Kathleen Antony, MD, MSCI
Assistant Professor (CHS)

Maternal-Fetal Medicine
UnityPoint Health-Meriter
University of Wisconsin Hospital

Office Address
McConnell Hall, 4th Floor, Room: 456
1010 Mound Street
Madison, WI, 53715

Clinic Address
UW/Meriter Hospital Perinatal Center
202 S. Park (Meriter)
Madison, WI, 53715
Phone: 608-417-6667

Administrative Assistants
Elizabeth Cavadini

Kyndahl Lawrence, BS

Curriculum Vitae

As a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with a 70% clinical commitment, I have focused my academic efforts on obesity in the context of pregnancy. Obesity is the most common comorbidity of pregnancy and affects over half of all women who deliver at Meriter Hospital. Obesity increases the risk of many adverse pregnancy outcomes including sleep apnea and the risk of respiratory depression after surgeries, among many others.

As a resident physician, I performed a prospective observational study of 1600 pregnant women on obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy. As a fellow, I investigated the effect of obesity and gestational weight gain on the placental microbiome. As a new faculty member, I spearheaded several obesity-related projects.

The overarching theme of my clinical and research endeavors is to improve the peripartum care of pregnant women with obesity. Over the last five years, I have developed a regional reputation regarding research, education, and clinical expertise on obesity and pregnancy.


My current research interests include the following: 

-Obesity during pregnancy and the peripartum time period

-Optimizing the care of pregnant women with obesity from the antepartum through the postpartum time period

-Optimizing pain control of women in the peripartum time period

-Reducing surgical site infections following cesarean birth


2004 B.S. Chemistry and Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

2008 M.D. University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY

2012 Residency Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

2015 Fellowship Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

2015 Masters Clinical Investigation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX


Diplomate, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Subspecialty Certification in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Department Leadership Role

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Grand Rounds Liaison and Facilitator (05/2018 – 07/2020)

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Residency Research Program Faculty Advisor (04/2016-present)

Wisconsin ACOG Representative to the Wisconsin Counsel on Immunization Practices (06/2017-present)

Director of Inpatient Safety and Quality, Unity-Point Meriter Hospital, Center for Perinatal Care, Madison, WI (08/2018-Present)

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Resident Research Program Director (06/2020-Present)

Employment History

Ben Taub General Hospital, Harris Health System, Houston, TX, 2008-2015 (Residency, Fellowship)

Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women, Houston, TX, 2008-2015 (Residency, Fellowship)

Women’s Hospital of Texas, Houston, TX, 2009-2012 (Residency)

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX, 2010-2012 (Residency)

Michael E. DeBakey Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX, 2011-2012 (Residency)

Meriter Hospital, UnityPoint Health System, Madison, WI, 2015-present    

UW Hospital and Clinics, UW Health System, Madison, WI, 2015-present

Honors and Awards

Baylor College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident Research Grant 2011-2012

Raymond H. Kaufman, M.D. Resident Mentor Award, 2012

American Academy of Pediatrics, 82nd Perinatal and Developmental Medicine Symposium, Travel Award, 2013

Professional Services

Committee Member, Faculty Development Steering Committee, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, October 2015-October 2018.

Committee Member, Obesity Clinical Taskforce, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, September 2016-2019.

Committee Member, Obesity Research Taskforce, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, September 2016-2019.

Committee Member, Obesity in Pregnancy Workgroup, UnityPoint Health – Meriter Hospital, November 2016-2018.

Committee Member, Quality Improvement Review Committee (QIRC), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, May 2018-Present.

Committee Member, Placental Pathology Ad Hoc Committee. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, September 2018-Present

Co-chair, Obstetrical Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Committee, UnityPoint Health-Meriter Hospital, January 2020-Present.


Sigma Xi (Chemistry Honor Society),
Washington University in St. Louis

Phi Beta Kappa,
Washington University in St. Louis

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Prenatal care experiences among pregnant women with obesity in Wisconsin, United States: a qualitative quality improvement assessment

Danielle J Hurst, Nicholas B Schmuhl, Corrine I Voils, Kathleen M Antony

Published Date: February, 2021 - pmid:33588775 - BMC pregnancy and childbirth

Lidocaine patches for postcesarean pain control in obese women: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Kathleen M Antony, Jacquelyn H Adams, Laura Jacques, Scott Hetzel, Richard J Chappell, Sarah E Gnadt, Amye J Tevaarwerk

Published Date: January, 2021 - pmid:33451596 - American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM

A Matter of Time: Does Gestational Age Affect the Duration of the Fetal Anatomic Survey?

