Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

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For the Week Ending October 27, 2019. 

A gene is born

It had long been thought that new genes arise from mutated versions of old genes. And while this is true, it is not the only way new genes are born. Some genes are created from stretches of DNA where no genes had existed before. These newly created are not tied to any function from a previous iteration, since there is no previous iteration. They thus provide a faster, but riskier, way for organisms to gain new traits. Read more here

This is important for you because one such new gene – it allows cod to survive in freezing cold water – was discovered by a new mother!

Maternity leave can be hard work

Caring for a newborn can be stressful, exhausting, and relentless – hardly a vacation. And yet employers in the US often treat it as such. We are the only industrialized country with no federally mandated paid parental leave. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you get your bed made while you’re on maternity leave, you can definitely consider that a major accomplishment and your job for the day.

2019 Rankings

The United Health Foundation has released its rankings of women’s and children’s health by state. Overall, in the past three years teen births are down, fewer women smoke, and more women are getting their flu shots; but teen suicide has risen, and child mortality is also up. Read more here.

This is important for you because you can see how your state stacks up.

She Was Like That

A new book of short stories about (predominantly white, wealthy, educated) mothers from Kate Walbert, which ties in to her previous novel “A Short History of Women.” Read more here.

This is important for you because yeah, these fictitious mothers may drink too much – but they love their kids.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week, by far, was What Is PUPP Pregnancy Rash: How Do You Get Relief? Moisturize to deal with the itching, and make sure to tell your doctor. 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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