Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending May 16, 2021. 

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Baby’s first breath

Fetuses in the womb don’t breathe; they get oxygen through the placenta, and their lungs are filled with liquid. The second they are born, air rushes in, their little lungs inflate, and the baby’s cries help to establish their breathing patterns. The details of this transition to breathing are not that well understood, but scientists have just gotten a video of how it happens. Watch it and read more here.

This is important for you because of all of the amazing things about birth, this is definitely towards the top of the list. You will probably never be as happy to hear your baby crying as when they are first born.

Mouse embryo without a womb

Scientists have grown mouse embryos in artificial wombs until they are about half term, eleven to twelve days. This is a record for mammals, and allowed the scientists to see and follow embryonic development with unprecedented clarity and continuity. If human embryos could be grown this way they could obviate the need to use aborted fetal tissue for research purposes. Read more here.

This is important for you because if they can get this technology could work for human embryos–should they?

Love, Money, and Parenting

Parenting in the US has gotten more intense over time, and two economists (and parents) think that it is because of income inequality. It takes more time and effort now to try to make sure your kid does well than it used to, and the stakes are higher. Read more here.

This is important for you because the authors break down some of the factors that you might not even realize are influencing your parenting decisions.

Jack Black’s mom

Judith Love Cohen was an engineer who worked on the Apollo mission. She had work to do when she went into labor with him, so she brought it to the hospital with her. Read more here.

This is important for you because moms can do anything.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Vaccine Hesitancy Is Why Children Need To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19. 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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