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Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending May 1, 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

False positives

Prenatal genetic tests are screening tools, designed to tell you if your fetus is at a higher risk of having certain conditions. They are not diagnostic tests, which would tell you if your fetus most likely does have that condition. They thus have much higher false positive rates than most parents-to-be realize. The FDA warns that you should consult a genetic counselor before making any decisions based on these test results. Read more here.

This is important for you because information can be helpful, but only if it is interpreted and used properly. Make sure your doctor adequately explains why you’re getting the tests you are getting, how they work, and what you can expect to learn from them.

Missing midwives

Marie Grissot and Aimée Potens are two midwives who are finally getting the recognition they deserve. They aided birthing mothers in colonial times and in the Civil War era, respectively. They both worked in the Gulf South, which still treats its midwives poorly, leading to unnecessary maternal and neonatal suffering. Read more here.

This is important for you because male obstetricians have gotten too much of the credit, while rare women like Grissot and Potens did important work but were forgotten or intentionally brushed aside.

Mother’s Day is coming

You have a week to submit your requests. See some of the best picks for brand new moms here.

This is important for you because duh.

Microplastics in the placenta

Plastic is a synthetic substance, and thus can’t be broken down into its elemental components like carbon and hydrogen. Instead, it just gets broken down into tinier and tinier pieces of plastic, which accumulate in water, air, our lungs, our blood, our breast milk, and our placentas. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is pretty much impossible at this point to eliminate plastic from your life, even if you are highly motivated to do so. The best way to get rid of it is to advocate for changes in the laws and regulations surrounding plastic manufacturing.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) 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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