Obstetrics is a field of medicine relating to women's reproductive care, specifically the aspects pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth. Obstetricians specialize in caring for pregnant women, providing all the prenatal and postnatal care that women need. Here are four things you should know about obstetrics when deciding to become pregnant:
1. You will see your obstetrician several times over the course of your pregnancy.
An obstetrician will help you deliver your baby, but they'll also assist you in the months leading up to your delivery. Obstetricians provide prenatal care to pregnant women. You'll meet with your doctor regularly throughout your pregnancy. Your obstetrician will ensure your baby is growing at an appropriate rate. They will also screen you for gestational diabetes and ensure you remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. Proper prenatal care can ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child.
2. You can ask your obstetrician questions.
Women often have many questions about their pregnancies, especially first-time mothers. You may wonder if it's safe for you to eat certain foods or what exercises you can safely perform. Your obstetrician will be happy to answer any questions you have pertaining to your pregnancy and delivery.
3. You may be attended by a different obstetrician during labor.
Many patients want to see their primary obstetrician during labor. However, you may be attended by a different doctor, depending on the timing of your delivery. Labor is unpredictable. It can happen at any time of the day or night, and your doctor may not be on call when you begin experiencing contractions. If your obstetrician is not available for your delivery, you will be attended by another competent obstetrician belonging to the same practice. If it's important for you to see your doctor, you may want to discuss your labor induction options ahead of time. A planned delivery can allow you to control who attends the birth of your child.
4. Your obstetrician will provide postnatal care.
Your need for obstetric care doesn't end as soon as you have your baby. You will need to return to your obstetrician for postnatal checkups as well. Most women require postnatal care for at least six weeks after childbirth. During this time, your doctor will make sure your body is healing as it should. Your uterus will gradually shed its excess lining and shrink down to its original size, and your abdominal muscles will shift back into place. If you received a c-section, your obstetrician will check your stitches and ensure your body is recovering from surgery.
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