ACOG in the News: The Amazing Human Body, 2015’s Biggest Pregnancy Health News Stories, and New Boundaries Between Doctors and Patients

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.


New York Times C-Sections Are Best With a Little Labor, a Study Says

No one knows exactly why labor may be protective, but the spontaneous onset of labor prompts fluid to clear from a baby’s lungs, said Dr. Aaron Caughey, who helped draw up 2014 guidelines for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that urged providers to let women spend more time in labor and avoid an unnecessary C-section.

Childbirth and labor are “a physiological process that we’ve evolved to over millions of years,” Dr. Caughey said. “It’s been really well-designed by evolution.”


Huffington Post 12 Amazing Things We Learned About The Human Body In 2015

More women than ever (11.6 percent in 2013, up from 6 percent in 2010) before are using long-acting reversible contraceptives, like IUDs and hormonal implants in the arm. Dr. Hal C. Lawrence, CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says its no surprise, as the methods are “virtually foolproof.


HealthDay Doctors Rally in Support of Fibroid Device Curbed by FDA

Dr. Hal Lawrence III, executive vice president and CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said that the new article is a "well-timed, thoughtful document" that "really sheds some light" on concerns that gynecologists have had since the FDA raised the issue.

"If the FDA called and asked me, I would say let's step back and re-look at all of this data and make sure you made the right decision," Lawrence said. "Maybe you want to modify that decision."


MedPage Today Infant Mortality Rises With Maternal Weight Gain

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently released new recommendations on both obesity in pregnancy and recommendations for exercise in pregnant women. Raul Artal, MD, lead author of the ACOG committee opinion on exercise in pregnancy, was involved in a similar study about weight gain and pregnancy several years ago.

"Not only is there risk of stillbirth and newborn death, there is gene modification in the babies who are born. We know of at least 15-20 genes that get modified due to obesity and we see intergenerational transmittal of obesity patterns," said Artal. "Also many of these babies have birth defects, such as neural tube defects. We also increase the rate of diabetes from one generation to another." The 6 Biggest Pregnancy Health News Stories of 2015

From the safety of exercise to pot, ultrasounds, forceps and more, there’s been lots of research and recommendations for expecting women in 2015. Here, six must-read health news you’ll want to bone up on from the past year.


The Wall Street Journal The New Boundaries Between Doctors and Patients

Before, “you would see your patients in the hospital, or you’d see them in your clinic or, maybe, at a party,” says Sigal Klipstein, the chair of the ethics committee at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Now you can reach out to your patient and your patient can reach out to you in a lot more pathways.” Dr. Klipstein doesn't accept Facebook requests from patients on her personal page. And while she’s sometimes invited to christenings for patients’ babies, she doesn't attend.

Professional medical organizations are issuing new and updated policies to help doctors navigate these tricky questions. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a new policy on digital and social media in February that included a warning about venting about patients—even anonymously—on social media.


HealthDay U.S. births up, teen and preterm deliveries down

Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the new numbers show progress in women's health -- reflected in a record low in the teen birth rate, the decline in C-sections and a lower preterm birth rate.

"Better preventing pregnancies among teenagers means that more women will have the opportunity to complete school, perhaps pursue careers and wait until they are ready to begin families," DeFrancesco said.

"We particularly are pleased by the 8 percent drop in preterm birth since 2007 and the 3 percent drop in low birth weight since 2006," he added.

"This shows that more babies are starting off with a foundation for a strong, healthy life," DeFrancesco said. "And although cesarean deliveries will always be an important, life-saving part of obstetric practice, the decline in the cesarean rate shows that we are recognizing opportunities to avoid some cesareans and to counsel women toward successful vaginal births."


Medpage Today ACOG: HPV Testing, Vaccination Key to Cervical Cancer Prevention

In January, ACOG (the guideline-producing arm of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) along with several other major medical societies, released interim guidelines about incorporating HPV testing into cervical cancer screening.

"While not yet a formal part of any major society's recommendations, the practice bulletin includes the interim guidance from [the Society of Gynecologic Oncology] and [the American Society of Clinical Pathology] about primary HPV screening," said lead author David Chelmow, MD, in a statement released to the media. "FDA approval of the test was well supported by data, and I expect it will be formally recommended in major society guidelines in the near future. Providers choosing to use the test at present should follow the interim guidance."


The New York Times As Home Births Grow in U.S., a New Study Examines the Risks

Dr. Joseph Wax, the vice chairman of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ committee on obstetric practice, said the study showed “there’s clearly pros and cons to the different available birth settings, both with benefits and risks to moms and babies.”

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