Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending August 22, 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.

Finding the Mother Tree

Suzanne Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, discovered that trees in a forest communicate with each other through fungal networks. In her new book, she explores how mother trees care for the saplings around them as she tries to balance her research and teaching work with mothering her own daughters. Read more here.

This is important for you because, as she writes, “The old trees were the mothers of the forest…Mother Trees connect the forest.”  

Surgeons delay pregnancy and face risks because of it

It is a tough road to become a surgeon. The women who choose it often delay having children, and often have difficult and risky pregnancies as a result. A broad culture change in the profession is required to change this reality. Broad culture changes are hard to achieve, but not impossible. Read more here.

This is important for you because society has made incredible strides in the sense that it is no big deal now that women are surgeons. But we still have a ways to go to ensure that those women can be mothers, too. 

Should we use IVF to save the northern white rhino?

Reproductive technologies have allowed plenty of people who couldn’t otherwise have babies to have them. Now, scientists are using the method to resurrect the northern white rhino. There are currently only two of them left in the world, and they are both female so they can’t reproduce. Read more here.

This is important for you because “The prospect of undoing human damage to the environment is a tempting one. But interfering again to bring a species back to life brings its own issues.”  

Potentially missing baby girls

Many cultures prefer baby boys. They prefer them so much that they sometimes abort female fetuses. This results in a skewed sex ratio- more boys than girls, and then more men than women, which could have broad societal impacts. Read more here.

This is important for you because even seemingly personal decisions are often not made in a vacuum, and can have global implications.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Why Choosing the Right Toothpaste Matters when You Are Pregnant. 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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