Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending April 18, 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.

Black Maternal Health Week

For the first time, the White House has put out a proclamation acknowledging Black Maternal Health Week, held for the past four years from April 11-17. Read it here

This is important for you because Black women are about three times as likely as white women to die from pregnancy-related causes in this country. To try to start to mitigate this systemic problem the Biden administration would like to expand implicit bias training for health care workers.


Michelle Egger & Leila Strickland, a cell biologist and a food scientist, cofounded Biomilq. Their company makes cultured human breast milk: they isolate mammary cells from pregnant women, culture them in their lab, and stimulate them to make milk using the same molecules that the body uses to stimulate milk production. Then they send the milk back to you so your baby can get your breast milk even if you can’t breastfeed. Read more here.

This is important for you because breastfeeding is not always possible. Although this milk cannot recapitulate all of the components of breastmilk–like antibodies and good bacteria from the mother’s blood– it may be a step up from formula.  

Baby Culkin

Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song, both child stars themselves, have just had their own baby. He’s named Dakota, after Macaulay’s late sister. Read more here.

This is important for you because Macauley Culkin’s old enough to be a dad (he’s 40)!

Adopted bonobos

For the first time, researchers report adoption among great apes. Two bonobos, one a young mother rearing two of her own kids and the other an older mother whose kids were grown, each adopted infants from a different social group. Adoption has been seen in a number of mammalian species, but is costly to the adoptive mother and does not always provide a discernible evolutionary advantage. In this case, the researchers think these adoptive mothers did it out of altruism, much like some human mothers do. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s amazing what you can find if you only know to look for it.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Blood Clots, COVID-19 Vaccines, and 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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