Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending September 4, 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

Is it a mouse embryo?

Scientists have generated a mouse embryo from embryonic stem cells–so not from merging a sperm and an egg—that grew to a later stage than such a “synthetic” mammalian embryo ever had before. It spawned cover art on the journal in which it was reported inspired by the painting from 1929 “La Trashion des images: Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (The treachery of Images: This is not a pipe) by the surrealist artist René Magritte, to symbolize the differences between reality and a representation of reality. The journal’s cover reads “Ceci n’est pas un embryon de souris” (“This is not a mouse embryo”), with the mouse embryo representing the pipe. See it here.

This is important for you because science and art don’t have to be separate domains. They can complement and inspire each other.

4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing Recall

4moms MamaRoo Baby Swings were recalled because crawling babies were getting tangled up in the straps that hang underneath it. If you have one, the company will send you a free fastener to keep those straps out of the way. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you have one, get the free fastener. And in general, stay on top of information about your baby products.


SSRI use during pregnancy may carry a very small elevated risk of postpartum hemorrhage and neonatal complications, but that must be weighed against the very real benefits that the treatment can provide. There is no evidence that taking SSRIs during breastfeeding is bad for the nursing baby–and lots of evidence that a depressed mother is. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you need to be on antidepressants, the data is scant but seems to suggest that the benefits of taking them during pregnancy outweigh the risks.

Whole genome sequencing

Sick babies are screened for known genetic disorders, but there are many, many more genetic diseases than those included in a standard screen. Some of these diseases even have treatments already available. Rapid whole genome sequencing of a baby’s blood is now quick and cheap enough to be used diagnostically, so sick babies’ disorders can be identified and their treatment can begin sooner. Read more here.

This is important for you because personalized, precision medicine is getting closer every day.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Poliovirus in 2022: 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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