Free Educational Event for Expecting Parents – Saturday, February 23rd

image001Join Capital Ob/Gyn this Saturday, February 23rd from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for a FREE educational seminar for expecting parents.  BabyEarth is bringing
together experts to provide you with informative sessions and interactive Q&As covering important birth and parenting topics.  Dr. Catherine Browne will be representing the Capital Ob/Gyn team on the Birthing Options Panel, so come see us and benefit from this unique event!

Getting Ready for Baby
Saturday, February 23rd

9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Baby Earth – 106 E. Old Settlers Blvd. Round Rock, TX 78664

10:00AM-10:45AM- Infant Safety– We will review issues such as safe sleep, car seat safety, baby proofing, etc.

11:00AM- 11:30AM- Car Seat Installation– We will teach you how to properly install a car seat.

11:45- 12:30- Non-toxic Home and Baby– Toxic chemicals are poorly regulated and are found in everything from cleaning products to body lotion. You will learn how to be proactive in keeping your family and your home free of these harmful substances.

1:00-1:30- Creating a Birthing Plan– Having a plan relieves some of the stress of child birth. During this session you will learn the important things to consider when creating a birthing plan.

1:45-3:00- Birthing Options Panel– Join us with a team of experts to review your options for birth. A home water birth? A medicated birth in a hospital? Something in between? This birthing panel will talk about your options and answer your questions, so come prepared! The panel will include; Dr. Catherine Brown from Capital Ob/gyn; Chan McDermott child birth instructor; Leticia Moran a birth and postpartum Doula and we are awaiting confirmation on several others!

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

Capital Ob/Gyn and VitaMed Partner to Impact Women in Nicaragua

As a team at Capital Ob/Gyn we are committed to empowering women and walking with them through all stages of life.  From local speaking engagements to overseas medical missions trips, each team member has found a unique way to contribute to women’s health beyond the walls of Capital Ob/Gyn.

Dr. Mushtaler focuses many of her efforts on educating women at her alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin.  On a recent occasion she had the privilege to speak to female members of the UT Triathlon team about women’s health, and through a relationship that began there she learned about the opportunity to sponsor the Global Medical Training mission trip to Nicaragua this January.

Capital Ob/Gyn in partnership with VitaMed has provided 750 prenatal vitamins that will be distributed through Global Medical Training to women in Nicaragua.01_ToCarol0006

Knowing they have a similar passion for the well being of women, Dr. Mushtaler called on Melissa Massey at VitaMed to join this effort.  Their quick and generous response will provide pregnant women in a severely under resourced area the chance for healthy development of their child.  VitaMed offers direct to patient supply of prenatal vitamins and iron supplements with vegan and gluten free options available at Their vitamins contain quatrafolate, the newest generation of folic acid supplement in prenatal vitamins.

Capital Ob/Gyn is glad to partner with Global Medical Training to raise awareness and impact healthcare locally and worldwide.  Global Medical Training is a student organization at The University of Texas at Austin that is committed to empowering students with the knowledge and awareness of the humanitarian need that exists in the world today by expanding students’ understanding of medicine and life outside the United States.  One of their primary objectives is to create awareness about the lack of access to healthcare, not only in third world countries but also in the local Austin community.  For more information on their efforts locally and internationally visit

To learn more about our practice visit or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your next appointment.

Annuals and New PAP Smear Guidelines

All of us have been touched in some capacity by cancer. Regarding cervical cancer, public education programs and PAP smear screenings have us on the victorious side of prevention. It is understandable that given years of education to women on the importance of annual cervical cancer screenings, there is confusion and concern over the newer guidelines.

First, let me say that the changes in cervical cancer screening recommendations are very well founded in significant advances in our technological capability. These recommendations are more than just a financial analysis of societal cost/benefit ratios (dig at conflicting breast cancer screening guidelines). Our newer technologies allow us to perform sensitive testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) strains that are causative in the development of cervical cancer. If a woman has normal appearing cells, and she is free of high-risk strains of HPV, her risk of developing a cervical cancer is almost zero over the next few years. Second, let me emphasize that the PAP smear is only one aspect of care given at an annual exam and women should continue to have a yearly preventive check-up with their gynecologist. With that in mind, the newer PAP smear guidelines are as follows. 

