Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending June 5, 2022. 

COVID-19 Vaccines International Pregnancy Exposure Registry (C-VIPER)

More than 8,000 pregnant vaccinated women are already participating in our survey.

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The Baby

This British HBO+ show looks diverting enough to take your mind off your aching back/ swollen ankles/ incessant nausea/ worries about raising a baby. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is billed as a horror/ comedy. Just like parenting irl.

“A philosophy class, through the lens of parenting.”

Scott Hershovitz, a law and philosophy professor at the University of Michigan, has a new book out: Nasty, Brutish, and Short. In it, he applies Hobbes’ famous description of human nature without governance to children, his and others. It turns out that little kids are natural philosophers. Read more here

This is important for you because, as the author told Emily Oster in an interview: “the book is funny, because kids are funny. It will give you the chance to think about really difficult topics — punishment, authority, sex, gender, race, the existence of God — and learn from some of the best philosophers in the world. But it will give you a good laugh too!”

Country parents

Country stars certainly know how to belt out their feelings, and that only intensifies when they become parents. Read more here.

This is important for you because these songs may soothe your little one to sleep and give you a good cry at the same time.

Evolutionarily, more fertility may have come with more cancer risk

Other primates get cancer, but not at the same rates we do. This may be because of a genetic mutation in the BRCA2 gene that crept into humans after we diverged from chimpanzees millions of years ago. BRCA2 is important in DNA repair, which makes it a tumor suppressor. But the human version is less efficient than the chimp one because of a mutation it bears. There is some evidence that women with cancer causing mutations in BRCA2 get pregnant more easily than those without these mutations, leading to the hypothesis that the initial mutation that made the human BRCA2 different from the chimp version also made humans more fertile than chimps. This is just an idea, though; it is far from proven. Read more here

This is important for you because evolutionary trade offs are inevitable.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Rheumatic Fever: Issues for 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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