Pregnancy And Lactation Weekly Digest

For the week ending December 25, 2016. Happy Holidays from the Pregistry family to yours!

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Pregnancy changes your brain

Pregnancy affects every part of your body but, until recently, little was known about the effects on your brain. A study has now found that pregnancy induces a reduction in brain regions that are involved in perceiving the feelings and perspectives of others. These changes last for at least two years and enable the mother to form a secure attachment to her baby. Additionally, during this period, there was no loss of memory, verbal skills or working memory. More coverage of this fascinating study can be found here.

This is important for you because you don’t have to worry about bonding with your newborn as it will happen naturally!

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Smoking pot while pregnant

As marijuana has become increasingly available and its use less stigmatized, pregnant women – like most other Americans – are using it at higher rates than in the past. As with any other drug, marijuana can affect the fetus. Since it has been illegal, it has been difficult to study, so its effects are not well known. Find more information here and a great The Pulse article here.

This is important for you because although you may be tempted to toke up to alleviate your morning sickness, it may be wise to hold off.

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Women’s ability to have babies may act as protection from viral symptoms

Some viruses may make infected men sicker than women. This was thought to be due to the differences in their immune systems. However, a new theory suggests that the viruses evolved to keep women healthier. Women can pass the virus to their babies through gestation, childbirth, and breastfeeding which makes them much more valuable and efficient hosts, so the virus doesn’t make them as sick. Read more here.

This is important for you because when your partner complains that his cold is making him feel worse than you have ever felt, you will know that there may be a grain of truth to it and the evolutionary reason for it may help you to be a little more understanding.

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Don’t rush to cut that cord

The squeamish dad shying away from cutting the umbilical cord is a mainstay of movie birth scenes. For the past few decades, the cord had been cut almost immediately after birth, as this was thought to protect the mother from hemorrhaging. But that has not been found to be the case and evidence has been accumulating that it may indeed be healthier for the baby to leave the cord attached for thirty to sixty seconds. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has just recommended making this delay standard practice. Find more information about this news here and The Pulse articles about delayed-cord clamping here and about Lotus birth here.

This is important for you because it a new guideline which your doctor might not yet be aware of. You may want to bring it to his or her attention and ask for an opinion.

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Nursing at the hockey game

The Pepsi Center in Denver – home of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth – has just installed a Mamava “mobile lactation suite,” in which nursing mothers can pump or feed their babies in privacy and comfort. It is the first NHL arena, and the first venue in Colorado to do so. See more here.

This is important for you because even if you don’t live in Denver, or are not a hockey fan, it is good to know that these facilities exist so you can lobby your local institutions to install one.

Pregnancy Weekly Digest

Why You Feel Warmer When Expecting

According to an article published in Pregistry’s The Pulse, hormonal fluctuations can cause a woman’s baseline temperature to rise by as little as 0.4 to 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Read here more about this common phenomenon.

This is important for you because there are simple strategies to avoid your chance of dehydration and to feel more comfortable in your warmer skin.

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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