John R Poehlmann, Ainsley Timmel, Jacquelyn H Adams, Vivek K Gupta, Janine S Rhoades, J Igor Iruretagoyena, Kara K Hoppe, Kathleen M Antony

Published Date: November, 2020 - pmid:33155692 - Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Quantitative definition of neurobehavior, vision, hearing and brain volumes in macaques congenitally exposed to Zika virus

Michelle R Koenig, Elaina Razo, Ann Mitzey, Christina M Newman, Dawn M Dudley, Meghan E Breitbach, Matthew R Semler, Laurel M Stewart, Andrea M Weiler, Sierra Rybarczyk, Kathryn M Bach, Mariel S Mohns, Heather A Simmons, Andres Mejia, Michael Fritsch, Maria Dennis, Leandro B C Teixeira, Michele L Schotzko, T Michael Nork, Carol A Rasmussen, Alex Katz, Veena Nair, Jiancheng Hou, Amy Hartman, James Ver Hoeve, Charlene Kim, Mary L Schneider, Karla Ausderau, Sarah Kohn, Anna S Jaeger, Matthew T Aliota, Jennifer M Hayes, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Jens Eickhoff, Kathleen M Antony, Kevin Noguchi, Xiankun Zeng, Sallie Permar, Vivek Prabhakaran, Saverio Capuano, Thomas C Friedrich, Thaddeus G Golos, David H O'Connor, Emma L Mohr

Published Date: October, 2020 - pmid:33091010 - PloS one

Maternal Metabolic Biomarkers are Associated with Obesity and Excess Gestational Weight Gain

Kathleen M Antony, Mona Romezi, Kourtnee Lindgren, Kristen B Mitchell, Susan F Venable, Diana A Racusin, Melissa A Suter, Kjersti M Aagaard

Published Date: April, 2020 - pmid:32232816 - American journal of perinatology

Population-Based Estimation of the Preterm Birth Rate in Lilongwe, Malawi: Making Every Birth Count

Kathleen M Antony, Peter N Kazembe, Ryan M Pace, Judy Levison, Henry Phiri, Grace Chiudzu, Ronald Alan Harris, Rose Chirwa, Mary Nyondo, Ellina Marko, Andrew Chigayo, Debora Nanthuru, Bertha Banda, Nicholas Twyman, Susan M Ramin, Susan P Raine, Michael A Belfort, Kjersti M Aagaard

Published Date: March, 2020 - pmid:32158618 - AJP reports

Peripartum Blood Transfusion Among Rural Women in the United States

Ellen M Hartenbach, Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, Madelyne Z Greene, Emily A Shrider, Kathleen M Antony, Deborah B Ehrenthal

Published Date: February, 2020 - pmid:32028506 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Travel During Pregnancy: A Study of Postpartum Women in Madison, Wisconsin

Lauren Melidosian, Elizabeth Evans, Katharina Stewart, Kathleen M Antony

Published Date: November, 2019 - pmid:31682746 - WMJ : official publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin

Detailed Fetal Anatomic Ultrasound Examination Duration and Association With Body Mass Index

Vivek K Gupta, Jacquelyn H Adams, Timothy Heiser, J Igor Iruretagoyena, Kara K Hoppe, Kathleen M Antony

Published Date: September, 2019 - pmid:31503163 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Population-Based Estimation of Dental Caries and Periodontal Disease Rates of Gravid and Recently Postpartum Women in Lilongwe, Malawi

Kathleen M Antony, Peter N Kazembe, Ryan M Pace, Judy Levison, Jesse Mlotha-Namarika, Henry Phiri, Grace Chiudzu, R Alan Harris, Joshua Aagaard, Nicholas Twyman, Susan M Ramin, Susan P Raine, Michael A Belfort, Kjersti M Aagaard

Published Date: August, 2019 - pmid:31435488 - AJP reports

Operative Vaginal Delivery Is a Safe Option in Women Undergoing a Trial of Labor after Cesarean

Erin Krizman, Patricia Grzebielski, Kathleen M Antony, Emmanuel Sampene, Matthew Shanahan, J Igor Iruretagoyena, Justin Bohrer

Published Date: June, 2019 - pmid:31218115 - AJP reports

Nutrition and Exercise Strategies to Prevent Excessive Pregnancy Weight Gain: A Meta-analysis

Katherine A Craemer, Emmanuel Sampene, Nasia Safdar, Kathleen M Antony, Cynthia K Wautlet