Women age 21 and under are not recommended to have PAP smears. These women should have annual health check-ups to include screening for STD’s as indicated, initiation of the HPV vaccine, birth control counseling as indicated and complete health maintenance. If a woman under the age of 21 has not become sexually active, she does not need to have a pelvic exam, and time will be spent on other important aspects of a young woman’s health care.

Women age 21-29 should have an annual exam, well, every year! PAP smears should be obtained as part of that exam every 1-2 years. HPV testing is recommended for those women whose cellular analysis reveals atypical cells on the PAP. Annual health check-ups include blood pressure and weight screening, breast and pelvic exam, STD screening, contraceptive care and family planning.

Women age 30-65 should have an annual exam, you guessed it, every year! During these years many important health screenings will be conducted in addition to a pelvic exam. Women will have blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid and diabetes screenings. Women will have regular breast exams and referrals for annual mammograms starting at age 40. Family planning, STD testing and contraceptive care is also included.  The PAP smear with HPV testing will be conducted every 3-5 years depending on the woman’s individual risk profile.

Women age 65 and older will follow current Medicare guidelines. In some women, PAP smears may be discontinued entirely, while others will have a PAP smear every 2 years. Women with HIV and/or a prior history of cervical cancer may be considered high risk and undergo annual PAP smear testing.

To summarize, all women should have an annual gynecological exam…every year! Many important aspects of woman’s health will be reviewed during that exam. Not sure what you should do? Starting last fall, women’s annual preventive exams are covered at 100% by commercial insurers, so give us a call at 512-836-2536 to schedule your exam. Our practice will have extra open exam slots for those patients needing to schedule before the end of the year. We are also offering a program for women who are without insurance to be able to get a preventive exam, PAP smear and gonorrhea/chlamydia testing.

Visit our website at or call us at 512-836-2536 if you have any questions or to schedule your annual exam. You can also learn more from ACOG Practice Bulletin 131 “Screening for Cervical Cancer”.

Capital Ob/Gyn at the BiGHealthCARE Conference

At Capital Ob/Gyn we are always looking for ways to invest in the community, and we are honored to get involved with causes and efforts that empower and support women.  Recently, Dr. Browne was invited to be a speaker at a local healthcare conference called BiGHealthCARE put on by BiGAUSTIN (Business Investment Growth) held November 1st.  She will be leading a breakout session on the topic of breast and cervical cancer at the conference.

BiGAUSTIN is helping put Central Texas back to work with the first summit of a three part series of Small Business @ Work Summit: BiG HealthCARE.  A 7-hour small business summit for women and female veterans interested in starting or maintaining a small business in the healthcare industry.  The summit will consist of panel discussions and breakout sessions, exhibit booths for providers and small business owners, complimentary continental Breakfast and Lunch, and networking session. Topics covered include: Healthcare & Entrepreneurship; Small Business Assistance; Veteran Women Resources; Wisdom, Women & Wealth; How to provide Quality Senior Care and Care giving; Do you have what it takes?; Trends in Heart Disease, Obesity, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol; Business Etiquette and much more.

This event highlights the challenges and opportunities for women owned businesses, while emphasizing the vast emerging healthcare needs of all women and the unique needs of veteran women.  Click Here to find out more details about this event and how you can join.

As always, if you want to schedule an appointment with any of our physicians, call 512.836.2536 or visit  We look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn!

New Class Offering: Birth, Baby and You

You asked and we said “Absolutely!”  Upon popular demand, Capital Ob/Gyn is excited to offer a new class called “Birth, Baby and You”.  Join us Saturday, November 10th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas (12201 Renfert Way, Ste 325 Austin, TX).

