Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending April 4, 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.

Whose frozen embryo is it?

Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb created and froze embryos as part of an IVF procedure in 2013, when they were together. Alas, the pair split up. Now a court has decreed that he can’t use the embryos without her consent. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s a provocative legal thought experiment.

Don’t cry over it

Courtney Zoffness’ new book of personal essays examines how her childhood affects her motherhood. It is called Spilt Milk. Read more here.

This is important for you because it can be illuminating to hear other mothers’ takes on things.

Wisdom’s baby

The oldest known wild bird in the world–an albatross named Wisdom–has just had a chick. She’s 70. Sean Dooley, national public affairs manager for BirdLife Australia, said that “for a lot of wild animals, they are productive right up to old age. It’s only primates and whales that have an extended lifespan after fertility.” Read more here.

This is important for you because albatrosses are slow breeders, nesting only once every two years. Now that the oceans are warming they often have to fly longer distances than they did in the past to find food since their prey prefers colder water.

Get a COVID shot if you can

According to this preprint (a journal article that has not yet been peer reviewed), pregnant and lactating women generate an effective immune response to COVID-19 in response to both the Moderna and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Antibodies were present in the umbilical cord and in breast milk. This is great news because although it doesn’t seem like pregnant women are at a risk of passing COVID to the fetuses gestating inside them, they are at an increased risk of suffering complications if they contract the virus. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is added incentive to get a vaccine when you can, so we can end this pandemic!

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Oral Contraceptives After Pregnancy May Lower Your Risk for Female Cancers. 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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