Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending May 13, 2018. 

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Mother Matters

Dayna Kurtz, who writes the Mother Matters blog on Huffington Post, has expanded her thoughts into a book. She seems to be part of a much-needed trend focusing on caring for the new mother, and not just the new baby, in the months after a birth. Read more here.

This is important for you because whether or not you are a first-time mother, you need to be taken care of just as much as your baby does after giving birth.

Newborn Screening

The early diagnosis of genetic disorders can save patients and their families from diagnostic ordeals that can be long, traumatic, and painful. Even when simple tests exist to find these disorders, they are often not given to newborns. The newborn screening panel currently tests for 60 conditions; but that panel is determined at a state by state level, and it can take decades of wading through regulatory red tape for new tests to be administered to all babies. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is not straightforward to diagnose most disorders; when it is, as in the case with some genetic disorders, we should take advantage of our ability to find them by screening newborns and saving people years of anguish trying to diagnose their babies.

God in the Bedroom (and Lab)

Secular bioethicists and religious leaders had a lot to consider when the first test tube baby was born. Forty years later, most religious authorities have made their peace with IVF (the Catholic Church still does not condone it). Now that gene editing tools that could enable us to change genetic material in fetuses and germ cells seem to be on the horizon, these religious leaders will have a whole new range of issues to ponder. Read more here.

This is important for you because regardless of your religious beliefs, bioethical issues – especially those concerned with the advent of new technologies – are always valuable food for thought.

What Women Want

The global advocacy group What Women Want was founded in order to determine what women want in terms of quality reproductive health care – and to help governments give it to them. It aims to survey a million urban and rural women and girls all over the world. Read more here.

This is important for you because it’s a great model – first figure out what it is we want, and then push for it.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or severe, debilitating nausea 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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