Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending January 1, 2023. 

COVID-19 Vaccines International Pregnancy Exposure Registry (C-VIPER)

More than 8,000 pregnant vaccinated women are already participating in our survey.

Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

Click here to Register

Happy New Year!

You will be a great parent

It is kind of human nature to second guess your parenting and compare it to that of others. But try to have compassion for yourself. You don’t have to necessarily let yourself off the hook when you make a mistake (like all people do); but try to be kind to yourself–like you would be to a friend–rather than beating yourself up when you are struggling.  And obviously, limit social media. That’s never good for anyone’s ego. Read more here.

This is important for you because you WILL be a great parent. But it won’t always be easy.

Growing Up Human

So many things about humanity, and in particular about human babies and birthing them, are confounding. This book aims to elucidate just some of them. Here’s one gem: “The human milk recipe is almost exactly the same as the zebra’s because both our species are accustomed to being in close, nearly constant contact with our mothers. So human and zebra moms make relatively dilute, watery milk that can be given at leisure throughout the day because the baby is always there.” Read more here.

This is important for you because it is definitely illuminating to learn more about just how awkward, difficult, and miraculous pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding actually are. 

Giving birth changes your brain–

Pregnancy changes the architecture of the human brain. Elevated levels of the hormone estradiol during the third trimester alter which neurons are connected to each other with the ultimate goal of helping you bond with your baby once she’s born. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is no exaggeration that this experience will mark you forever.

—and possibly your bones

Studies of fossils just showed that giving birth changes the mineral composition of bones (in macaques). They had lower concentrations of calcium and phosphorus, and less magnesium when breastfeeding. The elements were going into their babies’ bones. Read more here.

This is important for you because there seems to be no end to the things we give our kids from our very own bodies.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Surgery During Pregnancy. 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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