Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. As a medical specialty, obstetrics is combined with gynaecology under the discipline known as obstetrics and gynaecology (OB/GYN).
obstetrics deals with pregnant women and their unborn children, but there is lots of crossover between the two. For example, women may be referred to gynaecologists in the earlier stages of pregnancy, and obstetricians later in their term.
What work does a obstetricians specialise in?
Obstetricians provide surgical care for women during pregnancy and childbirth. They also handle postnatal care.
Some obstetricians choose to specialize in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM). This branch of obstetrics focuses on pregnant women who have chronic health problems or abnormal issues that arise during pregnancy.
When should you see an obstetrician?
You should make an appointment to see an obstetrician if you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. They can provide you with prenatal care and help you plan for your pregnancy.
You may wish to meet with a variety of doctors before choosing one to take over your care. During your search, you may wish to ask each obstetrician the following:
- What tests do you require during pregnancy?
- Do you attend the birth or the physician on call?
- How do you monitor the baby during labor?
- What are your thoughts on natural childbirth?
- When do you perform cesarean deliveries?
- What is your cesarean delivery rate?
- Do you routinely perform episiotomies? If so, in what situations?
- At what point in pregnancy do you start to consider induction?
- What is your specific policy around labor induction?
- What procedures do you perform on the newborn? When do you perform them?
- What type of postpartum follow-up care do you provide?
Once you find a doctor you like, schedule your prenatal appointments early and often for the best outcome.
You should also see your obstetrician for postnatal care. This enables you to:
- chat about birth control options, such as the pill or intrauterine device
- get clarification on anything that happened during pregnancy or childbirth.
- discuss any issues you may be experiencing while adjusting to motherhood or any concerns about postpartum depression
- follow up on any medical issues you encountered during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
- ensure your vaccinations are up to date