Baby Birthing Class November 20th

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas now introduces birthing classes!

Our first class will be held Wednesday, November 20th from 5:30 – 8:30pm. Registration is $60 per enrollee (patient & support person).

Topics for the birthing class will include:

  • Pregnancy & Post-Partum
  • Labor & Delivery Experience
  • Parent & Newborn Care
  • Car Seat Safety
  • Lactation Basis
  • Q&A Session
  • Tour of The St. David’s Women’s Center

Bring your infant car seat, favorite pillow(s) and wear comfortable clothing.  There will be a few hands-on exercises involved.

The class will be taught by Cindy Warner, RN and will take place at our office.

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas
12201 Renfert Way, Suite 325
Austin, TX 78758
512-836-2536

Please make checks payable to Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas prior to class date.
*Classes are limited so reserve your spot today!

Stay tuned for more available class times to be announced!
– The Staff at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas

birthing class in austin

Breast Cancer Awareness Balloon Launch

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Capital Ob/Gyn staff was honored to participate in the Breast Cancer Awareness Balloon Launch on Friday, October 18th.  To celebrate the brave women who have battled breast cancer, white and pink biodegradable balloons were launched from the St. David’s North Austin Women’s Center to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Central Texas.

We are a team of women committed to caring for other women, and this important cause is close to our hearts.  We celebrate the women who have survived the battle with breast cancer and remember those who were not so fortunate.

NAMC_BreastCancerView KVUE News Coverage of the event HERE.
(Segment begins at 23 min, 25 seconds)

View KXAN News Coverage of the event HERE.
(Segment begins at 29 min, 11 seconds)

About Breast Cancer Resource Centers (BCRC)
www.bcrc.org

Breast Cancer Resource Centers (BCRC) of Texas is a centralized source of information, education and support that empowers those affected by breast cancer to navigate through diagnosis, treatment, recovery and beyond as active, knowledgeable participants in their healthcare.

Staffed by breast cancer survivors, BCRC strives to reduce mortality rates by assisting Central Texans diagnosed with breast cancer as they confront obstacles that stand in the way of their treatment or affect their quality of life. We help eliminate barriers related to insurance, employment, family relationships, inability to pay for services, and end-of-life decisions.

To learn more about Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas and our services, visit our website at www.capobgyn.com or call 512-83-OB-JEN.


Numbers Show Vaccine Helps Reduce HPV Cases

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Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler was recently asked to share her professional opinion on the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine on KVUE.  Read the article below or watch the video on KVUE.

AUSTN — The HPV vaccine remains controversial, however, numbers recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the vaccine’s effectiveness could help quell some of the skepticism.

Cases of human papillomavirus, or HPV, have decreased 56 percent in young girls since the vaccine was first introduced in 2006 according to the CDC.

“This is very exciting news,” said Jennifer Mushtaler, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist with Capital OB/GYN Associates of Texas at St. David’s Women’s Center. “We’re seeing that reduction in risk cancers for our young women, which is very important and the reduction is greater than anticipated.”

CDC officials admit they were surprised by the vaccine’s effectiveness, and so too were University of Texas students KVUE spoke to.

“I remember it was just a few years ago that people started talking about it,” said Wynne Davis, a UT student. “There was really the push and all the ads on television for it, but I didn’t expect it to drop that quickly.”

“It is a really significant decrease,” said Angela Lin, a UT student. “With all the current medical breakthroughs and progress in science and technology and everything, I guess it really doesn’t surprise me.”

The only disappointing news according to the CDC is that only 50 to 60 percent of young women are getting the vaccine. The agency was hoping that number would be closer to 80 percent. Dr. Mushtaler says there’s still a bit of a disconnect over the value of the vaccine.

“Because we’re vaccinating for diseases that are transmitted sexually the message can get confused about the intent of the vaccine,” she said. “The intent of the vaccine is to help protect young people from (certain) types of cancers no matter when they choose to become sexually active.”

Mushtaler says the vaccine is now being recommended for girls and boys — girls ages 11 to 26 and boys ages 11 to 21. Dr. Mushtaler says early research has shown there’s a higher rate of immunity when children are vaccinated at a younger age.

To schedule an appointment with any Capital Ob/Gyn physicians, call 512.836.2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.  We look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn!


