Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending August 15, 2021. 

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.

Yes, get vaccinated

The CDC has always recommended that pregnant women get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19. They are stressing that recommendation now that the delta variant is surging, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees. Now plenty of data has accrued demonstrating that the vaccine is safe for this group, and COVID is especially dangerous for this group. Read more here.

The Prophet on parenting

In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran gives this poetic advice to a new mother:

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.” 

Read more here.

This is important for you because it is beautiful, and it is true.

AI to detect congenital heart disease

Neural networks are a kind of artificial intelligence that are trained by being shown large datasets, like ultrasound images of fetal hearts, and told which have specific properties, like signs of congenital heart disease. They can then use the correlations they “learn” from the training set to recognize the same properties in new images. Such a neural network was at least as sensitive as doctors in finding complex congenital heart disease, the most common birth defect. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is not only menial jobs that can be done by robots…

More than 14 days

The International Society for Stem Cell Research has declared that human stem cells can be grown in the lab for longer than two weeks after fertilization, which until now had been the limit. This can help researchers study embryonic development and may shed light on why and how some pregnancies fail. Rather than set a new cutoff they said that each case will be assessed on an individual basis. They still advise against editing genes in human embryos. Read more here.

This is important for you because these embryonic models cannot become fetuses or people, but it is still worth thinking through how far they should be permitted to grow.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was I Can’t Find a Dentist for My Young Child. Now What? 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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