An obstetrician is basically is a medical doctor who is specially trained to look after mothers and infants during pregnancy, labor and straight after birth. According to Dr Matthew Boente these professionals ideally have the skills and experience needed to detect and manage various types of obstetric and gynecological problems. Dr. Boente himself specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology, with a sub-specialty in Gynecologic Oncology. He mentions that obstetricians have the skills to manage complex and high-risk pregnancies and births, and can perform interventions and caesareans. Many of these medical professionals, like Dr. Boente, are trained in women’s reproductive health or gynecology.
If a woman has a low-risk pregnancy and everything goes well at the birth, they might not see an obstetrician at all. Matthew Boente MD however, mentions that going to see an obstetrician is highly recommended for women dealing with complicated or risky pregnancies. Women may have a high-risk pregnancy if they have a chronic health condition, are over age 35, are carrying multiple babies or have a history of miscarriage, preterm labor, or cesarean delivery. Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking, can also increase the risks in pregnancies. Depending on the pregnancy needs and preferences of a patient, the obstetrician will work with other healthcare professionals in order to perfectly care for the patient and their baby.
Dr Matthew Boente mentions that in addition to taking care of routine appointments and labor and delivery services, obstetricians also perform the following:
- Cervical cerclage
- Vaginal delivery
- Dilation and curettage
- Cesarean delivery
- Forceps and vacuum deliveries
In case a woman has a high-risk pregnancy, their obstetrician may also carry out certain tests. As per Matthew Boente MD these tests include:
- An ultrasound
- An amniocentesis, which can aid in determining the sex of a baby and identify certain genetic abnormalities
- Umbilical blood sampling, which can aid in evaluating certain infections, congenital conditions, or blood disorders
- Cervical length measurement to assess the risk of preterm labor faced by a woman
- Lab testing to measure fetal fibronectin, which also helps in determining the risk of preterm labor
- A biophysical profile, which aids in assessing the well-being of a baby through both heart rate monitoring and ultrasound
Women should ideally make an appointment to see an obstetrician if they are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. These medical professionals can provide women with needed advice on prenatal care and help them to plan for their pregnancy. They are always available to provide advice on birth control options, such as the pill or intrauterine device, and can provide women with accurate clarification on anything that may happen during pregnancy or childbirth. Women can also discuss any issues they might be experiencing while adjusting to motherhood or any concerns about postpartum depression with their obstetrician. They additionally provide follow up on any medical issues a woman might have encountered during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.