Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending February 13, 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

Letter to a young female physician

Dr. Suzanne Kovem inadvertently got pregnant while she was an intern at Johns Hopkins, the year after she graduated from medical school, in the late 1980s. She ended up with preeclampsia and an emergency c-section, but never questioned the system that insisted she work such grueling hours. Now she is on the faculty of Harvard Med, and she writes in her new book that the system is no better or healthier for young mothers now than it was then. Read more here.

This is important for you because have some sympathy for your doctor, especially if she’s also a mom – it’s a really difficult road.

Climate change and your baby’s health

Exposure to pollution is not good for you, and it is not good for your baby. Six new studies done around the world have detailed the health impacts of elevated temperatures, increased wildfires, and high pollution levels on fetuses and babies. The results are not pretty, ranging from infertility to premature births with all of their attendant risks to birth defects to obesity later in life. Read more here.

This is important for you because the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal contributes to both pollution and extreme heat. We will see more and more of both, along with the health problems they cause, in the coming years.

Saliva sharing

Yes, you read that right. A new study, published in the prestigious journal Science, suggests that infants, toddlers, and young kids use saliva sharing as an indication of how “thick” a relationship is. If someone wipes their drool they know they can count on that person, and that that person can rely on them in turn. And it doesn’t only apply to them; when the babies saw two other people sharing utensils, they expected those two people to go to bat for each other. Read more here.

This is important for you because although adults were not assessed in the study, we know that we only drink from the same cup as our nearest and dearest.

Rebecca Shumard on TikTok

Because of the deplorable lack of federally mandated paid family leave in this country – we are still the only industrialized country without it – Rebecca Shumard had to get back to work 12 days after giving birth to her premature daughter. Her TikTok crying about it went viral. Read more here.

This is important for you because while it is nice that it induced people to make donations to support her – such donations should not be necessary, and not something that families need to rely on to survive.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Are Menstrual Changes Following COVID-19 Vaccination a Warning Sign of Fertility Problems? Read it here.

Check out this press release from Pregistry! Study Shows Low COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in Pregnant People Around the World

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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