Obstetrics is a specialized branch of medical science that deals exclusively with pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. It mainly deals with three major sections, namely,
Prenatal care, childbirth, and postnatal care. They are the primary healthcare provider staffs a maternity hospital must-have. Let’s understand them each in details
As the term suggests, it involves care and medication of an expecting mother to help her to carry a safe pregnancy towards a safe childbirth. It is further subdivided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester. The foetal assessment is an important part of the same. It is done by a series of ultrasonography, and if required, amniocentesis.
These routine procedures determine the gestational age of the pregnancy, number of foetus, the position of the baby and the placenta, determining the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. It is also, a very important tool, to determine the possibility of any congenital abnormalities. It addresses the possible conditions, a patient may suffer during pregnancies such as gestational diabetes, hypercoagulability, high level of the thyroid, and so on.
Duration, risks, and complications associated with labour vary greatly depending upon the type of delivery, and overall health condition of the mother and baby. The obstetrician evaluates the conditions before and during the labour to determine the type (vaginal or caesarean) of delivery each patient needs.
An obstetrician can also induce labour prematurely by various means in case of foetal distress, pre-eclampsia, or any other complications. Some of the complications that need emergency care and often surgical correction are an ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption, pre-eclampsia, uterine rupture, foetal distress, obstetrical haemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, puerperal sepsis, prolapsed cord and so on.
The obstetrician also provides medical care to the new mother after labour by looking for signs of any possible injury, infection, oedema, dehydration, bleeding, bladder malfunction or bowel movements. He or she also checks the vital signs like pulse, body temperature, blood pressure etc. before discharge.
It also includes tracking the health of the newborn as well. In case the infant needs special health care, the obstetrician may refer to (or accompany too, depending upon the condition of the newborn) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well, where, the neonatologists can carry on.
However, not every pregnancy can be carried out to a safe childbirth, as some might undergo a miscarriage or abortion due to various reasons. Obstetrics assist both these procedures as well. In a nutshell, a well-qualified obstetrics is needed in every aspect of a new life emerging.