Women who require medical care during pregnancy and birth are most likely to see an obstetrician (OB). The specialist deals with pregnancy and female reproductive health. Continue reading to learn more about obstetrician services. 

What Is an Obstetrician?

Obstetricians provide medical care to women during pregnancy, delivery, and after childbirth. In particular, obstetricians are experts in pregnancy complications, and they can offer interventions such as cesarean deliveries. Also, there are obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYNs) who have qualifications in women's reproductive health. Such specialists can provide a wide range of medical services, including screening for cancer and sexually transmitted infections. Then, other obstetricians focus on maternal-fetal medicine that deals with chronic health conditions and abnormalities during pregnancy. Notably, obstetricians can perform surgical procedures like hysterectomy, laparoscopic, and laparotomy. Besides being your primary care physician, an obstetrician can serve as a consultant to other physicians. 

What Are the Qualifications of an Obstetrician?

An OB must earn a bachelor's degree before graduating from medical school. The physicians study general medicine and become apprentices to doctors. Then, the obstetrician undertakes a residency. Usually, the residency involves observing and performing different obstetric procedures to gain confidence and accuracy. Lastly, the doctors sit for a medical licensing examination after completing the residency. In addition, the physicians must complete continuing education annually to maintain state licenses. Also, they can join professional bodies like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society. Thus, becoming an obstetrician is a long educational process. 

What Do Obstetricians Do?

You may require a referral from a doctor to see an OB, but not all visits require a referral. Typically, the first visit to an obstetrician happens during antenatal care. During the routine visits, the physician checks your health and identifies any risk to your pregnancy. Such check-ups include inspecting the baby's position and growth through ultrasounds. The doctor may advise on lifestyle changes to protect the baby's health. Usually, a pregnant mother makes several visits to the obstetrician during the pregnancy. 

During labor and birth, you may only need the care of midwives. However, there is a need for an obstetrician to handle birth complications and emergencies. For instance, an obstetrician can deliver a baby in the breech position or oversee cesarean sections. Obstetric care continues immediately after childbirth and weeks after birth.   

Book an appointment with an ob for any concerns about your pregnancy. The physicians provide quality care for mothers and children during prenatal and postpartum periods.