This  class is tailored to your needs and will cover pregnancy, the experience of labor and delivery, postpartum care of mommy and newborn, as well as lactation basics.  The class will conclude with a guided tour of St. David’s Women’s Center. We are excited to welcome Lillie Juan, RN NP as the instructor of this class.  Ms. Juan is a registered RN and nurse practitioner with extensive experience in routine and high-risk pregnancy care.

Invite a friend to join you and call today (512.836.2536) to reserve your spot!  Class enrollment is $50 for the expectant mother and the support person of their choice and payment must be made in advance via check or cash to Capital Ob/Gyn.

You don’t have to be a patient of Capital Ob/Gyn to attend one of our classes, but we think that once you get a glimpse of our style you will want to be!  The next class offering will be in January and we will keep you updated on the details.

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

Summer News from Capital Ob/Gyn Associates

Thank you so much for your referrals, your praises and your online Yelp’s! Summer 2012 comes with several exciting updates. We are proud to announce our growing staff and team of physicians as well as our lovely expanded office space. Don’t worry though! We are keeping our comfortable and cozy feel.  Please join us for our open house in August and come see for yourself. In the meantime, read on to learn more about what’s new at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates!

Our Expanding Staff and Team of Physicians

Welcome Dr. Jane Braunstein and nurse Susan Paschall.  Dr. Jane Braunstein joined the practice in June 2012 and looks forward to meeting both new and existing patients.

Dr. Catherine Browne and her family are settling in nicely and loving the Austin community. Since joining the team in October 2011, Dr. Browne’s gentle demeanor and reassuring manner have been a great fit at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates.

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler (OB JEN) is so happy with the growth and success of Capital Ob/Gyn Associates. She still finds time to stay active in the health and fitness arena. Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas sponsored the Skeese Greets Triathlon and the Couples Triathlon. She and her husband Trent were spotted last weekend participating on the Couples Triathlon course as Team OB JEN. They make quite a team as weekend warriors!

Health and Lifestyle Fair at The University of Texas 7.20.12

Tomorrow, the Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas Staff will be participating in a health and lifestyle fair at the University of Texas at Austin.  They look forward to meeting over 24,000 staff members and employees at UT and educating women of all ages about health and wellness.

Barta Boys Update

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas would also like to thank all those who lovingly supported and donated to the Barta Boys. We are pleased to report that the boys are making a miraculous recovery. We can’t wait to welcome Barbara back to the office later this month. Our professional and caring office staff creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere at the practice, ensuring your comfort each and every visit.

Our Expanded Office Space

If you haven’t been to the office in the last few months, you’ll see that we’ve moved a little down the hall! Our new space has allowed us to grow our team at our same convenient location, suite 325. We are located at Parmer and Mopac next to the St. David’s Austin Medical Center on Renfert Way.

Open House August 16th What better way to tour our new office space, meet our new staff members and chat with our physicians than an Open House! Guests are invited to join us at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates on Thursday, August 16th from 4-7pm. Hors d’oevres and beverages will be served. Visit our website for directions.

All of our physicians are accepting new patients and look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas! To schedule an appointment with any of our physicians, call 512-836-2536 or visit

Please support the Barta Boys and their family!

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates is deeply saddened by the Capital Metro fatality and tragedy that touched our family Monday morning. The children involved in the accident, Corbin 5 and Ethan 8, are the sons of our medical assistant, Barbara.  The two boys have sustained severe injuries and are receiving top-notch care.  Unfortunately, the boys lost their father, Jeremy Barta, while driving to school when their car was hit by the metro liner.

I had a lovely visit with Barbara and the boys this morning at the hospital. Barbara, always the giver, is pushing aside her own grief to tend to the physical and emotional needs of her boys. Ethan is beginning to eat and requested a hot dog for lunch. He took my hand to lead me to see Corbin in the ICU. Ethan is so brave and loving. Corbin is still heavily sedated, but his team is very encouraged by his progress. He will need multiple cranio-facial reconstructive surgeries and physical rehabilitation to be able to eat and talk. The road to physical and emotional recovery will be long, but this wonderful family is taking it one step at a time.

Click here to read the full details.

