Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending February 7, 2021. 

More than 12,000 pregnant and recently pregnant women are already participating. Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

Click here to Register.

High Risk

Chavi Eve Karkowsky, a high-risk pregnancy doctor, wrote this book filled with stories “illustrating the complexity of reproductive life and the systems that surround it.” Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s another resource to help you know what to expect.





Take action

Zero to Three, an organization focused on promoting the health and well-being of babies and toddlers, publishes the State of Babies Yearbook and has tools and suggestions that can help you pressure the government to make life better for babies and families. Read more here.

This is important for you because babies can’t take action for themselves; we must take it for them.

Folic acid and MTHFR

Low levels of folate have been linked to neural tube defects, and it is difficult to get enough just from food. So pregnant women are strongly encouraged to take supplements of folic acid (a more stable form of folate), and some foods, notably foods made from grains, are fortified with it. Many people have a variant form of a gene that makes a protein involved in metabolizing folic acid, called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). People with this common variant need folic acid supplements when pregnant too- despite people on the internet claiming otherwise. Read more here.

This is important for you because a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Finding out about your genes can be interesting, but a lot is still not known about many of the gene variants identified. Watch out for fear mongers online.

Square Root

Jessica Bouthillier and Courtney Branson are new executives at the software company Square Root who have succeeded because of–not in spite of–their responsibilities as mothers. Read more here.

This is important for you because having a baby does not need to hold back your career.




The most popular articles on The Pulse this week were Kidney Failure and Pregnancy and The New Variants of SARS-CoV2: What You Need to Know if You are Pregnant. Read them here and 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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