What To Tell Your Teenagers About Plan B "Emergency" Contraceptive

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The politics around women’s healthcare and reproductive choices have been interesting as of late to say the least. We have seen Planned Parenthood vilified, and concurrently, we have seen gains in women’s access to Preventive Exams as well as the expansion of birth control coverage. Recently, the FDA approved Plan B for sale to minors over-the-counter. Although Plan B is not associated with long term medical risks, use of Plan B is not guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, and incidental birth control does not address a multitude of other unintended consequences, particularly in young men and women.

I am a mother of two young girls who at this lovely age still think that boys are gross and annoying. I know that in short order this will all change. I have given much thought as to how I will educate my daughters about their sexuality and their safety. Too often young people falsely believe that  ”I won’t get pregnant from one time,” or “I won’t get herpes,” or “I’ve had the Gardisil vaccine so I won’t get HPV”. While I applaud the many changes in women’s healthcare, over-the-counter availability of Plan B to minors gives me pause about young women’s emotional and physical well-being as it relates to unplanned sexual encounters. The easy access of a simple pill can give the false illusion of being able to erase actions from the night before.

woman-in-pharmacy-selecting-medicationsAs a woman’s healthcare provider, I am an advocate for access and education, but I admit that I am concerned that Plan B may give young people a false sense of security regarding pregnancy prevention without acknowledging unintended consequences such as the emotional risks of unplanned and unprotected intercourse and the risks of STD’s. Unlike condoms, which are used at the time of sexual activity, Plan B does not offer any protection from STD’s, nor does it require forethought to action. Unfortunately, I have recently met with two teenagers who had been pressured to have unprotected intercourse and then take Plan B. Each of these young women, broke down in tears of fear and shame that saddened me greatly for them.

Now, more than ever, our daughters need to be educated on what it means to choose to be sexually active or to choose to be abstinent. More importantly, they need to be taught that they have a choice to say “No thank you” and mean it. Our daughters also need to be educated about unsafe situations, how to recognize them, and how to avoid them. A young woman who desires to be sexually active should be made to feel comfortable coming to an Ob/Gyn so that she can choose a reliable method of birth control and receive complete medical care and advice, something she won’t get from an over-the-counter package.

So what do you tell your teenagers about Plan B? First, have the discussion and discuss your value system and why that set of values is important. Second, educate them on all birth control options that are available and what they do and do not protect against. Third, encourage them to ask questions from trusted adults, to think about their choices, and to seek medical advice when it is needed.

Our team is committed to the well-being of each woman that walks through our door.  To learn more about our practice visit www.capobgyn.com or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your next appointment.


Will One Drink Hurt the Baby?

OB JEN recently contributed to an article in Daily Rx regarding the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.  You can read the full article below.

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Alcohol drinking during pregnancy debate continues

(dailyRx News) One of the common questions pregnant women might wonder is whether they can drink any alcohol at all while pregnant. One glass of wine? One sip? Will it hurt the baby?

A recent study looked at that question in terms of children’s cognitive skills and behavior. This study took into account a large range of possible factors that could affect the children’s performance.

These researchers found that the children of women who drank one or two drinks a week or less did not appear to suffer any negative brain or behavior effects.

However, this study’s findings are contrary to some previous research. The findings also do not mean women should have any drinks during pregnancy.

“Ask your OB/GYN about drinking alcohol.”

The study, led by Yvonne Kelly, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London in the United Kingdom, looked at whether light drinking during pregnancy affected women’s children at age 7.

The 10,534 children involved in this study are part of a long-term study that has involved home visits when the children were 9 months, 3 years, 5 years and 7 years old.

At each home visit, the researchers interviewed the mothers about their drinking habits (during and after pregnancy), their children’s behavior, the family’s socioeconomic circumstances, the family’s demographics and the social environment of the child and family.

The researchers also assessed the children’s cognitive skills using tests in reading, math and spatial skills when the kids were 7. The children’s teachers also filled out mailed questionnaires about the children’s behavior.

During the home visit when the children were 9 months old, the mothers described how often they drank alcohol while pregnant: every day, 5-6 days a week, 3-4 days a week, 1-2 days a week, 1-2 times a month, less than once a month or never.

