Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending June 2, 2019. 

Menstrual Hygiene Day

Far too many girls – not only those in the third world, either – do not have access to the materials and knowledge required to manage their periods. They are often kept home from school every month, and miss the vital socializing and education that school provides, for lack of these materials. Menstrual Hygiene Day, this past Tuesday,  was established to raise awareness of this problem, and fix it. Read more here, and donate materials here.

This is important for you because educating girls is the best way to alleviate population growth and the poverty and climate change that occur along with it. If girls are kept home from school because they don’t have tampons, that’s a problem.

Parenting in secret

Many people who work outside the home are also parents; alas, not many talk about it around the water cooler. If we want parenting while working to seem as normal as it actually is, mothers and fathers in the workplace need to be open and forthcoming about their experiences, needs, and expectations. Read more here.

This is important for you because, as Emily Oster concludes, “We can’t improve the lot of parents at work if we pretend we aren’t parents.”

CRISPR regulations in China

When He Jiang editing the genomes of twin baby girls in China last year he didn’t break any laws, but he did cause a worldwide furor for violating widely held ethical norms. Now, China is adding a proviso to its civil code stating that if someone tinkers with a human’s genes, the tinkerer will be responsible for the fate of the edited person. So it’s still not against the law, but this will hopefully serve as a deterrent until a wider consensus is reached and regulations are put into effect. Read more here.

This is important for you because genes have been edited in these girls without their consent and without complete knowledge of how it will affect them. Further thought is required on how to proceed, and perhaps this proviso will provide time for that thought.

Antibiotics to the rescue

Antibiotics have enabled many surgeries by cutting the risk of infection, and some births fall into that category – notably, births that require forceps. Giving women who need an assisted birth prophylactic antibiotics can actually cut down on antibiotic use overall, since it so drastically cuts the number of infections that occur after assisted birth. Read more here.

This is important for you because if one injection at an assisted birth can cut infections AND antibiotic use – obviously it should be implemented.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Swollen Ankles and Sensitive Toes During Pregnancy. Just in time for summer. Wear good shoes, and 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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