Pregnancy and childbirth are truly magical processes — even if morning sickness makes you want to tear your hair out. When your little bundle of joy enters the world, all of your pregnancy woes fly out of the window, and your focus is on your new baby.
To make sure as many women as possible get to experience that joy of childbirth, obstetricians help women make it through delivery safely — that is, they ensure the success of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
If you’re planning to get pregnant or you just became pregnant, but you’re not quite sure what an obstetrician does, this guide from the experts at New England Women’s Healthcare explains how an obstetrician provides essential care for you and your baby.
How obstetrics care supports a healthy pregnancy
Your obstetrician becomes your invaluable assistant as you progress through your pregnancy. You can ask them questions, voice your concerns, and discuss anything on your mind about your health, pregnancy, or this time of life in general.
Your obstetrician handles every aspect of your pregnancy, from regular check-ups to delivery preparation to postnatal care. Here are some of the ways your obstetrician supports your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy
- Administers regular check-ups and ultrasounds to make sure everything is going as planned
- Performs necessary tests based on your health history, your partner’s health history, and pregnancy progression
- Monitors your baby’s progress
- Manages any pregnancy-related health conditions, such as preeclampsia and fetal distress
- Supports you during labor and helps to induce labor if necessary
- Delivers your baby and provides postnatal care
- Provides resources throughout your pregnancy, from your first post-conception appointment to post-delivery.
What’s the difference between an obstetrician and a gynecologist?
Most people use the words “obstetrician” and “gynecologist” interchangeably, but they differ by technical definition. As a medical specialty, obstetrics is the practice of caring for women after conception, throughout pregnancy, and during childbirth. Obstetricians typically also handle postnatal care.
Gynecology, on the other hand, is a medical specialty that involves taking care of female bodies and their reproductive organs. Common gynecological practices include Pap smears, breast exams, and STD testing.
Your gynecologist provides most of the preventive reproductive care you need throughout your entire life, whereas your obstetrician provides specialty care during pregnancy. However, most obstetricians are also trained in gynecology, and vice versa. That’s where the acronym OB/GYN comes from: obstetrician/gynecologist.
To learn more about obstetrics care or to have a consultation with a doctor at New England Women’s Healthcare, schedule an appointment with us: Call our Woburn, Massachusetts, clinic at 781-787-3003 or request your appointment online. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.