Women who drank any alcohol each week were asked how many units they had each week, and women who drank less than twice a month were asked how much they drank during those times. A unit was defined as “half a pint of beer, a glass of wine or a single measure of spirit or liqueur.”

Overall, 13 percent of the women never drank alcohol before, during or after pregnancy, and 57 percent did not drink alcohol during pregnancy but did after pregnancy.

Almost a quarter (23 percent) of the women were considered “light drinkers” who had one to two units of alcohol per week or per occasion (if less than once a week) while pregnant. Seven percent of the women drank more than twice a week while pregnant.

When the researchers analyzed the results of the cognitive tests and behavioral assessments, they took into account a wide number of variables that might affect the results besides the mother’s alcohol intake during pregnancy. These included the following:

  • mother’s age
  • whether the pregnancy was planned
  • whether the mother smoked during pregnancy
  • whether the child was a first-born
  • ethnicity
  • single parent family
  • a combined score related to the mother’s answers to questions on life satisfaction, relationship quality and social networks
  • number of children in the household
  • child’s age
  • the child’s birth weight
  • highest level of the parents’ education
  • family income
  • mother’s mental health
  • which discipline strategies the parents used (frequency of ignoring, smacking, shouting, sending to the ‘naughty chair’, removing treats, telling off and bribing)
  • how the mother rated her competence as a parent
  • how the mother rated the closeness of her relationship with her child
  • whether the mother currently drank alcohol
  • how frequently the child was read to
  • whether the child had regular bedtimes

Before adjusting for these variables, the researchers found that the children born to women who were light drinkers during pregnancy had slightly lower (better) behavior scores and slightly higher cognitive test scores than the children of moms who did not drink during pregnancy but did drink afterward.

After the researchers adjusted for those variables, the behavior scores evened out a bit and were no longer “statistically significant” except for the boys’ behavior as rated by teachers.

Not being “statistically significant” means that the difference between the kids of light drinkers and the kids of non-drinkers was too small to determine whether those differences were related to the alcohol intake during pregnancy.

The difference in cognitive skills between the kids of light drinking pregnant moms and non-drinking pregnant moms also evened out after adjusting for variables, with one exception. The sons of women who were light drinkers during pregnancy still had slightly higher spatial and reading skills than the boys of women who didn’t drink during pregnancy, though the differences were small.

“In this large, nationally representative study of 7-year-olds, there appeared to be no increased risk of a negative impact of light drinking in pregnancy on behavioral or cognitive development,” the researchers wrote.

“Prior to statistical adjustment, children born to light drinkers appeared to have more favorable developmental profiles than children whose mothers did not drink during their pregnancies, but, after statistical adjustment, the differences largely disappeared,” they wrote.

“Our findings from regression models and PSM support the suggestion that low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are not linked to behavioral or cognitive problems during early to mid-childhood,” they wrote.

However, these findings, from a single study, do not change the advice of OB/GYNs and certified nurse midwives to women.

“I am frequently asked about ‘just one glass of wine on occasion’ and I counsel patients that there are many factors that contribute to fetal alcohol syndrome and developmental deficits,” said Jen Mushtaler, an OB/GYN in Austin, Texas, and a dailyRx expert.

“As we do not completely understand how this happens in utero, the American College on Obstetrics and Gynecology advises women to refrain from any alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” she said.

Dr. Mushtaler suggests patients ask themselves a question to consider whether having one drink is okay.

“My advice to my patients is to ask themselves if anything were to go wrong, would they blame themselves and feel guilty,” she said. “If the answer is yes, then the one glass of wine is not worth drinking.”

The study was published April 17 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The authors declared no conflicts of interest.

To schedule an appointment with any Capital Ob/Gyn physicians, call 512.836.2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.  We look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn!


Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

Dr. Catherine Browne was recently invited to join the Austin Girl Scouts Beyond gsBars semimonthly gathering as a guest speaker. She enjoyed the opportunity to represent Capital Ob/Gyn in the community and speak with the girls about their health related questions.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) is a program that equips girls ages 5 to 17 whose mothers are incarcerated with the tools they’ll need to succeed, while also strengthening the mother/daughter bond through regular visits. The Austin based GSBB meets semimonthly as a group and regularly engages local leaders to speak on relevant topics.

