Mercy's Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Discusses Sleep Apnea's Impact on Mother and Baby

August 17, 2015


A recent Canadian study reveals that sleep apnea can be unhealthy for a pregnant woman and her baby.

According to Dr. Robert Atlas, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy, Family Childbirth and Children’s Center, sleep apnea that's untreated deprives not just the mother but the unborn child of oxygen.

"So what you would theorize, based on this study, is that this fetus will then grow up to have different types of complications like diabetes, obesity and weight issues themselves and have something called the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a number of different factors," Dr. Atlas said.

The study involved only animals, so more research needs to be done. Sleep apnea devices like the CPAP or BPAP can help to treat it.


About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

Media Contact 
Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations
Office: 410-332-9714
Cell: 410-375-7342