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Thanks Mom: How your mom swaddled, worked, and fought the clock for you
Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life.
Lauren Smith Brody: Fifth Trimester is actually a term that I came up with after experiencing my own.
So you guys know what the first through third trimesters are, that’s pregnancy.
The fourth trimester is something I experienced when I had a newborn baby. I didn’t know about it until then, but it’s this idea that newborn babies do better when they feel like you’re recreating the womb for them because humans are actually born a whole trimester too early; so you shush them and you swaddle them tightly and you make them feel cozy as if they’re still inside you. And I remember hearing about that, and the advice I got was, “Just get to the end of 12 weeks and your baby will wake up to the world and be so happy and engaged and give you something back and get on a schedule.”
And I thought, “Well, god, that’s exactly when I go back to work.”
And so I realized that there’s actually an additional trimester – it’s a fifth trimester, and it’s when the working mom is born.
Emotionally, women want their work to have more meaning in this moment than it has before, which, the job mau not have changed, but your internal compromises that you're making for being there do, so you want to see more value in it, and it can be a very loaded time. Of course, we haven't even talked about sleep deprivation. But the women I surveyed were, on average, I asked them when they were sleeping through the night.
So they reported sleeping through the night—mom’s sleep, not baby’s sleep, but mom’s sleep of a steady seven hours straight—at about the seven month mark on average.
So that just shows you, if we know that FMLA in the United States which is only available to 56 percent of the country anyway, that if that allows for 12 weeks of unpaid leave—many, many people can’t even afford to take obviously a quarter of their year unpaid—We know that most American women are back at work, the average I think is about 8.5 weeks. So they’ve been back at work months and months without sleeping.
And the approach that I took with the research that I looked at for sleep was not about baby’s sleep, it was really about mom’s sleep. About how does sleep deprivation impact the mother, and what can you do to protect the little sleep you’re getting and also to make sure that you’re gaming your day in a way that, if you are sleep deprived, how do you protect yourself at work from feeling more emotionally raw?
One of the sleep scientists I talked to is fascinating, said that she tells new mothers that if they’re coming back to work, “If you have two bad nights of sleep in a row and you show up at work you’re showing up at work at 9:00 a.m. as impaired as if you were drunk.”
And these are my words, not hers. This is not your roommate in college who you can roll on her side and give her a glass of water and have her sleep it off. No. You have to work your day at work. And then, by the way, go home to your second shift at night and keep a human baby alive and do a good job at that too. So it’s a lot.
Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life. According to Lauren Smith Brody, a pregnancy rights activist and founder of The Fifth Trimester, most mothers of infant children don't get a solid night's sleep until 7 months in. In America, unfortunately, there is no law for paid pregnancy leave and many women are back to work after only 8.5 weeks. Lauren advocates for a more lenient policy, one that benefits both the mother and the company. Lauren's latest book is The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby
Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.
- Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
- The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
- The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
Duke researchers have developed the first gel-based synthetic cartilage with the strength of the real thing. A quarter-sized disc of the material can withstand the weight of a 100-pound kettlebell without tearing or losing its shape.
Photo: Feichen Yang.<p>That's the word from a team in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. Their <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.202003451" target="_blank">new paper</a>, published in the journal,<em> Advanced Functional Materials</em>, details this exciting evolution of this frustrating joint.<br></p><p>Researchers have sought materials strong and versatile enough to repair a knee since at least the seventies. This new hydrogel, comprised of three polymers, might be it. When two of the polymers are stretched, a third keeps the entire structure intact. When pulled 100,000 times, the cartilage held up as well as materials used in bone implants. The team also rubbed the hydrogel against natural cartilage a million times and found it to be as wear-resistant as the real thing. </p><p>The hydrogel has the appearance of Jell-O and is comprised of 60 percent water. Co-author, Feichen Yang, <a href="https://today.duke.edu/2020/06/lab-first-cartilage-mimicking-gel-strong-enough-knees" target="_blank">says</a> this network of polymers is particularly durable: "Only this combination of all three components is both flexible and stiff and therefore strong." </p><p> As with any new material, a lot of testing must be conducted. They don't foresee this hydrogel being implanted into human bodies for at least three years. The next step is to test it out in sheep. </p><p>Still, this is an exciting step forward in the rehabilitation of one of our trickiest joints. Given the potential reward, the wait is worth it. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.
- 10-15% of people visiting emergency rooms eventually develop symptoms of long-lasting PTSD.
- Early treatment is available but there's been no way to tell who needs it.
- Using clinical data already being collected, machine learning can identify who's at risk.
The psychological scars a traumatic experience can leave behind may have a more profound effect on a person than the original traumatic experience. Long after an acute emergency is resolved, victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to suffer its consequences.
In the U.S. some 30 million patients are annually treated in emergency departments (EDs) for a range of traumatic injuries. Add to that urgent admissions to the ED with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Health experts predict that some 10 percent to 15 percent of these people will develop long-lasting PTSD within a year of the initial incident. While there are interventions that can help individuals avoid PTSD, there's been no reliable way to identify those most likely to need it.
That may now have changed. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for predicting who is most likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic emergency-room experience. Their study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
70 data points and machine learning
Image source: Creators Collective/Unsplash
Study lead author Katharina Schultebraucks of Columbia University's Department Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons says:
"For many trauma patients, the ED visit is often their sole contact with the health care system. The time immediately after a traumatic injury is a critical window for identifying people at risk for PTSD and arranging appropriate follow-up treatment. The earlier we can treat those at risk, the better the likely outcomes."
The new PTSD test uses machine learning and 70 clinical data points plus a clinical stress-level assessment to develop a PTSD score for an individual that identifies their risk of acquiring the condition.
Among the 70 data points are stress hormone levels, inflammatory signals, high blood pressure, and an anxiety-level assessment. Says Schultebraucks, "We selected measures that are routinely collected in the ED and logged in the electronic medical record, plus answers to a few short questions about the psychological stress response. The idea was to create a tool that would be universally available and would add little burden to ED personnel."
Researchers used data from adult trauma survivors in Atlanta, Georgia (377 individuals) and New York City (221 individuals) to test their system.
Of this cohort, 90 percent of those predicted to be at high risk developed long-lasting PTSD symptoms within a year of the initial traumatic event — just 5 percent of people who never developed PTSD symptoms had been erroneously identified as being at risk.
On the other side of the coin, 29 percent of individuals were 'false negatives," tagged by the algorithm as not being at risk of PTSD, but then developing symptoms.
Image source: Külli Kittus/Unsplash
Schultebraucks looks forward to more testing as the researchers continue to refine their algorithm and to instill confidence in the approach among ED clinicians: "Because previous models for predicting PTSD risk have not been validated in independent samples like our model, they haven't been adopted in clinical practice." She expects that, "Testing and validation of our model in larger samples will be necessary for the algorithm to be ready-to-use in the general population."
"Currently only 7% of level-1 trauma centers routinely screen for PTSD," notes Schultebraucks. "We hope that the algorithm will provide ED clinicians with a rapid, automatic readout that they could use for discharge planning and the prevention of PTSD." She envisions the algorithm being implemented in the future as a feature of electronic medical records.
The researchers also plan to test their algorithm at predicting PTSD in people whose traumatic experiences come in the form of health events such as heart attacks and strokes, as opposed to visits to the emergency department.
What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.
Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.
Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.