Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 13, 2021. 

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Mommy chimps

A philosopher goes to live with a group of chimpanzees, and is reminded that our Western way of mothering is not the only way. Chimp moms may not look at their babies all the time, but they are always interacting with them and monitoring them through touch. Read more here.

This is important for you because there are lots of ways to be an attentive mom.

Remilk: Real fake milk

This is not plant based milk; it’s cow’s milk. It just doesn’t come from cows. Instead, it comes from microbial cells with inserted cow genes that allow them to make cow proteins. Eliminating the animal can allow land used for grazing to be used for other purposes, like growing crops or forests; it can reduce the dangerous methane emissions from cow burps that are contributing to our warming atmosphere; and it can alleviate the shameful mistreatment of dairy cows. Read more here.

This is important for you because now you can pretty much have your real dairy cake and eat it too.

Sperm whales

Ever wonder why sperm whales, like Moby Dick, are so named? It is not because their elongated bodies (kind of) look like sperm cells; it’s because they have an organ in their giant heads filled with white fluid that 19th century whalers mistook for sperm. Really the fluid most likely helps with sonar, helping the whale to direct sound waves and locate prey. Read more here.

This is important for you because sperm is important, but it is not everything.

Birth control

Around 40% of pregnancies globally are unintended, and almost one in ten women of reproductive age want contraception but do not use it because the current options are unsatisfactory, unaffordable, or unobtainable. We need more research into and development of better contraceptives to make family planning more attractive and viable. Read more here.

This is important for you because “The public needs to speak up about its desires and demands, so that we can move from methods that women tolerate to those that actually satisfy their needs.”

The most popular article on The Pulse this week, by quite a lot, was Natural Labor Induction Methods. 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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