Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending June 17, 2018. 

Westward Ho

Ma Ingalls and her ilk had plenty of hardships on the prairie, and those hardships did not abate did not abate just because one was pregnant. Pregnant white pioneers often left their families and professional medicine back East and had to fend for themselves on the trail and one they reached their new homesteads. Read more here.

This is important for you because next time you can’t get comfortable in your bed, just imagine being jostled around in the back of a covered wagon.

Mindy as Mom

With her characteristic humor – and candor – Mindy Kaling talked about motherhood in her commencement address at her alma mater, Dartmouth. Read more here.

This is important for you because how great is it that the commencement speaker at an Ivy league school is discussing motherhood?!

The Birds and the Bees (and the Frogs)

Every five-year-old nowadays knows how babies are made. But it was not quite so obvious to our forebears who know the dad was involved but weren’t sure exactly how. Artificially inseminating female frogs with frog semen demonstrated that semen was vital to the process, in the late eighteenth century. They still didn’t realize that sperm were important though. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s interesting to note how “common knowledge” gets to be that way.

Social Determinants of Health

The Black Mamas Matter Alliance and the Healthy Families Project is conducting a national online survey to learn about Black women’s maternal care experiences and access to health services. Results will hopefully be used to improve healthcare. Access the survey here.

This is important for you because this information is a prerequisite for much needed change.


The Radiolab podcast is doing a miniseries on human reproduction, aptly called Gonads. The first episode was released this past Friday. It’s called The Primordial Journey. Listen to it here.

This is important for you because Radiolab has a really engaging way of delivering interesting but sometimes complicated scientific ideas.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Pregnancy in Africa. Prenatal care is scarce, and most women (and girls) give birth at home. 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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