The Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic – Not so Fast!

Some researchers have warned that vitamin D deficiency is akin to a silent epidemic. However, recent data from the Institute of Medicine reveals that the majority of people are getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Although quite plausible, there is not enough data to support claims that vitamin D can help
protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS or pre-eclampsia of pregnancy to name a few.

What are the recommendations for vitamin D and calcium intake?

It is recommended that young women ages 9-18 consume 1300 mg/day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Healthy women ages 19-51 including those who are pregnant or lactating should consume 1000 mg/day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Women ages 51-70 should consume 1200 mg/
day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Women older than 70 years should increase their vitamin D consumption to 800 IU/day in addition to 1200 mg/day of calcium.

Should I take a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement?

Most individuals can achieve the recommended amounts through proper diet and nutrition, and it only takes 10-15 minutes of sun exposure to generate your daily vitamin D requirements. Research shows that most people get 600-900 mg of calcium daily from diet alone. There is also a recommended upper safe limit of 2000 mg/day of calcium and 4000 IU/day of vitamin D. Excess calcium and vitamin D has been associated with calcifications in blood vessels, kidney stones, cardiovascular risk and surprisingly falls and fractures. Some natural food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, and fortified milk. If you are going to supplement your diet, check for USP verification on the label.

Should I have my vitamin D level checked?

Only those persons at risk for vitamin D deficiency need to have their levels screened. At risk persons include pregnant and nursing women, obese individuals, darker skinned individuals, persons who have undergone prior bariatric surgery, persons with Crohn’s disease, and persons with osteoporosis.
There are several other serious medical conditions in which vitamin D testing is also recommended so speak with your doctor first.

Don’t have one? Come see OB JEN at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas.

Pap and a Piece of Chocolate

I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have been practicing obstetrics and gynecology for over ten years now, I have cared for thousands of women through all manner of women’s medical issues, I have been pregnant and delivered two wonderful daughters, and I still dread going to the ob/gyn for my exam.

Will my ob/gyn use the plastic or the metal speculum? Did I shave too much or too little? Oh, fiddlesticks! I just realized I totally forgot to shave my legs, and I will have to leave my socks on because I am way overdue nail polish on my toes. Oh please Lord let my deodorant be working extra hard today because I can’t stop thinking about plastic or metal and now I am beginning to perspire and my
appointment isn’t until this afternoon. Yes, ob/gyn’s dread their own ob/gyn exams, too.

A few years ago my young girls became accomplished statisticians. They had concluded with reasonable probability that if we were going to visit the pediatrician, one or both of them would be statistically likely to receive a shot. Not wanting them to dread (read violently resist) going, I proposed that if they
received a shot, we would go for a treat of their choice afterwards. It worked!

Then I had a wonderful thought! What if my patients were to receive a small treat to ease the anxiety of coming to the ob/gyn? Something sweet and thoughtful that acknowledges that you might not have really wanted to, but you came in to take care of yourself? Sitting in a jar on the table you will ALWAYS find an assortment of small chocolates. Please help yourself, and we won’t tell anyone if you take two pieces.
We know, we understand; you were very brave.

To schedule an appointment with Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas – Home of Pap and a Piece of Chocolate – please visit or call 512-83-OB-JEN.

See Jane Run is Here!

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler is excited to sponsor See Jane Run, a Half-Marathon series coming to Austin on Sunday, October 9th, 2011.  The Half-Marathon race takes place at 7:00am at the Mueller Lake Park in Austin, Texas.  There is also a 5k that begins at 8:30am that morning. 

Take a big group of women, add chocolate, champagne, massages, laughter, tears and lots of fun…Want to be a part of it? Are you signed up yet?  There is still time!   Check out further details here:

Dr.Mushtaler (aka OB Jen) has previously sponsored such race events such as the Sweet & Twisted Tri, Cougar 5k, the Couples Triathlon and the Zooma Half Marathon-Austin. 

For further information on Dr. Mushtaler’s practice, please visit her website at or give her office a ring at 512-836-2536.

OB JEN "On Air" with Kathryn Bonner!

OB JEN is honored to be featured as a monthly radio guest on KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3 – Spirit Walking with Kathryn Bonner.  Each month, Dr. Jen Mushtaler covers topics with Kathryn Bonner that are essential to healthy and complete living. 

