Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 22, 2019. 

To seed or not to seed

Vaginal seeding is the practice of swabbing C-section babies with their mothers’ vaginal juices after they’re born. Proponents like the practice because babies born vaginally get good microbes on their skin–and in their guts–during their passage through the birth canal, and these microbes help the babies develop a healthy microbiome. Babies born by C-section, in contrast, get microbes found primarily in hospitals. Vaginal seeding may help give them the healthy microbes they need, but there have not been large enough long term studies to see if the practice is effective. Read more here.

This is important for you because it is definitely something to consider if you end up with a C-section.

Ectopic pregnancies CANNOT be “re-implanted”

In an ectopic pregnancy the fetus grows someplace other than the uterus, which is the only place it can develop and thrive. Republicans in Ohio have proposed an abortion ban so severe it demands that ectopic pregnancies be reimplanted. Don’t bother them with the pesky fact that such a procedure is medically impossible. Read more here.

This is important for you because if you ever wondered whether “pro-lifers” cared about pregnant women’s lives… now you know.

Kids TV

Shows aimed at children may seem very weird to adults, but many are based on real research and are carefully designed to grasp and keep the interest of small children. Read more here.

This is important for you because even babies can learn from certain TV shows–especially if you cuddle up and watch with them. Even if you don’t get it.

Fetuses may see more than we think

Recent work in mice has shown that light-sensitive cells in the retina become interconnected with other brain regions as early as the second trimester. The cells detect light and also respond to its intensity. Read more here.

This is important for you because embryonic development is amazing.  

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was The Old Ways to Select Your Baby’s Gender (Maybe). You can’t. But you can read the piece 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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