ACOG in the News: Depression Screening for Pregnant Women and New Moms, Guidelines for Pregnant Women During Zika Outbreak, and Waiting to Try Again After a Miscarriage

ACOG serves as an expert information source about women’s health for consumers and the media. The organization’s Office of Communications regularly receives media inquiries from newspapers, magazines, websites, radio, and TV broadcast outlets. In many cases, ACOG officers and members talk with the media, working with the Office of Communications. Here are several recent articles that prominently featured ACOG guidance and experts. We’ve included excerpts and links to the original articles.

NPR, All Things Considered Depression Screening Recommended For Pregnant Women, New Mothers

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening women for depression both during pregnancy and after delivery. It estimates about 1 in 10 women suffer depression during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivery. And after the baby's born, Dr. Hal Lawrence, with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says a mother's depression can easily break the very special emotional bond.

PBS Newshour New guidelines suggest depression screenings amid stress of pregnancy

There's new evidence that postpartum depression is more common than previously believed, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, which calls for women to be screened during pregnancy and again after giving birth. William Brangham discusses the recommendations with Dr. Hal Lawrence III of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates its members have received "hundreds, if not thousands" of calls from patients who had traveled to affected regions, a spokeswoman said.

"It's consuming our lives," said Dr. Laura Riley, president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a specialist in high-risk pregnancies at Massachusetts General Hospital.

CNN CDC urges Zika screening for pregnant women who went to affected areas

Dr. Laura Riley, director of obstetrics and gynecology infectious disease at Massachusetts General Hospital and chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists immunization expert working group, said when a baby has microcephaly, it's brain function is unknown and the infant may be very sick, so at the very least, parents would want to have specialists on hand at delivery.

"The really tough thing here is for those who may have been infected nothing can be done. We're hunting and looking for something we can't do anything about. There's no treatment and no prevention, other than just not getting bitten," said Riley.

Reuters CDC issues guidelines for pregnant women during Zika outbreak

While there is no treatment for microcephaly, early detection might offer some women the option of terminating their pregnancies or to have specialists on hand at delivery, said Dr. Laura Riley, president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, who has been working with the CDC on the guidelines.

Riley, an expert in high-risk pregnancies who practices at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said she is writing practice guidelines for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, which will be released in partnership with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Riley said the guidelines could be released as early as Wednesday.

NBC News Panel Issues Final Mammogram Guidelines But They Won't Affect Much

Nonetheless, the announcement, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, prompted denunciations from experts who disagree, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

"We disagree," the group tweeted.

"ACOG strongly supports shared decision-making between doctor and patient, and in the case of screening for breast cancer, it is essential," said Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, the group's president.

"Given the differences among current organizational recommendations on breast cancer screening, we recognize that there may be confusion among women about when they should begin screening for breast cancer."

U.S. News & World Report New Analyses Support Biennial Mammograms Beginning at Age 50

“ACOG continues to stand by our breast cancer screening recommendations, which provide for annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Evidence and experience have shown that early detection can lead to improved outcomes in women diagnosed with breast cancer,” Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, said in a statement.

But he added that, “In January, ACOG is convening a consensus conference with the intent to develop a consistent set of uniform guidelines for breast cancer screening that can be implemented nationwide. Major organizations and providers of women’s health care will gather to review and discuss the data in greater detail. We look forward to a positive outcome of this conference that helps to avoid the confusion that currently exists among the women we treat.”

Philadelphia Inquirer ACOG reinventing the Pregnancy Wheel

Now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is offering a new due date app, the first to be able to deal scientifically with a common dilemma: what to do when the first fetal ultrasound indicates a different due date than the date based on the last menstrual period. 

Nathaniel DeNicola, an obstetrician-gynecologist and social media expert at the University of Pennsylvania, helped to develop the app, and called it “the most accurate tool available for ob-gyns and their staff.”

The Tennessean Bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Although such legislation would give women easier access to birth control, reproductive health groups, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have said it is not enough.

“Requiring a pharmacist to prescribe and dispense oral contraceptives only replaces one barrier — a physician's prescription — with another,” said Mark DeFrancesco, the organization’s president. “This is not going to allow us to reach women who remained underserved by the current prescribing requirements.”

U.S. News & World Report Military Fertility: It's Complicated

Dr. Wilma Larsen​ had been married about a year and a half before she was deployed to Bosnia in 1996 at age 33. Fertility – or the potential loss of it – was the last thing on her mind. "I never even thought about it," says Larsen, a retired colonel who's now an OB-GYN and assistant chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Scott &​ White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas.​

But it's a worthwhile consideration for young service members, says Larsen, who got pregnant post-deployment and ​now has 16-year-old twins. "There isn't any data that would say you'll be less fertile after deployment than you would be beforehand," she says, "but if you think about some of the environmental issues that could occur, it makes sense that there could be an effect on fertility."

HealthDay Obstetricians' Group Urges Docs to Help Support Breast-Feeding

There are many things obstetricians and gynecologists can do to support breast-feeding mothers, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says.

Most new mothers start to breast-feed, but more than half stop sooner than they'd like, according to ACOG, which recommends exclusive breast-feeding for at least the first six months of life.

"Moms deserve better support, and obstetric providers can and must help, both by assisting their patients and by advocating for policies and practices that enable women to achieve their goals," Dr. Alison Stuebe, lead author of a new ACOG committee opinion, said in an ACOG news release.

Reuters After miscarriage, how long should couples wait to try again?

After adjusting for age, race, weight, education and fertility, there didn’t appear to be a difference in complications such as high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy based on whether or not the women started trying within three months of a miscarriage, researchers report in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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