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Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending March 20, 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

Picture giving birth

Visualizing events can help your brain prepare for the real thing. Anna Hennessey imagined a familiar Daoist print depicting the human body as a landscape when she was having trouble giving birth to her son, and seeing the river within her helped her push the baby out. The experience inspired her to write a book, Imagery, Ritual, and Birth. Read more here.

This is important for you because whether it helps you in the moment or not, trying to picture your birth could be a soothing and worthwhile exercise.

Should we use gene editing to make “better” babies?

Nonpartisan debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. held a live debate on the motion “Use Gene Editing to Make Better Babies.” Arguing in favor of the motion were George Church, Geneticist & Founder of the Personal Genome Project, and Amy Webb, Futurist & Author of The Genesis Machine. Arguing against the motion were Françoise Baylis, Philosopher & Author of Altered Inheritance, and Marcy Darnovsky, Policy Advocate & Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society. Watch the full debate here or listen to the podcast version here.

This is important for you because although more minds were changed from for to against than the other direction by watching the debate, overall most of the viewing public was still for the motion.

He Jiankui’s getting out of jail

He Jiankui has been in jail since he announced that he made the worlds’ first genetically engineered babies. His imminent release has spurred debate on how the three girls should be monitored and cared for, and how their privacy can simultaneously be ensured. Some think that He and his university should bear financial responsibility for maintaining the girls’ well being, but others are afraid this might impinge on their freedom and self-determination. Nothing is currently publicly known about the toddlers’ health or identities. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is a brave new world for these kids—and for ours—

Breastfeeding can likely help protect your baby from COVID-19

Antibodies—including any generated against COVID-19—pass from mother to baby in breast milk. Vaccines and infectious viruses do not. But this protection is more transient than that generated from getting a vaccine while pregnant. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you’re not yet familiar with Those Nerdy Girls, they are a great resource for accurate and relevant information about the COVID-19 pandemic and other health matters.

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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