Prenatal Exposures: What Do Providers Know?

September 30, 2014
11:00 am US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Speaker presentation slides:

Dr. Buchanan: Fish Consumption for Clinicians: Increasing Knowledge of the Risks and Benefits of Fish and Evaluating Clinical Screening for Mercury - Download the PDF

Dr. Maizes: Evaluating an Online Environmental Health Course for Healthcare Professionals: An Integrative Approach - Download the PDF

Dr. Stotland: Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment - Download the PDF

Additional resources of interest:

Buchanan S. Protecting the Fetus from Harmful Pollutants: Lead, pesticides, mercury, and endocrine disruptors. February 6, 2012. Environmental Health Policy Institute, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Sathyanarayana S, Focareta J, Dailey T, Buchanan S. 2012 Environmental exposures: how to counsel preconception and prenatal patients in the clinical settingAm J Obstet Gynecol. Feb 14.

Counseling patients on preventing prenatal environmental exposures--a mixed-methods study of obstetricians.Stotland NE, Sutton P, Trowbridge J, Atchley DS, Conry J, Trasande L, Gerbert B, Charlesworth A, Woodruff TJ. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 25;9(6):e98771. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098771. eCollection 2014.

09A. Preconception Counseling: A Critical Window for the Health Promotion of Children. Victoria Maizes. Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 November; 2(Suppl): S93. Published online 2013 November 1. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.097CP.S09A

Integrative Medicine in Residency Education: Developing Competency Through Online Curriculum Training. Patricia Lebensohn, Benjamin Kligler, Sally Dodds, Craig Schneider, Selma Sroka, Rita Benn, Paula Cook, Mary Guerrera, Tieraona Low Dog, Victor Sierpina, Raymond Teets, Dael Waxman, John Woytowicz, Andrew Weil, Victoria Maizes. J Grad Med Educ. 2012 March; 4(1): 76–82. doi: 10.4300/JGME-04-01-30

Views of pregnant women and clinicians regarding discussion of exposure to phthalate plasticizers. Sharma S, Ashley JM, Hodgson A, Nisker J. Reprod Health. 2014 June 21;11:47. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-11-47

Listen to Recording

Health care providers are a trusted source of information. They counsel patients to avoid a variety of risks, and promote good health habits. But recent evidence demonstrates that practitioners caring for the most vulnerable populations, pregnant women and their unborn babies, lack the information and training to confidently talk to their clients about preventing prenatal environmental exposures.

This call examined the scope of clinical provider knowledge about reproductive toxicants and explored possible strategies for increasing clinicians’ knowledge base. Dr. Naomi Stotland, from the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), presented findings from a survey of obstetricians about environmental health counseling. Dr. Susan Buchanan, from the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), discussed emerging practices in training prenatal providers in environmental health. Dr. Victoria Maizes presented data recently obtained at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine about an online course designed to increase in environmental health knowledge in health professionals.

Featured Speakers

Naomi Stotland, MD is an obstetrician-gynecologist nationally recognized for her research in the area of obesity and weight gain during pregnancy. Dr. Stotland’s research focuses on the relationship between pre-pregnancy BMI, weight gain, and birth outcomes.  She has conducted qualitative research with prenatal care providers exploring barriers to weight gain counseling, and has been co-investigator on several clinical studies of diet/obesity interventions in pregnancy. Funded by a CTSI T1 Catalyst Award, she has developed a smartphone app to help women prevent excessive pregnancy weight gain.  Dr. Stotland has been active in clinical work, teaching, and research at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital since 1999, caring for Latina women with high-risk pregnancies. 

Victoria Maizes, MD is Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and Professor of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and Public Health at the University of Arizona. Dr. Maizes is internationally recognized as a leader in integrative medicine. She stewarded the growth of the Program in Integrative Medicine from a small program educating four fellows per year to a Center of Excellence training hundreds of fellows and residents annually.  Dr. Maizes has helped develop national sets of competencies in integrative medicine for fellows and residents as well as learning objectives for medical students. She is the co-editor of the Oxford University Press text Integrative Women’ s Health and the author of Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child.

Susan Buchanan, MD, MPH is Director of the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. Dr. Buchanan is board certified in Family Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She teaches occupational and environmental medicine including children’s and reproductive environmental health topics in the UIC Family Medicine Department, School of Public Health, and Occupational Medicine Residency Program. Her research interests include the occupational health of vulnerable populations including day laborers and prenatal exposures to environmental pollutants. Most recently she has completed research on methyl mercury exposure among high-risk groups including pregnant women.

The call was moderated Karin Russ, National Coordinator of the CHE Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group.