In February, Dr. Browne shared with the fifth through twelfth grade girls of GSBB on the topic of health. It is very important that these girls have a safe environment where they feel comfortable asking questions and where they can receive an educated response to their questions. It was evident that the GSBB has created an environment that meets this need, and that they are having a significant impact on the growth and leadership development of these girls.

Dr. Browne noted that the girls were very curious and open with their questions. Their questions ranged from “What is the Gardasil shot and what is HPV?” to discussions about the dangers of smoking and alcohol. They were also very interested in learning more about becoming a medical professional, the level of education needed and what a typical work day looks like.  Our hope is that each girl left that gathering better equipped to make educated choices when it comes to their health.

The Capital Ob/Gyn team is thankful to have the opportunity to connect with such valuable causes like GSBB and to serve our community. To learn more about our practice visit www.capobgyn.com or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your next appointment.


Experience the Freedom of a Healthy Body Image

healthy_mind_healthy_bodyWith spring in full swing and bikini season approaching, the pressure to have a perfect body causes stress rise for the 8 million Americans with poor body image and eating disorders. Statistics from the National Eating Disorder Association tell us that we spend over $40 billion a year on diet and beauty products. 44% of women are on a diet and 29% of men are on a diet. Many experts warn that as the economy and earning potentials have been on the decline, body image for many men has become the focus for individual control.

The potential effects of negative body image are staggering. Most people are aware of the unrealistic images that bombard us from the tv and the covers of magazines. Few people are aware of the potential threats from favorite social media outlets. The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Maryland surveyed 600 Facebook users and found that 51% said that seeing photos of themselves made them more conscious about their body. 32% of responders said they feel sad when comparing their own photos to those of friends. 44% of responders are conscious that photos taken at events might get posted without their consent.

It is sad to consider that a girl’s self-esteem peaks at age 9 and one out of ten young men use unproven food supplements or steroids. For those men and women who are dieting, 35% will develop pathology with food. The University of the West of England recently reported that of 394 men, of whom a quarter were gay, 23% stated that concern about their appearance actually deterred them from going to the gym. One respondent stated that, “while it isn’t a bad thing for people to want to look better, it has become more like a competition”.

Ultimately, the winners in a competition like this will be those individuals who recognize that you cannot weigh your self-esteem and that a positive body image comes from within. Exercise should be for fun, fitness and friendships. In my practice, I regularly discuss nutrition and exercise with my patients. I want each of my patients to feel encouraged and empowered to be the healthiest person they can be. I also try to lead by example through my own love of exercise and a respect of chocolate. Healthful eating and regular exercise keep our bodies strong and makes us feel good on the inside where it counts. Those inner positive feelings can then be projected outwardly and shared with others. When we take inventory of our selves, it should be on those attributes unrelated to our appearance. Let fashion and beauty be comfortable. Smile. Wear clothing that feels good and allows expression of personal style. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “The beauty of life, is that you don’t have to be beautiful to live it”.

– Dr.  Jennifer Mushtaler

Our team is committed to the well-being of each woman that walks through our door.  To learn more about our practice visit www.capobgyn.com or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your next appointment.


Health & Wellness Fair – Body, Mind and Spirit

The Capital Ob/Gyn team is looking forward to joining the Health & Wellness Fair hosted by Texas Women in Business on Friday, March 15th.   Attendees will benefit from special guest speakers and wellness panel, and have the opportunity to visit over 30 unique exhibitors for information, free screenings and consultations.

Click Here for event details and to purchase your ticket today!  Be sure to stop by the Capital Ob/Gyn booth and say hi!

Health & Wellness Fair – Body, Mind and Spirit

126
Shoal Crossing Event Center
8611 N. Mopac Austin, TX 78759

Friday, March 15th ~ 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

10:00 – 11:45 Vendor Exhibits, Casual Networking
11:45 – 1:15 Special Extended Program
1:15 – 2:00 Vendor Exhibits

Click Here to purchase your tickets!

Make sure to keep an eye out for Capital Ob/Gyn around town and please visit our website to learn more about our practice or call 512-836-2536 to schedule your next appointment.


An Option for Severe Morning Sickness?

OB JEN recently contributed to an article in Daily Rx regarding the use of Diclectin as an option for reducing severe morning sickness.  You can read the full article below. © Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Diclectin given at pregnancy start may reduce risk of very severe morning sickness.