Barta Boys Support Fund
Please help us support the Barta Boys. Contributions will be placed in a fund to cover medical expenses and any leftover moneys will go into a trust for the boys. Thank you so much for giving to someone’s children who, herself, is usually the giver to others.

To donate click the button below.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our Barbara, Ethan and Corbin. We are so grateful for the excellent care they are receiving from our medical colleagues. We also wish to express our heartfelt condolences to Jeremy Barta’s family for their loss. All of them need our love and support.

With love, Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler, Dr. Catherine Browne, Dency Barrera, Lisa Golden, Lillie Herrera, Karen Ungar

Cap Ob/Gyn Springs into the Community in May!

Spring is here, and the doctors at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas are gearing up for some fun women’s health events next month.

Dr. Catherine Browne will be speaking at the Empowering Women Health Conference on May 5th, 2012. The conference strives to educate women and the community about the myriad women’s health issues and empower women to take care of themselves.  Dr. Browne will be talking about new guidelines in women’s medicine and answering questions like, “Do I really need a pap smear and mammogram every year?” Since the guidelines are always changing, Dr. Browne will tell attendees what’s changing and what you need to know to make informed decisions. This conference is already sold out, but will be one of many Women’s Health Conferences to come so stay tuned for more.

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas is very excited to be back in the Austin women’s triathlon community this season! Our friendly staff will be volunteering at the Skeese Greets Triathlon  packet pick-up on Saturday, May 12th at Jack & Adam’s Bicycles. Dr.Mushtaler (aka OB JEN) has previously sponsored the Skeese Greets Tri, Sweet & Twisted Tri, Cougar 5k, the Couples Triathlon and the Zooma Half Marathon-Austin. She’s also a triathlete herself, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about training or health while you’re there!

Make sure to keep an eye out for Capital Ob/Gyn around town and please visit our website or to learn more about our practice, OB JEN and Dr. Browne!

Daily Rx Recap: Complications for Mothers with Lupus

OBJen was recently quoted in Daily Rx regarding complications for mothers with lupus.  Read what she said below or click here to read the full article or go to

More Complications for Mothers with Lupus: Lupus May Reduce the Chance of Live Birth

Before getting pregnant, it is important to know if you are healthy enough to have a baby.  Certain diseases, such as lupus, can make pregnancy risky for both you and your child.

Women with lupus have less live births than otherwise healthy women.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for most women. However, it can be a stressful time as well, especially if the mother has lupus.

While it is entirely possible for a woman with lupus to have a healthy baby, she should also know the risks she faces before she decides to get pregnant.

Évelyne Vinet, M.D., of McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and colleagues recently carried out a study to measure the number of live births in women with lupus.

The results show that women had 32 percent fewer live births after being diagnosed with lupus, compared to before diagnosis.

“Lupus is in the family of autoimmune disorders,” says Jennifer Mushtaler, M.D., an obstetrician in Austin, Texas. “As a whole, these disorders tend to complicate pregnancy for both mother and fetus.”

Dr. Mushtaler, who was not involved in the study, explains that these autoimmune conditions can lead to thrombophilias, or disorders that promote blood clotting, and other complications that can pose a risk to the placenta.

“As a generalist, I co-manage these pregnancies with a perinatologist,” she says. “We perform more aggressive surveillance on mother and baby during the pregnancy, and have a low threshold for early delivery if indicated on behalf of the baby or the mother.”

The study involved 1,334 women with lupus. These women had a total of 559 live births, which was lower than the expected number of 708 live births.

“After diagnosis, women with [lupus] have substantially fewer live births than the general population,” the authors conclude.

These findings suggest that doctors need to keep a close watch on their pregnant patients suffering from lupus.

The study is published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mushtaler (OBJen) visit our website.


What to Consider When Selecting an Ob/Gyn

Your relationship with your obstetrician/gynecologist is one of the most intimate professional relationships you may have.  Although it can take time for this relationship to develop, you should feel comfortable with this person and should be able to trust your obstetrician/gynecologist with your most private concerns.