Featured in July, OB JEN engaged with Kathryn in a two-way dialogue about Postpartum Depression.  Listen to a replay here

In August’s show, OB Jen and Kathryn Bonner discussed hot flashes and the body temple.   Replay is coming soon!

Next Show: September 21st, 2:30-3pm
KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3
You can catch OB JEN on air with Kathryn Bonner again on September 21st from 2:30-3pm on KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3.  Tune in!

About the Show:
Spirit Walking with Kathryn Bonner is a refreshing approach that is truly needed because of the stressed out busyness that seems to be a part of today’s hectic culture. Kathryn has a show that will blow fresh winds of renewal into the hearts of those listening. Her show is all about women, for women! For you guys out there, come check it out too, as you will surely learn something of interest about us, if not; you will certainly get a great laugh!

Kathryn covers all sorts of things such as women’s health, wellness, marriage, movies, ministries, your body temple, Biblical teachings, struggles, raising children, dating, miracles, passion, purpose, how God speaks, creativity, dreams, mission work, finances, freedom in Christ and so much more! Kathryn will also interview experts, authors, speakers, Christian life coaches, doctors, and ordinary women making an extraordinary difference in the world!

Kathryn is an author, a speaker and a Life Purpose Coach. She knows the power of breaking through the fears and stepping fully into your faith by the gift of coaching.

OB Jen Sponsoring Two Women Only Events in Austin!

OB JEN is back as a sponsor for the Sweet & Twisted Women’s Triathlon  and a new event to Austin,  See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon and 5k hosted by Red Licorice Events.

Mark your calendars, August 21!  The Sweet & Twisted Tri is perfect for beginners, seasoned athletes and all the ‘tri-curious’ – this USAT sanctioned event is the highlight of the season for female athletes in Central Texas.  Come celebrate & race with Red Licorice!


Whatever your reason, check out this new event to Austin and join OB Jen on October 9th!

Take a big group of women, add chocolate, champagne, massages, laughter, tears and lots of fun… it feels like a girls’ night out, right? But it’s not. It’s the See Jane Run Half Marathon and 5K Race Series! Grab your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriends and join the celebration.

For any further information on Dr. Mushtaler’s practice please check out her website at or give her office a ring at 512-836-2536

OB JEN in NSIDE Magazine!

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jen Mushtaler was featured in NSIDE Magazine’s July/August issue.  Read the article to find out how OB JEN got started in her medical career and what the future holds for Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas!

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler grew up fascinated by science. Her father was a NASA engineer who worked on projects like the Mars Land Rover, Hubble telescope and Mission Control.

In school, classes would always stop to watch the space shuttles launch into space.

With a mathematics teacher for a mother and surrounded by engineers, astronauts and PhDs, Mushtaler thought she would become an engineer.

In fact, she did, earning a degree in electrical engineering at UT. However, she soon became drawn to medicine and continued on to medical school at UT Southwestern Parkland Memorial Hospital.

“It brings together science, innovation and healing people,” Mushtaler says of her chosen field. “The surgical specialty of ob/gyn was truly my calling. For me, there is very little that rivals the miracle of birth.”

The incredibly important journey of pregnancy and childbirth, along with general women’s reproductive health, is clearly something Mushtaler deeply loves and respects.

After 10 years of private practice experience, in October 2010, she founded Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas, which operates on a collaborative philosophy of partnering with women in their health care needs, rather than the more traditional medical atmosphere of doctor and patient. The office setting is warm, intimate, compassionate and private.

“Each woman presents with her own unique health concerns and philosophies, so care plans are developed to address that uniqueness while adhering to the highest professional standards,” Mushtaler says. “My patients are so pleased with the atmosphere and the high level of care we offer. I sincerely hope there continues to be a future for this style of practice in the new age of medicine before us.”

Mushtaler is excited about today’s advances in minimally invasive surgery, which allows her to routinely perform major gynecological surgeries in an outpatient setting. Complete cancer resections and lymph node samplings are being done robotically.

“Patients avoid lengthy hospital stays and recoveries,” she says, “and the cosmesis is beautiful.”

She chuckles when answering a question about a “typical day.”

“There is nothing typical about ob/gyn, managing my own practice, balancing marriage, two wonderful young daughters and time for athletic endeavors,” she says. “I often find myself thinking, ‘Well, that was an exciting day. I wonder what will happen tomorrow!’”

