Top 5 Pregnancy Facts from SMFM 2017

By Eva Martin, MD of Elm Tree Medical, Inc.

Every January, the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine hosts their annual conference, "The Pregnancy Meeting." I was honored to be able to join the party this year in Las Vegas, where hundreds of brilliant OBGYNs and MFM specialists came together to summit on the latest research pertaining to pregnancy. Naturally, I dutifully collected the most interesting factoids for my blog and Twitter friends. Below are the five most popular findings, as voted by the awesome @Elmtreemedical Twitter community.

1. Breastmilk "comes in" less than 72 hours after delivery for 70% of moms. Dr. Stuebe gave an awesome presentation about the long term benefits of breastfeeding, and included this amongst the many, many facts she shared with her audience. Yet another popular fact from this talk was that breastfeeding at least 15 months is associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

2. One of the most prescient challenges facing healthcare providers is pairing the incredible gains in digital health with actual improvements in health outcomes. A group of physicians in Canada has developed a new app called "HIP" or Health Improvement after Pregnancy. The app shares notifications and reminders with new moms to help them stay on track with health and wellness postpartum. I am anxiously awaiting the results of their studies!

3. An infant is diagnosed with macrosomia if he or she weighs more than 4000 grams, which is significantly heavier than average. Dr. Towner shared that macrosomic infants have a 9X higher risk of developing obesity later in life.

4. Dr. Mirsky presented new evidence from Kaiser San Francisco about re-doing GBS tests at term. Pregnant women are screened for GBS at their 35-37 week prenatal appointments so that doctors will know if they should prescribe prophylactic antibiotics when she goes into labor. Some debate exists about re-screening at term. The new results show that very few women change from negative to positive (5.6%). More importantly, in the vast majority of cases, the new results do not come back from the lab in time to make a difference in labor management. Therefore, the presenters concluded that re-screening isn't helpful.

5. Scientists presented data from radiology studies of infants affected with the Zika virus in Columbia. 80% of the infants showed cortical abnormalities on MRI. Microcephaly appeared on ultrasound 2 weeks later than other symptoms, meaning that microcephaly is not a great screening tool for detecting Zika.

We want to hear from you! Did you attend this year's conference? What was your favorite fact or talk?