Published Date: May, 2019 - pmid:31041118 - AJP reports

Qualitative assessment of knowledge transfer regarding preterm birth in Malawi following the implementation of targeted health messages over 3 years

Kathleen M Antony, Judy Levison, Melissa A Suter, Susan Raine, Grace Chiudzu, Henry Phiri, Joseph Sclafani, Michael Belfort, Peter Kazembe, Kjersti M Aagaard

Published Date: February, 2019 - pmid:30774452 - International journal of women's health

Structured Training for Fetal Diagnostic Skills in a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship

Kathleen M Antony, Nauman Khurshid, Barbara Trampe, Vivek K Gupta, J Igor Iruretagoyena, Katharina S Stewart, Dinesh Shah

Published Date: October, 2018 - pmid:30370179 - AJP reports

Maternal obesity is not associated with increased crown-rump length in first-trimester ultrasounds of singleton gestations

Geoffrey H Gordon, Kathleen M Antony, Emmanuel Sampene, Jesus Igor Iruretagoyena

Published Date: February, 2018 - pmid:29415594 - The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians


Gordon GH, Berdahl DM, Hoppe KK, Antony KM. “The use of sildenafil in severe early-onset fetal growth restriction: a case report and review of current literature.” Frontiers in Women’s Health. 2018 Jun 11: 3(3): 1-4. doi: 10.15761/FWH.1000147


Chu D, Ma J, Prince A, Antony K, Seferovic M, Aagaard K. “Maturation of the infant microbiome community structure and function across multiple body sites and in relation to mode of delivery.” Nature Medicine. 2017 Mar;23(3):314-326. PMID: 28112736

Antony KM, Ehrenthal D, Evensen A, Iruretagoyena JI. “Travel During Pregnancy: Considerations for the Obstetric Provider.” Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 2017 Feb;72(2):97-115. PMID: 28218771

Antony KM, Hemarajata P, Chen J, Morris J, Cook C, Masalas D, Gedminas M, Brown A, Versalovic J, Aagaard K. “Generation and validation of a universal perinatal database and biospecimen repository: PeriBank.” Journal of Perinatology. 2016 Nov; 36(11):921-929. PMID: 27629376

Chabarria KC, Racusin DA, Antony KM, Kahr M, Suter MA, Mastrobattista JM, Aagaard KM. “Marijuana Use and its Effects in Pregnancy.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2016 Oct; 215(4):506.e1-7. PMID: 27263998

Chu DM, Antony KM, Ma J, Prince AL, Showalter L, Moller M, Aagaard KM. “The early infant gut microbiome varies in association with a maternal high-fat diet.” Genome Medicine. 2016 Aug 9; 8(1):77. PMID: 27503374

Racusin DA, Antony KM, Haase J, Bondy M, Aagaard KM. “Mode of delivery in Premature Neonates: Does it Matter?” American Journal of Perinatology Reports. 2016 Jul;6(3):e251-9. PMID: 27468363

Kahr MK, Antony KM, DelBeccaro M, Hu M, Aagaard KM, Suter MA. “Increasing Maternal Obesity is Associated with Alterations in both Maternal and Neonatal Thyroid Hormone Levels.” Clinical Endocrinology. 2016 Apr;84(4):551-7. PMID: 26562744

Racusin DA, Villarreal S, Antony KM, Harris RA, Mastrobattista J, Wesley L, Shamshirsaz A, Belfort M, Aagaard KM. “The Role of MSAFP and Ultrasonography in Contemporary Detection of Spina Bifida.” American Journal of Perinatology. 2015 Dec; 3(14):1287-91. PMID: 26332586

Antony KM, Ma J, Mitchell KB, Racusin DA, Versalovic J, Aagaard K. “The Preterm Placental Microbiome Varies in Association with Excess Maternal Gestational Weight Gain.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2015 May; 212(5):653.e1-16. PMID: 25557210

Antony KM, Mansouri R, Arndt M, Hui SR, Jariwala P, Moreland McMullen V, Teruya J, Aagaard KM. “Establishing Thromboelastography with Platelet-Function Analyzer Reference Ranges and Other Measures in Healthy Term Pregnant Women.” American Journal of Perinatology. 2015 May; 32(6):545-54. PMID: 25594216

Racusin DA, Antony KM, Showalter LA, Sharma S, Haymond MW, Aagaard KM. “Candy twists as an alternative to the glucola beverage in gestational diabetes screening.” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015 Apr; 212(4):522.e1-5. PMID: 25446695

