Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending January 16, 2022. 

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

“The transition from virginity to maternity” (in mice)

“Female mice exhibit opposing social behaviors toward males depending on their reproductive state: virgins display sexual receptivity, while lactating mothers attack.” Turns out this switch is controlled by different types of neurons. The neurons promoting aggression get turned on by male mice only when the females are lactating. Read more here.

This is important for you because that whole mama bear thing is real. Even in mice.

Get vaccinated

A new study of over 46,000 pregnant women provides further evidence that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is not linked to giving birth to earlier, smaller, or less developed babies. Read more here.

This is important for you because the risks of getting COVID-19, especially while pregnant, are big and real; the risks of protecting yourself with a COVID-19 vaccine are miniscule. Please get vaccinated (if you haven’t already) to protect yourself and your baby.

Nursing through the pandemic

Among breastfeeding mothers–predominantly wealthy, white, educated mothers–many are postponing weaning because of the pandemic. Nursing for eighteen months to two years is becoming much more standard. Working from home contributed, and some moms liked the idea of passing on COVID-19 antibodies to their too-young-to-be-vaccinated kids through their milk. Read more here.

This is important for you because maybe it will start a trend?

False positive rates on prenatal tests

Noninvasive blood tests are quite accurate when used to screen for the baby’s sex or some chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome, but less accurate when used to screen for rarer conditions. This is the tricky part about false positive rates, which all tests have; if the condition the test screens for is super rare, most of the positive results will be false. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is a really important, and fairly simple, mathematical concept to bear in mind for things like rapid COVID tests, too. Yes, there are false positives; but as rates of COVID-19 skyrocket, each positive result is more likely to be a true one.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Pregistry’s Friday Recipe: Spinach Stuffed Shells. Get 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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