Indeed, Mushtaler is incredibly active, counseling by example for her patients, as well as her daughters. She encourages women’s fitness and athletics, and is highly involved with causes such as LIVESTRONG, breast and cervical cancer awareness, triathlon training and much more.

Affectionately known as “OB Jen,” she constantly updates her blog at with news and resources on these topics.

“I swim, I bike, I run because I believe there is a strong relationship between the physical and nutritional lifestyles we choose and our complete health,” she says.

In fact, her expertise with women’s fitness issues has led to her invitation to speak in forums such as the GOTRIbal podcast, which focuses on female endurance athletes.

“You don’t have to completely stop training when you get pregnant,” Mushtaler told GOTRIbal CEO Tanya Malasch. “You shouldn’t be going hard, but get out there for the love of it, and continue your base.”

Mushtaler recommends training at about 80 percent of your maximum heart rate while pregnant to stay safely in your aerobic zone; and for pregnant women who decide to begin a fitness routine, she recommends beginning very moderately and building up.

“I try to get them started by walking,” she says. “My recommendation is 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I do not recommend training in the anaerobic zone, as that has been shown to compromise blood flow to the baby.

“My patients come in all shapes, sizes, lifestyles, and no matter where they are in their health needs, I want them to feel empowered and encouraged.”

“Dr. Mushtaler is amazing,” says Tessa Spencer, who has been a patient for three years. At 35 years old, Spencer discovered she was pregnant, which came as a big surprise.

“Dr. Mushtaler and I worked out a plan of treatment for me and the baby, and she monitored me weekly,” Spencer says. “I had a very high-risk pregnancy, and she spent a lot of time talking to me and helping me make the right choices for my baby.”

Spencer had a Caesarean delivery at 34 weeks, but she and her baby were able to go home in two days.

“I always feel a sense of being at home with a good friend when I am with Dr. Mushtaler,” Spencer says. “She treated me and my baby with respect and love. I really felt she cared about us as individuals, not just patients.”

Such experiences and outcomes are very rewarding to Mushtaler.

“I find it particularly rewarding that my patients know that my interests are synonymous with theirs and trust that if medical intervention is needed, I will use it judiciously,” she says. “I love the long-term relationships I have developed with my patients and the opportunities to heal by simply listening, by medicine and by surgery when it is needed. The relief to a patient following a successful surgery and delivering healthy babies to happy, healthy mommies are equally gratifying.”

For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler and Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas at 512-83-OBJEN or visit

What should I do for back pain relief during pregnancy?

As pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity shifts forward which can cause strain and discomfort in your lower back. Here are some tips from Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler to help you enjoy your pregnancy free from back pain!

1. Practice good posture by standing and sitting tall with your shoulders back and your knees slightly bent. When sitting, place your feet on a low stool.

2. Squat and lift from your legs instead of bending at the waist to pick something up.
3. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between the knees.
4. Alternate warm and cool packs to the lower back.
5. Gently stretch your lower back muscles by resting on your hands and knees with your head in line with your back, then round your back slightly and hold for ten seconds.
6. Consider complimentary therapies such as massage, chiropractic reatment, acupuncture or a maternity belt.
7. Keep up with regular physical activity.

To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler, please visit or call 512-83.OBJEN.  We look forward to seeing you at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas.

OBJEN Sponsoring Couples Triathlon!

OB JEN is excited to be back as a sponsor of the 2011 Couple’s Triathlon! Jen and her husband, Trent, will be out on the course again this year so keep your eyes peeled for this couple!

Don’t be afraid to ask OB JEN questions about training or health while you’re there!

Couples Triathlon 2011! – Sunday July 10th

The Event:
Using a format that is unique in the sport of triathlon, teams of two, whether they be friends, spouses, family members or complete strangers combine their ages and sign up in the appropriate category. Each person on the team completes the triathlon individually, and then their times are combined for an overall result. One may also participate as an individual.

The Couples Triathlon course is an 800 meter swim in Decker Lake, 11.2 mile bike ride, and 3.2 mile run park roads and smooth off road paths.
The transition area will open bright and early Sunday morning at 6:00am and the race will begin at 8:00 am. Don’t be late!

There is tons of space and we’ve secured parking nearby, so bring the family and friends. As usual with our events, we’ll finish off with a great outdoor party, awards, and prize giveaway.