Important questions to consider when selecting an obstetrician/gynecologist include:

1.Does she/he have experience caring for and delivering high risk pregnancies?

None of us want to experience a complicated, high risk pregnancy. However, an attending of mine in my training used to remind us at the beginning of every call night, “The sickest patient will be the one you least expect.” Even if you consider yourself to be healthy, pregnancy and labor can unexpectedly become risky to mother and baby. You want to make sure that your obstetrician has the training and experience to handle any surprises from severe pre-eclampsia to acute hemorrhage. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you also want to know if your obstetrician delivers at a level 3 center with in-house anesthesia and an experienced NICU. Hopefully you don’t need those services, but if you or your baby were in grave danger, you would want to feel confident that your obstetrician can manage your care and that she/he has the resources needed to do so.

2.How will she/he manage a pregnancy that goes beyond the due date? At what point will she/he insist on induction?

These questions tell you a lot about your obstetrician’s medical beliefs and style of practice. Some providers believe that babies should be delivered as soon as possible while others may take a wait and see approach. A seasoned obstetrician may tell you that the answer is not easily defined because she/he will need to consider multiple factors specific to your situation in deciding when and how to recommend an induction.

3.What are her/his views about the use of doulas?

Again, this question tells you a lot about your obstetrician, whether she/he is open to a holistic approach and whether she/he is going to help create a supportive environment. Doulas are labor companions who can help ease anxiety during labor and offer emotional support. A great doula may be someone you hire or it may be a family member or friend. In any case, knowing your obstetrician’s opinion will give you insight into their practice style and if it matches with yours.

4.Will she/he deliver my baby?

No one physician can be on-call 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year. Most obstetricians share call with other doctors in their practice or community. You should know who the other doctors in the call group are and how the call rotation works. Some groups are extremely large so you may not have an opportunity to get to know all of the doctors who may attend your delivery. Other groups are smaller and may have a system in place for you to meet the other doctors who may deliver your baby. Also, in many communities ob/gyn’s perform circumcisions upon request. If this is relevant to you, don’t forget to inquire about it and whether or not she/he uses anesthesia.

5. What is the practice’s policy for handling emergencies?

For example, will your doctor be able to see you on a regular office day or will you have to wait for an opening or see a mid-level provider? Who can you reach by phone during office hours or after hours for an emergency? How long does it typically take for the doctor or a nurse to return your call? Many large groups utilize a nurse telephone triage system, while in a small group you may be able to reach your doctor or nurse directly.

Thankfully routine pregnancy is only 40 weeks, give or take a little bit, so you should also consider your gynecological needs when selecting an ob/gyn. Consider some of the following:

1. How far in advance do I need to schedule a routine annual if I want to see my doctor?

This gives you insight into how accessible the doctor really is. As a mother and working woman myself, I want a physician I can actually see even if nothing is wrong and I am not pregnant. Everyone’s schedule is different so consider how important this is to you. I have had friends tell me they haven’t seen their doctor in years because they cannot get an appointment scheduled for months.

2. Does she/he prescribe birth control?

There are many patients and physicians who do not believe in the personal use of contraception, and this is to be respected. As a woman’s health care provider, however, I believe that an ob/gyn should be comfortable and knowledgeable discussing the factual pros and cons of all methods of contraception. Some birth control regimens may not be suited for women with certain medical conditions. On the other hand, some providers will not place IUD’s in women who have not had children. Be sure that the ob/gyn you choose is able to meet your individual needs.

3. Are you comfortable with the ob/gyn?

I think this is crucial. If you need to discuss STD testing, vaginal dryness and hot flashes or …something smelling badly down there, you need to feel able to do so. Moreover, if you are going to have surgery you need to feel confident that your surgeon is going to take good care of you. You should also consider your own value system and lifestyle. She/he may not live exactly as you do, but your healthcare relationship will be more comfortable if there is understanding and respect.

For additional information about a prospective physician, you can verify licensure with your state’s medical board. You can also verify that your physician is board certified through the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Both will offer information on a public website.

You can also contact Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas directly at 512-83-OBJEN or visit our website