Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 24, 2017.

Fracking is Bad for Babies

There is some evidence that living near a fracking site might increase the risk of developing respiratory illness. A new study in Pennsylvania, where a lot of fracking occurs, suggests that this is especially true for babies. Mothers who lived within a kilometer of fracking sites gave birth to smaller babies; low birth weight is known to predispose babies to health problems later in life. These babies tended to be born to poorer, less educated mothers, though, and poverty and a lack of education are also risk factors for low baby weight. Read more here.

This is important for you because yet again, the poorest segments of society are disproportionately bearing the risks of technological pollution.

From the “Stranger Than Fiction” File

This mother gave birth to a baby the same age as she is – kind of. The embryo that was implanted into her was fertilized the year after she was born, and has been frozen for the past twenty-five years while she has been living her life. The new parents adopted the embryo, and made a new world record – until now, it is thought that the longest an embryo had been frozen and yielded a healthy baby was twenty years. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s a little crazy right?

Katherine Kaling

Thirty-eight year old actress, writer, and comedian Mindy Kaling just gave birth to her first child, a girl. She (Mindy, not Katherine) is slated to appear in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, a movie adaptation of Madeline L’Engles’s amazing book, coming out next year. Read more here.

This is not important for you. Still, read A Wrinkle in Time if you haven’t yet.

Cut Back on Sugar

Women who have high glucose readings in the first trimester of their pregnancies – even those without full blown diabetes – are still at an elevated risk of having babies with heart problems, since this is when the fetal heart develops. Exercise can mitigate the risk. Read more here.

This is important for you because although it is tempting to eat whatever you want while pregnant, it is always important to limit your sugar intake.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Substance use and Pregnancy: Danger Ahead. The upshot is that ingesting tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs while pregnant is very, very, very bad for the fetus. 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.

Leave a Reply