ACOG in the News: Pregnancy and Addiction, Back Pain During Pregnancy, a New App Wants to Deliver Birth Control to Your Door, Caffeine and 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.

Politico Slew of anti-abortion laws may thwart Zika research

“Basically the only insights we’ve had so far on Zika is with patients who have either lost a pregnancy or had miscarriages,” said Patrick Ramsey, an obstetrician at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. “This is a situation where the vaccine is going to have to protect the mom and protect the baby. Fetal tissue is going to be needed to look at the effects.”

The Washington Post Doctors respond to Indiana banning abortions because of Down syndrome

Hal Lawrence, chief executive of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the group, comprising roughly 30,000 doctors nationwide, strongly opposes the law because it could encourage a patient to withhold information from her doctor.

A woman who, for example, learned her fetus carried a severe disability may pursue an abortion from an out-of-state provider and then, out of fear, skip follow-up care from her regular doctor.

“She shouldn't be under legal duress when she came back to where she lived,” said Lawrence, who practiced gynecology for 30 years. “Patients need postpartum or postoperative care. They need to be counseled for contraception. Discouraging that is highly destructive.”


NPR Pregnant And Addicted: The Tough Road To Family Health

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who are pregnant should have medically assisted therapy that at least temporarily replaces the opioids they are using with drugs that are more stable, like methadone. Withdrawal should be discouraged during pregnancy if medically assisted therapy is available.

Quitting opioids cold turkey is dangerous for the infant and could increase the risk of preterm labor or fetal death.


MedPage Today ACOG: Vaccines Should Be Part of Routine OB/GYN Practice

OB/GYNs should play a more prominent role in encouraging routine immunization in all patients, said a committee opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

"Our patients use OB/GYNs as primary care physicians, which gives us the opportunity to re-enforce the need to immunize," co-author J. Martin Tucker, MD, of ACOG, told MedPage Today. "We have a duty to talk with each patient directly and recommend immunizations to them because they take our recommendations seriously."


CBS New app wants to deliver birth control to your door

Dr. Nathaniel G. DeNicola, a clinical associate at the University of Pennsylvania's department of obstetrics and gynecology, who is not affiliated with Nurx, thinks that online access to birth control is a step forward in improving women's health. "Contraception has been identified as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century by CDC," he told CBS News. "It is a great benefit that our field can provide."

In 2014 the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement supporting making oral contraceptives available over-the-counter.

"OTC availability of oral contraceptives will help more women get the contraceptives they need, which have long been proven safe enough to use without a prescription -- especially emergency contraception," the statement read.


Ob.Gyn News FDA requires boxed warnings for short-acting opioids

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded to the CDC guidelines and FDA announcement by advising women who are already taking opioids to consider staying on them during pregnancy. Neonatal opioid withdrawal is treatable and has not been clearly linked to long-term problems, while withdrawal during pregnancy can cause fetal demise, according to an ACOG statement.


New York Times Ask Well: Pregnancy and Back Pain

“Up to 60 percent of all pregnant women have some back pain,” said Dr. Raul Artal, a professor emeritus in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. “Women who engage in exercises to prevent low back pain experience less low back pain, and those who have it can engage in those exercises to ameliorate it.”

“Every single textbook of obstetrics will have some mention of lower back pain,” Dr. Artal said. “It’s a very common complaint.”

Dr. Artal is the primary author of a report on physical activity and exercise during pregnancy released in December from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which offers advice on how to prevent and relieve back pain.

“Strengthening of abdominal and back muscles could minimize this risk,” the report says.

“Despite the fact that pregnancy is associated with profound anatomic and physiologic changes, exercise has minimal risks and has been shown to benefit most women. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in physical activities before, during and after pregnancy,” the report says.


The Washington Post You’ve never heard of the powerful doctors making decisions about your health

Specialists such as gynecologists may choose to follow guidelines for earlier-age mammography, for example, because the most aggressive approach is “generally more protective” if a doctor is sued for malpractice, said Barbara Levy, vice president of health policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


Today Caffeine linked to miscarriage and dad's habit matters, too

Dr. Zev Williams of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said an important point to note is that a little caffeine is okay.

"So many studies, including this one, show that one to two cups of caffeine is not harmful," Williams said.

"And what I do end up seeing not infrequently, an effort to really be as thorough as possible, a lot of women will go cold turkey on caffeine. And what ends up happening is invariably these women will then develop rebound headaches and take medications to treat the headaches. Those medications may be harmful," added Williams, who was not involved int he study.

"So, it's probably better to just have one to two cups of coffee a day and avoid to having those medications to treat a rebound caffeine withdrawal headache than to go completely cold turkey."

"We think this is really good news. We know that vitamins protect against a lot of other adverse pregnancy outcomes."

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998