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Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending June 26, 2022. 

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

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

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Self destructive octopus moms

After a female octopus lays eggs for the first time, she kills herself–gruesomely–before they hatch. Researchers have just figured out why: the moms’ bodies make too much cholesterol, which makes them go crazy. Read more here.

This is important for you because there are a lot of insane things about octopuses, but this may be the most.

Moms > bosses

Technologists who design gadgets don’t usually have the average mom in mind. Moms are usually clever enough to find ways to work around these devices that are not built to suit their needs; executives, though, often can’t be bothered. Read more here.

This is important for you because “This is why I [the fighter for digital rights Cory Doctorow] suggested ‘So easy your boss can use it,’ as a replacement for the odious ‘So easy your mom can use it.’ Bosses have the social clout to force the universe to rearrange itself to your comfort. Moms, not so much.”

The motherhood penalty

“Wages and employment for women drop after they have children, more so than they do for men.” This was true before the pandemic, and its effects are felt even more keenly now. Notably, employment rates don’t rebound after that first birth. This is due to both discrimination against mothers and a voluntary stepping away by mothers, although that may be their free choice or it may be because their job and child care prospects are just too constrained. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is a complicated, nuanced issue that is not simple to fix, but paid parental leave would go a long way (this gender gap still exists, but is not nearly as large, in Scandinavia where paid parental leave is mandated).

Take your kids outside

Kim Stanley Robertson made his name with novels about terraforming Mars. But in his newest science fiction book, The Ministry for the Future, he writes not about fleeing Earth, but about solving the climate crisis here so we won’t have to. Read more here.

This is important for you because, as Kim Stanley Robertson says, teach your kids that “The sense of connection between our bodies and our world needs to be enhanced–especially for modern kids who are very often Internet-ed, looking at their screens.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Must-Have Items to Include in Your C-Section Hospital Bag. 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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