The nausea of morning sickness can strike at any time of day. For some women, it can be particularly bad, such as for Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William.

Her morning sickness was a very severe kind called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). It can can cause dehydration bad enough to send those women suffering from it to the hospital.

About 2 percent of all pregnant women will experience HG. In addition, about 75 to 85 percent of women who had HG during their first pregnancy will have it in their next one.

But a recent small, unpublished study may offer a way for these women to reduce their risk of having it again. Taking a medication called Diclectin at the start of pregnancy may help women avoid severe morning sickness or HG if they have had it in the past.

About twice as many women in this study who took Diclectin at the start of their pregnancy did not experience HG, compared to those who only took Diclectin when they started feeling nauseous.

“Talk to your OB about severe morning sickness.”

The study, led by Gideon Koren, MD, of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, ran a trial to see whether it was possible to lower the incidence of HG among women who have already had it by giving them medication at the start of their pregnancies.

The study included 59 women who had experienced severe nausea and vomiting or had been diagnosed with HG in a previous pregnancy.

Half the women were given a medication called Diclectin as soon as they found out they were pregnant. The other 29 women were only given Diclectin at the first sign of nausea.

Diclectin contains 10 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and 10 mg of doxylamine, an antihistamine. Diclectin is the Canadian brand name for the medication.

The US brand name was Bendectin until it was voluntarily removed from use in 1983 because of concerns about possible birth defects. Studies have since shown that it does not cause birth defects.

Diclectin is classified as a Risk Factor A drug in Canada, a designation which is equivalent to a Category A drug at the FDA. This classification means it is in the safest category to take during pregnancy.

During this study, researchers interviewed the women through phone calls an average of eight times during the women’s pregnancies to find out their symptoms.

Among the women who took the Diclectin right away, 43.3 percent did not experience HG. Among those who did not take it until they felt nauseous, only 20.6 percent avoided HG.

In addition, only 15.4 percent of the women who took Diclectin right away experienced moderately severe cases of nausea and vomiting during the first three weeks of the study. Among those who waited, 39.1 percent experienced moderately severe morning sickness.

Among the women who began taking Diclectin right away, 78 percent stopped having nausea and vomiting before delivery, compared to 50 percent among those who waited to take the medication.

The researchers concluded that taken Diclectin pre-emptively appeared to reduce the amount of severe morning sickness or HG that women experience.

Jen Mushtaler, MD, an obstetrician in Austin, Texas, and a dailyRx expert, said her patients sometimes take the two active ingredients in Diclectin/Bendectin on their own to address morning sickness symptoms.

“The data has been very reassuring in terms of safety,” Dr. Mushtaler said about Diclectin/Bendectin. “Many of my patients get relief from the combination of vitamin B complex and half a Unisom, whose active ingredient is doxylamine.”

Despite the findings, this study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, so its results should be regarded as preliminary and still require review by researchers in the field. It is also a very small study with results that should be confirmed with larger studies.

The most common side effect of Diclectin is drowsiness. Other possible side effects include diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, irritability or nervousness.

Very rare but possible serious side effects that have been reported include seizures, pounding heartbeat, stomach pain and difficulty urinating.

The study was presented February 14 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco. Information was unavailable regarding funding and conflicts of interest.

To schedule an appointment with any Capital Ob/Gyn physicians, call 512.836.2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.  We look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn!


Having a Baby After Bariatric Surgery

OB JEN recently contributed to an article in Daily Rx regarding having a baby after Bariatric surgery.  You can read the full article below.

Pregnancy after bariatric surgery involved some risks but less so than obesity.  Pregnancy can involve more risks for women who are obese. As obesity rates rise, so does the number of women seeking bariatric surgery to treat their obesity.  A recent study considered what recommendations might be important for women who want to become pregnant after they have had bariatric surgery to treat obesity.

The authors concluded that women should wait at least a year, preferably 18 months, before becoming pregnant after the surgery. They may need additional nutrient supplements, and they should limit their pregnancy weight gain.  The authors also recommended that women discuss their options related to obesity, pregnancy and bariatric surgery with their doctors to make informed decisions.  “Ask your doctor about pregnancy after surgery.”  The study, led by Rahat Khan, MBBS, MRCOG, an OB/GYN at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow in the United Kingdom, reviewed the current research related to pregnancy and bariatric surgery for obesity.

