Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending September 8, 2019. 

Baby elephants

A world wide ban has just been instituted on taking baby elephants from their mothers in the wild and selling them to zoos. The US voted against the ban. Read more here.

This is important for you because elephant mothers and babies bond strongly, and tearing them apart is wrenching for both.

Baby teeth

It has long been known that vitamin D is important for both you and your developing fetus for multiple reasons, especially bone development. New work has just shown that it also helps develop enamel in both baby and adult teeth. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you haven’t already, make sure vitamin D is part of your prenatal vitamin regimen.

Vaginal swabs

It has been suggested that babies born via C-section miss out on exposure to valuable microbes that babies born vaginally get smeared with as they travel down the birth canal, and that they should thus get swabbed with their mother’s vaginal secretions after they’re born to make up for it. There is not much data to support the practice, though. Now, four long term studies are being undertaken to try to determine if the swabbing is beneficial. Read more here

This is important for you because whether or not you have a C-section, it is an intriguing idea and these studies should yield really interesting results.

Safety First

US Hospitals are getting new guidelines to help them prevent maternal mortality due to hemorrhage and hypertension, two of the most common reasons for death in pregnant women. They will go into effect in JUly of 2020. Read more here

This is important for you because it is an embarrassment that the US has maternal mortality rates as high as it does; any measures to lower those rates are good news for everyone.

The most popular articles on The Pulse this week were OB-GYN or Midwife, Hospital or Home: We Help You Decide and Tips for Breast Feeding During a Heat Wave. Read them here and 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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