What is Obstetrics?
Obstetrics is a subject that deals with the female
reproductive system. It covers pregnancy and its associated procedures and
the scope of obstetrics, the wellbeing of a pregnant mother as well as the delivery
and healthy outcome is important.
work closely with neonatologists and paediatricians to seek ways to care for
newborn babies to reduce infant mortality and the spread of disease.
Who is an Obstetrician?
obstetrician is one who has graduated from medical school and completed a
four-year residency program in obstetrics and gynaecology. In the residency
program, the obstetrician is trained in pre-pregnancy health, pregnancy, labour
and childbirth, health problems after childbirth, genetic counselling and
board-certified obstetrician has completed the residency training and passed
rigorous oral and written exams.
What does an Obstetrician do?
An obstetrician is a doctor whose area of specialisation
is in pregnancy, childbirth, and a woman’s reproductive system.
other doctors can deliver babies, most women see an obstetrician—also called an
take care of pregnant women throughout their pregnancy, providing follow-up
care like annual Pap tests for years to come.
the role of obstetricians is to take care of pregnant women and childbirth. They
do this in the following procedures and functions:
Delivery and Assistance – Obstetricians provide
essential assisting steps by working together with midwives to monitor and
facilitate normal delivery in women who are in labour.
Delivery – They place strategic cuts over the
perineum of the pregnant mother to enlarge the birth canal; a procedure known
as episiotomy. This facilitates delivery.
to Prolonged Labour – To reduce maternal
fatigue and fetal distress (rising heart rate and possible brain damage to the
baby), obstetricians provide a helping hand to speed up the process by using
techniques like forceps delivery, and vacuum assisted delivery.
Section – When vaginal delivery seems to be
complicated and risky for a mother and
her baby, a c-section is the best option. Obstetricians reduce this complication
by performing c-sections.
and Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy –
A pregnancy is said to be ectopic when a fertilised ovum gets implanted in
other parts of the body like the fallopian tube other than the womb. With time,
the fetus grows and poses a risk to the fallopian tube. It is the obstetrician
that detects and removes such pregnancy before it becomes fatal.
Cerclage Operation – Obstetricians help women
who have had previous miscarriages by placing sutures around the cervix to prevent
Cephalic version (ECV) – When a baby is not
seating in the correct birthing position (with its head down), an obstetrician
manipulates it from the outside to restore normalcy.
of Congenital Abnormalities – By using
ultrasound scan and techniques like chorionic villus sampling, abnormalities
like Down’s syndrome can be checked out while the baby is still inside the
Advice – Obstetricians provide advice on sexual
health matters such as in the use of contraception and fitting Intra Uterine
Contraceptive device (IUCD).
Check – An obstetrician makes use of ultrasound to
detect pregnancy and fetal wellbeing, including doing routine ultrasounds,
tests and measurement
- Obstetricians detect and manage abortion,
miscarriage and other procedures like Dilation and Curettage (D&C) or
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E).
Your OB/GYN will also:
- Advise you about diet, medication,
exercise and staying healthy as a pregnant mother
- Assist you to cope with leg and back pain,
morning sickness, heartburn, and other common pregnancy complaints
- Diagnose potential health conditions that
can affect your pregnancy or baby’s health such as genetic disorders,
infections, blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Provide answers to questions about
pregnancy and your growing baby
- Explain what happens during labour and
HOW YOUR OB/GYN WORKS WITH YOUR PREGNANCY TEAM
Your OB usually plays a central role before, during,
and after your pregnancy.
- Your obstetrician may recommend that you
and the dad-to-be attend pregnancy education (childbirth classes) organised by
nurses or childbirth educators
- Obstetricians work in collaboration with
nurses, midwives, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals to
provide your care.
- When it’s time to deliver your baby,
nurses or labour coaches will help you via the hard work of labour, but your
obstetrician will monitor your progress, and when the time comes, deliver your
- If your obstetrician works in a group
practice where the doctors share “on call” duties, another doctor in the group
may handle your childbirth. Ensure you find out about this when choosing an
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED AN OB/GYN
Midwives and family doctors can help you through with the
pregnancy, but there are certain conditions where seeking the care of an OB
becomes very necessary:
- If your pregnancy begins to develop
complications under the care of a family practice doctor or midwife, you’ll be
referred to an obstetrician
- Some women with high-risk pregnancies can
get great help from an advanced obstetrician well versed in complicated
- Women with a high-risk pregnancy or over
the age of 35 can get prenatal care from an obstetrician
if you and your pregnancy are healthy, you may still have to seek care from an
role of obstetrics cannot be overemphasised. It is vital in childbirth.