Practice Updates for December/January: Updated Zika Virus Practice Advisory, Umbilical Cord Clamping, Care for Transgender Adolescents

Stay up to date with ACOG's authoritative clinical guidance and helpful patient education materials. The following provides Practice Updates for December 2016 and January 2017.


Featured Committee Opinion 684: Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth

Committee Opinion 684 reveals an update to ACOG guidance on umbilical cord clamping after birth. More recent research shows that, while preterm infants are likely to benefit from additional blood volume gained from the placenta, term infants can also benefit. These benefits may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes.

Given the benefits to most newborns and concordant with other professional organizations, ACOG now recommends a delay in umbilical cord clamping in vigorous term and preterm infants for at least 30–60 seconds after birth.

Committee Opinion 684 Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping After Birth is available in the January 2017 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Featured Committee Opinion 685: Care for Transgender Adolescents

A new Committee Opinion outlines ACOG’s recommendations and guidelines to help ob-gyns approach transgender adolescent patients’ needs with sensitivity and sound medical guidance. Ob-gyns play an important role in the lives of their patients, and it is critical that they are familiar with transgender medicine. Gender dysphoria, the distress caused by the incongruence between one’s expressed or experienced gender and the assigned gender at birth, may first present to their gynecologist. Ob-gyns can offer early behavioral support, educational resources, and referrals to specialists.

Committee Opinion 685 also notes that each transgender patient has a different experience, and an ob-gyn’s responsibility is to help each individual make the right decision for them.

Committee Opinion 685 Care for Transgender Adolescents is available in the January 2017 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Featured Practice Advisory: FDA Warnings Regarding Use of General Anesthetics and Sedation Drugs in Young Children and Pregnant Women

In this Practice Advisory, ACOG expresses its concern regarding a December 14, 2016 Drug Safety Communication from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) entitled "FDA review results in new warnings about using general anesthetics and sedation drugs in young children and pregnant women". In the Drug Safety Communication, the FDA announced that it will require warnings to be added to the labels of general anesthetic and sedation drugs, since "repeated or lengthy use of general anesthetic or sedation drugs during surgeries or procedures in children younger than 3 years or in pregnant women during their third trimester may affect the development of children’s brains."

ACOG believes that the clinical significance of these findings are unknown and could dissuade clinicians from providing women with necessary care during pregnancy. Therefore, ACOG continues to recommend that women in any trimester of pregnancy be counseled regarding evidence-based benefits and risks of any proposed interventions which may involve the use of general anesthetic or sedative agents, and that no woman be denied a medically indicated surgery or procedure which may involve the use of these agents.

Read the full Practice Advisory: FDA Warnings Regarding Use of General Anesthetics and Sedation Drugs in Young Children and Pregnant Women, updated December 21, 2016.

Featured Updated Practice Advisory: Zika Virus

The updated Zika Virus Practice Advisory now includes further information on the background of the virus and postnatal management of the virus. There is also updated information on which areas in the continental US that pregnant women should avoid or consult with their physicians before visiting. Be sure to check the list frequently, as the areas of local transmission in the US will likely change frequently. Also, read the Practice Advisory for recent updates on Zika virus testing and clinical management of a pregnant woman with suspected Zika virus infection.

Read the full Practice Advisory: Zika Virus, updated December 19, 2016.


ACOG helps you stay informed of the latest Zika information:

ACOG’s Zika webpage

ACOG Zika Toolkit, including patient education video and infographic endorsed by CDC

ACOG/SMFM Practice Advisory on Zika

CDC Zika Virus Website

State Health Department Contact list for ob-gyns (members only) for questions on CDC’s Zika Registry

State Health Department Contact list for ob-gyns (members only) for questions on testing

CDC Zika Pregnancy Hotline for Health Care Providers: Ob-gyns can contact the CDC Zika Pregnancy Hotline at 770-488-7100, or email for any concerns related to clinical management or the US Zika Pregnancy Registry

Office of Population Affairs' Zika Toolkit




New Committee Opinions

See all Committee Opinions


New Practice Bulletins (members only) 

See all Practice Bulletins

New Patient Education Pamphlets (members only)

See all Patient Education Pamphlets

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Patients

See all Frequently Asked Questions

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998