read more here.

This is important for you because treating some vision problems early is essential to fixing them, so the earlier they can be detected the better.

The most popular articles on The Pulse this week were Pregistry’s Friday Recipe: Cookies and Cream Mini Cheesecakes and Choosing Your Baby’s Sex: The Science. 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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