Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending November 18, 2018. 

Congressional Hearing

This past Thursday, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) hosted a Congressional briefing to highlight the need to include pregnant and breastfeeding women in clinical and research studies. Read more here.

This is important for you because since this population had largely been excluded from such studies for ethical reasons, we don’t have a lot of data indicating if drugs that many women require are safe for fetuses and babies.

The Strange Case Of Dr. Couney

Incubators are routinely used to save the lives of premature babies. But it is not thanks to some idealistic doctor that they became standard of care. It is thanks to  a “midway man” during the former half of the twentieth century – who charged admission to see the preemies displayed in a freak show. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is another reminder that “very little in the world is as sudden or as singular as it might appear.”

Cravings, explained

Even pregnant fruit flies get cravings. Scientists have found that they have increased levels of a particular receptor in their brains, which intensifies their taste and smell perception to make them crave foods containing the particular nutrients that their bodies now require. Read more here.

This is important for you because your baby obviously needs that ice cream. And the pickles. Go for it.

Bare Minimum Parenting

James Breakwell is a comedy writer raising 4 daughters, ages 8 and under, and one pig, age 2. His new book contends that your kids will be pretty much fine no matter what you do, so there’s really no need to put in so much effort. Read more here.

This is important for you because benign neglect is certainly a valid parenting philosophy – if they ask for a drink, get it for them, but otherwise leave them to their own devices. They’ll probably figure most things out.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Which Foods Should I Eat For My Baby’s Health While I’m Breastfeeding? The same ones you should eat for your own health – plus extra water to stay hydrated and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, that are essential for your babies still developing brain. 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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