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Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending September 25, 2022. 

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

Umbilical cord milking

Pushing umbilical cord blood into the baby’s abdomen, known as milking, may help “non-vigorous” newborns: those that are limp, pale, and barely breathing. The current standard of care for these newborns calls for immediate umbilical cord clamping so the baby can be resuscitated, but babies who got the cord milking fared better. Normal, vigorous babies don’t get their cords clamped for 30 seconds to a minute after birth so they get the benefits of the cord blood. Read more here.

This is important for you because sometimes low-tech, non-invasive therapies can work wonders.

Three parent embryos and babies are ok

Mitochondria, the “powerhouse of the cell” that provides molecular energy, all come from the egg; there is no room in sperm to carry them. If a woman has a mitochondrial disease she will thus pass it on to her offspring. Three parent embryos take the DNA-containing nucleus from the mother’s egg and put it into the egg of a donor with healthy mitochondria (the third parent), then fertilize the resulting egg with the father’s sperm. Although the procedure is controversial, the kids seem to be fine. Read more here.

This is important for you because like many reproductive technologies, this can be used to treat infertility and prevent disease–but it makes people squeamish, and is thus far not yet approved for use in the US.

Wild babies

Lions, tigers, and bears, certainly. But also seals, turtles, and penguins. Helena Bonham Carter narrates the babyhood of wild creatures in this new Netflix documentary. Watch the trailer here.

This is important for you because they are just so CUTE!

Egg couriers

People are moving around a lot, and having kids later. Plus, regulations for fertility treatments (and their cost) vary from country to country and from state to state. And some people want to choose egg or sperm donors from specific geographical regions so their kids will look a certain way. Hence couriers to transport frozen eggs, sperm, and embryos across borders. They get special passes to ensure that their cargo doesn’t get X-rayed at the airport. Read more here.

This is important for you because “the shipping of gametes and embryos around the world is a growing part of a booming global fertility sector.”

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Update on Monkeypox and Pregnancy for September 2022. 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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