Prince AL, Chu DM, Seferovic MD, Antony KM, Ma J, Aagaard. “The Perinatal Microbiome and Pregnancy: Moving Beyond the Vaginal Microbiome.” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. 2015 Mar 16; (5)6. PMID: 25775922

Prince AL, Antony KM, Chu DM, Aagaard KM. “The Microbiome, Parturition, and Timing of Birth: More questions than answers.” Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 2014 Oct; 104-105:12-9. PMID: 24793619

Antony KM, Agrawal A, Arndt M, Murphy A, Alapat P, Guntupalli K, Aagaard K. “Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy: Reliability of Prevalence and Prediction Estimates.” Journal of Perinatology. 2014 Aug;34(8):587-93. PMID: 24674980

Antony KM, Agrawal A, Arndt M, Murphy A, Alapat P, Guntupalli K, Aagaard K. “Association of Adverse Perinatal Outcomes with Screening Measures of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” Journal of Perinatology. 2014 Jun;34(6):441-8. PMID: 24603455

Aagaard K, Ma J, Antony K, Ganu R, Petrosino J, Versalovic J. “The Placenta Harbors a Unique Microbiome.” Science Translational Medicine. 2014 May 21;6(237)237ra65. PMID: 24848255

Prince A, Antony KM, Aagaard KM. “The Microbiome and Development: A Mother’s Perspective.” Seminars in Reproduction. 2014 Jan;32(1):14-22. PMID: 24390916

Sleep apnea during pregnancy

My Roles: Co-PI with Dr. Mihaela Bazalakova

Research Focus: Sleep apnea during pregnancy: evaluation of referral process, assessment of screening tools, development of new tools, and evaluation of obstetric outcomes

The purpose of this study is multi-fold. The overarching goal is to harness the database of women referred for sleep apnea screening that we created for quality improvement purposes to further improve the quality of care for pregnant women who may have sleep apnea. However, we also seek to compare groups of women and analyze the questionnaires to develop a more optimal screening tool. 

Qualitative QI Project: Semi-structured interviews to understand women’s experiences and perspectives receiving prenatal care while pregnant with obesity

My Roles: PI, collaborating with Nicholas Schmuhl and Corrine Voils

Research Focus: Qualitative Obstetric Obesity Quality Improvement Initiative

The purpose of this intervention is to query women with obesity about their perspectives, preferences, and experiences with prenatal care, query preferred terminology, and also to seek input on potential programs that could be developed to facilitate a healthy pregnancy. 

Transdermal Lidocaine Patch for post-Cesarean pain control for women with obesity: a singleblind randomized controlled trial. (The ObLido Trial)

Sponsor(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Startup Funds

My Roles: PI

Research Focus: To determine whether 5% lidocaine patches placed around the skin incision following Cesarean delivery will reduce the total dose of opioids received in the first 24 hours after surgery

The purpose of this study is to determine whether transdermal lidocaine administered at the time of Cesarean delivery and for 12 hours postoperatively will reduce the total dose of opioids received. Our hypothesis is that a lidocaine patch will reduce the total dose of opioids received in the immediate 24 hours postdelivery. Secondary outcomes will include patient self-reported pain scores, patient-reported incidence of side effects, such as pruritis, development of objective complications, such as serious skin reactions (examples are acute generalized exanthematous pustolosis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis), hypersensitivity, nausea, and nervousness. Other outcomes collected will include length of stay, time to first rescue analgesic medication, total dose of opioids in 48 hours, use of supplemental oxygen during hospitalization, total dose of opioids during hospitalization, breastfeeding rates, both exclusive and in combination with formula use, amount of opioid prescribed at discharge and whether refills were requested or administered, rates of chronic pain at six weeks postpartum, and six week Edinburgh Depression Screen scores. Neonatal outcomes such as five-minute Apgar scores and development of adverse outcomes will also be collected.

The impact of Cesarean incision bupivacaine injection on opioid use and pain after Cesarean delivery: the cesarean incision bupivacaine injection study (CIBI)

My Roles: PI

Research Focus: The purpose of this project is to determine whether our patients who receive bupivacaine injections in their Cesarean incision have improved pain or less opioid use after Cesarean delivery.

Cesarean birth is the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States, with rate of about 31.9% of deliveries. Pain management following cesarean birth involves a combination of opioid and non-opioid analgesia. Prescription opioid abuse and dependence has increased rapidly in the United States over the past two decades, with a four-fold increased rate of unintentional overdose using prescription opioids from 2000-2010. An evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that patients can indeed become addicted to opioids following treatment of acute pain, including after Cesarean birth.

