Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending November 17, 2019

$1 Billion to Promote Gender Equality

Melinda Gates is earmarking a billion dollars to expand womens’ influence and power across the US over the next ten years. She says: “90 cents of each dollar donors spend on women is going to reproductive health. As absolutely essential as reproductive health is, we also need to fund other unmet needs.” Read more here.

This is important for you because it is important for you. She’s right – women should be seizing our moment, and it is heartening that she is doing all she can about it.

What to Call Grandma?

Some grandmothers want to choose their own names; others will have the kids choose for them when the kids are old enough to start talking. Either way, it is probably not worth a fight. Read more here.

This is important for you because you will need help and babysitting soon, and for a long while–this is definitely not the time to alienate parents and in-laws.

Please vaccinate your kids

Yes, plenty of people used to get measles and turned out fine. But new research suggests that while the illness itself might not be so devastating, it can be fatal in a much sneakier way: it actually renders people more susceptible to other infectious diseases by wiping out their adaptive immune system. This is the part of the immune system that remembers which pathogens you’ve been exposed to and keeps a store of antibodies on hand ready to thwart them. Read this important piece here.

This is important for you because although this measles-induced “immune amnesia” has been recognized for over a hundred years, the technology to figure out how measles does this is new. Hopefully now that the phenomenon is being studied and reported people who’ve been shy about getting vaccinated will be swayed.

She is a mom AND she plays one on TV

“Workin’ Moms,” on Netflix, is the real deal–it is directed by an actual working mom, Catherine Retiman. She also acts on the show. Read more here.

This is important for you because while it’s not a reality show, it is more realistic than those insta-perfect images of working moms easily having it all.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week, by a long shot, was Pregnancy and Dengue: Will it Come Back to Bite Us? 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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