The Couples Triathlon is brought to you by High Five Events and Jack & Adam’s Bicycles:

For more information on the race please visit:

We Are Having Twins!

Twins are a source of delight to parents, family and friends. Yet behind the awe of a twin pregnancy are challenges that expecting parents should be aware of so that they may partner with their obstetrician to achieve optimum outcomes.

In our practice we currently have quite a number of patients excitedly expecting twins. The rate of twin pregnancy in the United States is approximately 32 per 1000 births. An important aspect of our initial evaluation of a twin pregnancy is determining the chorionicity. When we determine chorionicity, we want to know whether the babies are sharing one placenta or if each baby has its own placenta. When the babies share one placenta there are different concerns for the infants than when there are two distinct placentas and two amniotic sacks. Another initial aspect of twin pregnancies is determining if chromosome abnormalities are present. Interestingly, the likelihood of an abnormality is higher in twin pregnancies. Fortunately, nuchal translucency, a non-invasive early ultrasound, is very sensitive for detecting trisomy 18 and 21. However, while we offer screening to all of our expectant mothers, this is a very individual decision that ultimately rests with the parents.

Undeniably, twin pregnancies are more likely to deliver preterm, and it is this risk that is often underappreciated. Sometimes preterm delivery is necessary because of medical concerns for the mommy or one or both babies. Often, preterm birth ensues after spontaneous onset of preterm labor or after premature rupture of the membranes. In our practice, we discuss openly these statistics so that our mommy’s and their families can make modifications in their daily lives to help support and nourish these special pregnancies. We will evaluate the cervical length via ultrasound between 22 and 32 weeks of gestation to look for any risks of preterm delivery. The use of oral medications to reduce preterm birth is not proven to work nor is prophylactic cerclage. However, the use of steroids has been shown to dramatically improve infant outcomes.


While twin pregnancies can be twice the fun, they can also be twice the ouch! Beyond 16-20 weeks into the pregnancy, growth of the abdomen will quickly outpace growth experienced in singleton pregnancies. This means that it becomes more difficult for mommy to reach down to tie her shoes (hint: a great gift is a pedicure) and it becomes more difficult to reach the steering wheel. Mommy may find that she tires easily, feels pelvic pressure and has lower back discomfort (another hint: a great gift is a pregnancy massage). We recommend at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly, regular gentle exercise and increased intake of vitamins, vegetables and fruits.

Many of our mothers who are expecting with twins want to know if they can still have a natural, vaginal birth. Yes! That being said, we want to ensure a safe delivery for all three of the lives in our hands. A patient is a good candidate for a vaginal birth if the first baby is facing head down, the babies have achieved a safe minimum weight and the babies weights are within 10% of each other. We recommend that our patients have regular, interval ultrasounds of the babies to monitor these and other parameters of well-being. We have a lot of experience with breech and transverse presentations and when circumstances permit, we are pleased to offer these patients the opportunity for a vaginal delivery, too.

To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler, please visit or call 512-83.OBJEN.  We look forward to seeing you at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas.

What's New in May!

OB JEN was thrilled to be a part of another GOTRIbal Podcast last week!  Back to speak with the ladies about “Knowing Your Bod,” OB JEN addresses some of the following questions:

1. Your position is plainly that women Can and SHOULD train during pregnancy.  Can you elaborate on that?
2. You have children of your own…  what was your experience training, or exercising for fitness, while you were pregnant?
3. To wax or not to wax, what’s the best thing to do?
4. What are the top three things we can do to manage our menstrual cycle as we get closer to a race?

Listen to OB JEN’s conversation here (and don’t forget, she’s always open to your questions and concerns!): GOTRIbal Podcast.

Check out this swag!

Coming up this Sunday, May 8th is the Skeese Greets Tri: 300 m swim, 11.1 mi bike and a 2 mi run.  OB Jen is excited to be a sponsor of this race and will be helping out at packet pickup on Sturday (today) between 11 and 3.  Hope you all are able to get outside and enjoy this Texas spring — before it becomes a Texas summer!

Here’s a shot of OB JEN Team in action:

Gorgeous, ladies.

 Please visit Dr. Mushtaler’s practice website at or contact 512-83-OB-JEN to schedule an appointment with OB JEN.