The literature on the benefits of local incisional injections of local anesthetic and analgesic agents suggests it may be beneficial. Lidocaine injection at the incision site has been studied, but with and without epinephrine, with subsequent reduction in both post-cesarean opioid use and reduced post-cesarean pain. Bupivacaine has been less well studied with some studies suggesting that it is effective at reducing post-cesarean pain and others suggesting it is not.

A small number of obstetricians at UPH-Meriter currently attempt to decrease postpartum opioid use and pain by injecting bupivacaine into the Cesarean incision site. This is not a universal practice. Therefore, this project would consist of performing a chart review to determine which patients did or did not receive the exposure (injection of bupivacaine into the cesarean incision site) to determine whether this impacted the primary or secondary outcome, which would be opioid consumption and pain scores, respectively.

Post-Cesarean Birth Pain Management: Evaluation of Opioid Use Before and After Implementation of a Standardized Analgesic Regimen (aka: Standardized Analgesic Regimen and Post-cesarean Opioids (SARPO) Study)

Sponsor(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

My Roles: PI, mentoring Dr. Melissa Meyer, OB Resident Physician

Research Focus: To measure the total MME administered inpatient following cesarean birth.

The purpose of this study is to measure the morphine milligram equivalents (MME) dose of opioids used post-cesarean birth pre and post implementation of a standardized postoperative order set.

Post-operative respiratory compromise following Cesarean birth: the impact of obesity and opioids

Research Focus: The purpose of this study is to measure the composite rate of respiratory events among post-Cesarean patients and to measure the effect of obesity (by body mass index class) and opioids on such respiratory events.

Assessment of in-hospital pain control and opioid use after Cesarean delivery and its correlation with pre-existing anxiety disorders

Sponsor(s): Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

My Roles: PI, mentoring Dr. John Poehlmann, resident physician

Research Focus: In this study, we propose to evaluate the interaction between pre-existing anxiety via a pre-existing diagnosed anxiety disorder listed in the medical history, and postpartum pain control, via both self-reported pain scores in the first 24 hours after delivery and total opioid dose in the first 24 hours after delivery among women who underwent Cesarean delivery. We will also assess whether the indications for Cesarean delivery impacted postpartum pain and opioid use.

The impact of penicillin allergy on risk for surgical site infection in Cesarean deliveries (SSI/PCN)

My Roles: PI

Research Focus: The purpose of this project is to determine whether our patients with penicillin allergy have a higher risk of developing a surgical site infection that those who do not. If so, this would imply that penicillin allergy is contributing to surgical site infections. If there is a difference, this would prompt the surgical site infection committee to potentially change our approach to antibiotic prophylaxis in women with penicillin allergy who are undergoing Cesarean delivery.

Penicillin allergy is reported in 10-20% of the population, and most patients reporting penicillin allergy receive second-line surgical site infection prophylaxis, which are typically less effective. Cesarean delivery is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States, and carries a high risk of surgical site infection. However, no prior published studies have queried whether penicillin allergy increases this risk. For the past several quarters and years, Meriter Hospital’s rate of surgical site infection has exceeded the expected rate, and efforts to reduce this rate are ongoing.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Medical Student Obesity elective

2019 - Present

Role - Preceptor

Hartenbach, Antony, Ehrenthal, Greene publish interdisciplinary research in Green Journal

Ellen Hartenbach, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology, will publish an article in the March edition of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Peripartum Blood Transfusion Among Rural Women inthe United States” is an excellent example of cross-divisional research – the article was co-authored by Katie Antony, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Division of Reproductive and Population Health Director Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, and Division of Population Health members Madelyne Greene, PhD RN, Emily Schrider, PhD, and Daphne Kuo, PhD.

The study came out of a work group formed by Hartenbach and others to look at rural maternal outcomes. Before being published in the Green Journal, it was presented as an abstract at the 2019 ACOG national meeting.

The population-based retrospective cohort study evaluated peripartum transfusion rates for rural women compared with urban women in the United States. The study found that:

“The odds of blood transfusion were higher for women in rural areas. The results indicate that the rurality of the county where the birth occurred was associated with more transfusion. This may reflect differences in maternity and blood banking services in rural hospitals and warrants further study to identify opportunities for intervention.”

Read the whole paper here. Congratulations to Dr. Hartenbach and the entire publication team!