Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 20, 2020. 

More than 12,000 pregnant and recently pregnant women are already participating. Help us understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and babies. Be a part of it!

Click here to Register.

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine (when it’s your turn)

The FDA has authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women, even though pregnant women were not included in the trials. Their thinking is that any risks that come with getting the vaccine are less dangerous than the known risks of getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, and that no vaccines currently in use have been shown to be harmful to pregnant women or fetuses. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you can get access to a vaccine, you can take one.

2020 as a newborn

If this year was a baby, it would be… trying. See one artist’s imaginative take on our current predicament here.

This is important for you because everyone is dealing with this pandemic in her own way; different perspectives and takes can help us make it through.

Baby panda

The baby giant panda born at the National Zoo finally got a name!  The contest winning moniker is Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji), which Mandarin for “little miracle.” Read more here.

This is important for you because who doesn’t want a miracle right now? And also: pandas are really cute.

Prenatal testing for autism and other non-life-threatening conditions

There is no prenatal test for autism; it is far too complex and varied a condition, tied to many combinations of many genetic risk factors and a host of environmental influences rather than to one genetic mutation that can be easily identified. Yet it is the one test that prospective parents most want. Perhaps this is indicative of too many parents’ (futile) attempt to control their offspring and their offspring’s future, trying to ensure that their child’s path–starting in the womb–will always be smooth and straightforward. Read more about testing for autism here and about genetic testing in general as a proto-eugeneic tool here.

This is important for you because no parent can control their kid’s destiny, no matter how well intentioned such a desire may be, through genetics or otherwise.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was It May Take a Long Time for Pregnant Women to be Vaccinated Against Covid-19. 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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