Management of Lupus in Pregnancy: Birth Injury Prevention

In the 1970s, women with lupus were often advised against becoming pregnant because of associated complications that can make pregnancies with lupus dangerous to both mothers and babies. Today, doctors recognize that with proper medical oversight and careful timing, most women with lupus can have a successful pregnancy (1). However, it is important to note…

Sickle Cell Disease, Pregnancy, and Birth Injuries

Women with sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait (those who are carriers of the gene that causes sickle cell disease) can often have safe and healthy pregnancies, but there are certain risks that are important to know about. If doctors fail to consider these risks or mismanage associated complications, this can harm the mother…

Thyroid issues during pregnancy

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces thyroid hormones, which affect heart rate and metabolism.  A thyroid disorder occurs when the thyroid makes too much or too little of certain thyroid hormones (1).  Hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid is overactive, or makes too much thyroid hormone. It can cause…

Maternity Care Shortages and Birth Injuries

One of the major risk factors for birth injuries, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), is lack of access to high quality healthcare. This means that births may be more dangerous if the mother does not live near a hospital with trained and qualified staff, or if she is uninsured/unable to afford care.  Additionally, some states…

Increase in Drug Resistant UTIs: What Does This Mean for Pregnant Women?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a relatively common ailment, affecting about 50-60% of women in their lifetimes (1), and in many cases are easily treatable. However, if not effectively treated, they can lead to a variety of dangerous complications, especially in certain high-risk groups. One population particularly threatened by UTIs is pregnant women and their…

Postpartum Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Shivani Patel, wrote an op-ed piece for STAT in May that detailed her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during pregnancy (1).  Eight years ago, Patel learned she had preeclampsia during her pregnancy. Preeclampsia is not an uncommon pregnancy condition, affecting roughly 5-8% of pregnant women (2). It involves high blood pressure,…

Episiotomies: Uses, Guidelines, and Recent Findings

A recent story in HuffPost entitled “Why Are We Still Cutting Women’s Vaginas During Birth?” tells the story of a woman named Rachel who experienced an episiotomy during childbirth (1). An episiotomy is an incision made to the perineum, the area between the vaginal opening and the anus, to aid in delivery (2).  Rachel heard…