Obese women are more likely to have complications during pregnancy as well, so the researchers wanted to better understand possible pregnancy outcomes after a woman undergoes an increasingly used obesity treatment.  The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK recommends that morbidly obese women who have been unable to lose weight through lifestyle changes or medication could consider bariatric surgery.

The question is how long a woman should wait after she has bariatric surgery before she tries to get pregnant. The research on this question is sparse and sometimes contradictory.  Some studies found a higher risk of preterm (early) birth among women who got pregnant within a year of their surgeries.  Another study found a higher miscarriage rate (31 percent) among women who became pregnant within 18 months of their surgeries, compared to the miscarriage rate (18 percent) among women who waited at least 18 months after their surgery to become pregnant.

However, most studies did not find a higher risk of miscarriage, high blood pressure or gestational diabetes among pregnant women who had had bariatric surgery, regardless of how long they waited until after the surgery before becoming pregnant.  The research also found no differences so far in children’s birth weight, fetal growth restriction or cesarean section rates among women who conceived within a year of their surgery versus more than a year post-surgery.

Yet, since the evidence in this area is still thin and there are some studies to support the recommendation, the authors said that women should be advised to wait 12 to 18 months after their bariatric surgery before trying to become pregnant.

Jennifer Mushtaler, MD, an obstetrician in Austin, Texas and a dailyRx expert, said waiting after surgery to conceive also allows a woman to achieve a more consistent body weight.  “The greatest weight loss occurs in the first year after surgery, so many surgeons and obstetricians advise waiting at least one year after surgery before attempting pregnancy to allow weight to stabilize,” Dr. Mushtaler said.

The researchers also noted, however, that women tend to have improved fertility after bariatric surgery compared to morbidly obese women who do not undergo the surgery or otherwise lose weight.  The researchers noted that women who become pregnant after having bariatric surgery may experience nutritional deficiencies, especially with folate and vitamin B12. Therefore they should work with their doctors to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they and their developing babies need.  “Women will require additional levels of iron, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, protein and fat-soluble vitamins alongside diagnosis and treatment of other nutritional deficiencies,” the authors wrote.

In terms of weight gain during pregnancy, the authors said that the ideal amount for these women is between 15 and 24 pounds.  The authors also reviewed some of the complications that are possible among pregnant women who have had bariatric surgery. For those who receive gastric-banding, it is possible for the band to move or cause leaking in about 24 percent of cases. Only 4 percent of patients needed the band removed.

Overall, however, there were fewer complications among pregnant women who had bariatric surgery compared to morbidly obese pregnant women.  For example, one study found that 0 percent of pregnant women who had had bariatric surgery developed gestational diabetes, compared to 22 percent of obese pregnant women.  Similarly, the rate of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women who had had bariatric surgery was 0 percent, compared to 3.1 percent in obese pregnant women. Pre-eclampsia is a condition involving high blood pressure and protein in a woman’s urine. The only treatment is to deliver the baby.

Dr. Mushtaler said her experiences in treating women who became pregnant after having had bariatric surgery match up with what the researchers found in their review.

My experiences are consistent with the data in that fertility is improved and rates of complications are less,” Dr. Mushtaler said. “We do watch the infants for risks of growth restriction and we advise patients to take nutritional and vitamin supplements but limit caloric intake.”

In comparing women who had bariatric surgery to healthy weight women who have not had the surgery, there may be additional risks for miscarriage for two particular bariatric procedures: biliopancreatic diversion (BPD) and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).  One study found a miscarriage rate of 34.7 percent among women who had RYGB and 4 percent among women who had BPD. There was not evidence to show a higher miscarriage rate among women getting laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB).

The authors concluded that women who have had bariatric surgery or are considering it should consult with their doctors, especially if they plan to have children.  “Both obstetricians and surgeons should consider post-bariatric surgery pregnant women as high risk,” the authors wrote. “Optimal education should be encouraged in these individuals so that they can make well-informed decisions about planning pregnancy after weight loss surgery.”

The study was published January 11 in the journal The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. The research paper did not note any sources of funding. The authors declared no conflict of interest.

To schedule an appointment with any Capital Ob/Gyn physicians, call 512.836.2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.  We look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn!