Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) is a surgical field which is concentrated on pregnancy, labour, childbirth and postpartum period. The physician who has completed the specialized training and education in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology is known as an obstetrician. Obstetrician/Gynecologist provides medical and surgical care to women and has expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the reproductive system. This includes prenatal care, preventative care, detection of sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, etc. Obstetrician/Gynecologist is also known as OB/GYN can serve as consultants to other physicians or can also work as a primary physician. They have a broad base of knowledge and can be specialized in areas such as-
Obstetrics/Gynecology is divided into four subspecialties –
Obstetricians handle high-risk pregnancies with the help of well-trained nurses and intensive care unit. To manage the newborn emergencies a pediatrician is present for deliveries.
Some of the services provided by Obstetricians are –
Some of the services provided by Gynecologists are –
Maternal-fetal medicine is a subspecialty of obstetrics. Maternal-fetal medicine is also known as perinatology which focuses on managing health concern of mother and fetus before, during and shortly after the pregnancy. Maternal-fetal medicine specialist can perform prenatal tests, provide treatments and perform surgeries. They can handle low risk as well as high-risk pregnancies. During 1960s maternal-fetal medicine emerge as a discipline of medical science. Advance research and technology allowed the specialists to diagnose and treat fetal complications. Before 1960s obstetricians have to rely only on heart rate monitoring and maternal reports. The development of amniocentesis, fetal blood sampling, more precise fetal heart monitoring and real-time ultrasound were the inventions which lead to lower mortality rates. Maternal-fetal medicine is one of the most rapidly growing fields in medicines especially regarding fetus. Fetal gene and stem cell therapy are the topic of advanced research which can provide early treatment for genetic disorders, open fetal surgery for the correction of birth defects like congenital heart disease and prevention of preeclampsia.
Sometimes the medical problems of a woman and family history can affect the unborn child, and sometimes fetus can have issues of their own. Maternal-fetal medicine specialist ensures that mother and fetus get the best possible treatment and care. Genetic counseling can be helpful for them who have some known genetic disorder, take medication for a disease that runs in the family or in some tests you get to know that your baby might have a congenital disability. Some tasks performed by maternal-fetal medicine specialists are-
You need to consult with a maternal fetal medicine doctor when you are pregnant with twins which is considered as a high-risk pregnancy or before you conceive, you know you have heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disease, seizure, blood clotting disorder, or infection such as cytomegalovirus, HIV, parvovirus or you had pregnancy problem in past such as preterm birth. When you are consulting with a maternal fetal medicine doctor, it gives you confidence that you and your baby are getting best possible care.