Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

For the Week Ending December 27, 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.

Best baby gifts

Bookshop is a site that helps you support local bookstores. Find their list of the best books for babies here.

This is important for you because babies don’t know the date of Christmas or any other holidays. And anyway… don’t you have a friend due in a few months?

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine has banded together with a few other similar organizations to release information about the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people. Read it here.

This is important for you because it highlights that while the risks of getting the vaccine are as yet unknown, the risks of COVID-19 are many and well-documented. No vaccines currently in use have been shown to be problematic during pregnancy.


The second place prize in Nikon’s Small World Competition went to this series of photos of a clownfish embryo as it develops; see them, and other amazing science images, here.

This is important for you because embryonic development in any animal is amazing.

NIPT in the New Year

Noninvasive prenatal testing was first offered in 2011, when it was used to screen fetal DNA in the mother’s blood for chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome, or trisomy 21: three copies of chromosome 21 in the growing fetus instead of the normal 2 copies. Now, it is poised to screen for a wider range of chromosomal disorders, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists  and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine are recommending it for all pregnant people. Read more here.

This is important for you because the breakthroughs that have brought this technique thus far and are allowing it to develop further are technically amazing, but the ethical ramifications of screening our babies’ genes in utero can be troubling.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Giving Birth on Your Back. 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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