Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 1, 2019. 

The Vagina Museum

Soo… there’s a vagina museum. It’s in London. Now ya know. Read more here.

This is important for you because even though about half of the people on Earth have a vagina, it is still a taboo subject; and as with many things we don’t talk about, it is shrouded in ignorance and misconceptions.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Educating pregnant women about mental health, and helping them to manage their moods, could alleviate postpartum depression–and thus help their babies’ mental health too. Preventative interventions have been shown to be effective and can be administered online–for free. Read more about this important topic here.

This is important for you because mental health is important for everyone. Pregnant and postpartum women are particularly at risk of depression; preventing it could save them and their children.

Look at the placenta 

The placenta continues to amaze. New work shows that early imaging of the organ–as early as fourteen weeks–could help diagnose preeclampsia and other dangerous conditions in which the fetus doesn’t get enough blood. The new imaging technique can distinguish maternal from fetal blood. Read more here.

This is important for you because  earlier diagnosis generally means earlier, and more effective, treatment.

IVF does not increase the risk of mutant babies

Embryos made with IVF often display chromosomal instabilities, where parts or even whole chromosomes are duplicated or deleted. But no one had ever looked at the rate of chromosomal instability in naturally conceived babies (after they’re born) to compare it to the rate in IVF babies. Now someone has, and it turns out that they’re not that different. So although IVF may cause chromosomal instability in embryos, it does not negatively affect the health of the babies born this way. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you were nervous about IVF–here is one thing you can cross off your list.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was This is How to Treat the Flu During Pregnancy. Make sure to tell your doctor, and 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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