Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

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For the Week Ending October 13, 2019. 

Breast is best…

…but bottle feeding is pretty ancient. Archeologists have found little spouted ceramic jugs with traces of animal milk in them at several sites in Europe; the jugs are estimated to be about 9,000 year old. It is thought they were used to feed babies, and not sick adults, because they were found in babies’ graves. Read more here.

This is important for you because you probably didn’t realize how long humans have been using sippy cups!

TL;DR Capitalism sucks. Can you help us have a baby? 

Jacquelyn & Jeremy want to have a baby. Neither their biology (she had to have a hysterectomy to treat her adenomyosis) nor their finances (they are both scientists) have made it easy. Now a very generous friend has agreed to act as a surrogate, but… there’s still that money thing, so they have taken to crowdsourcing. Read more here.

This is important for you because you are lucky to be pregnant!

Baby bump? Bye-bye

Elizabeth Warren was not the only woman of her generation who was pushed out of her teaching job because she was pregnant; it was actually fairly standard practice at the time. Read more here, here, and here.

This is important for you because fortunately, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978 to prevent discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions,” so we don’t have to fight the battles Warren already fought.

Vagina swapping

Not in a wife-swapping, swinger kind of way; more in a fecal transplant kind of way. Vaginal fluids, like the rest of our bodies, have microbiomes; perhaps those from healthy women can be used to help those less fortunate. Read more here and here.

This is important for you because one day it may provide a safer treatment than antibiotics for a host of issues including urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, preterm birth, and even infertility.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was What No One Tells You About Premature Babies. Red 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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