Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending March 27, 2022. 

COVID-19 Vaccines International Pregnancy Exposure Registry (C-VIPER)

More than 8,000 pregnant vaccinated women are already participating in our survey.

Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

Click here to Register

Preimplantation genetic testing

Preimplantation testing for simple genetic diseases, where it is well known that a specific mutation in a specific gene causes a specific disease – like Tay-Sachs, or cystic fibrosis, or phenylketonuria – has long been established. But new work suggests the ability to scan a single embryo’s entire genome before implanting it to assess its risk for much more complicated outcomes that rely on the interactions of many genes as well as environmental factors, like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The science behind this is very complicated, as most of the genetic studies linking the genes to the diseases have been done on a population level and not an individual level. The ethics of trying to choose your baby’s traits is even murkier. Read more about the new work here, and one prominent biologist’s serious misgivings about it here.

This is important for you because parents control a lot of choices for their children before they’re conceived, including their genes (by choosing the other parent). But is there a degree of control that is too much? Who gets to decide?

Vaccines and Breastfeeding

Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia  pediatrician who has written tons of books about vaccines, and lactation consultant Aman Husein made a short video in which they address vaccines and breastfeeding. They are both also pediatricians. Watch it here.

This is important for you because just watch it.

Antiracist Baby

Shockingly, Ted Cruz got it wrong; the point of the book Antiracist Baby is that people are not born racist, but rather that racism is something that must be taught. Luckily, we can, and should, opt to teach our babies to be antiracist instead. Duh. Although she should not have had to during her confirmation hearings, Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson set him straight. Read more here.

This is important for you because antiracism education is important, obviously, but during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing?


Botox while breastfeeding is fine. And botox during pregnancy is probably fine, but definitely ask your doctor. Read more here.

This is important for you because as with so many things, it is easy to be overabundant with caution here without considering any negative effects of that caution.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Pancreatitis 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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