Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

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For the Week Ending September 15, 2019. 

Vote Mama

Liuba Shirley was astonished at the dearth of mothers in our government – and at the difficulty of running for office while a young mother. So she founded Vote Mama to encourage moms to run and to help them get elected. Read more here.

This is important for you because “Our kids need to see – running for office is just what mamas do.”

Too much or not enough

Doctors use ultrasounds to see images of the fetus. The twenty week anatomy scan, in particular, can show developmental abnormalities, some of which can be fixed in utero. Some women are skipping the scans altogether, although there is no evidence that they are risky; others have more than are recommended, and opt for 3D and 4D images. Read more here

This is important for you because an image of the fetus can ensure that everything is going as it should be, or help you, your doctor, and your family prepare if it is not. As with all medical procedures – although it is safe, there is no reason to go above and beyond what is recommended.

The personal is political

Population growth is straining the planet’s resources, and it will not abate until women all over the world have reproductive freedom. When women are free to choose when and how much to procreate it benefits not just them as individuals but the economy as a whole. Read more here.

This is important for you because “No woman can be in control of her life, her labor and her finances without also being in control of her fertility.”

The Pregnancy Compensation Hypothesis

The hygiene hypothesis holds that moderns have seen a rise in autoimmune diseases and allergies because our immune systems are no longer exposed to all of the myriad pathogens they evolved alongside, so have become hypervigilant. The pregnancy compensation works along the same lines. It states that women are more prone to immune disorders than men because we are no longer pregnant – in effect tolerating a foreign body inside our own – for the bulk of our lives, the way women used to be. Read more here.

This is important for you because while pregnancy might not be great for your waistline, at least it’s good for your immune system.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week, by a long shot, was Low-Lying Placenta (Placenta Previa): Can I Still Have Vaginal Birth? Probably not, since in this condition the placenta blocks the fetus’ access to the cervix and birth canal. 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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