Obstetricians - You're having a baby!

In most larger cities, the care of a pregnant woman is usually performed by an obstretrician -- a specialist in the care of both the mother and fetus during pregnancy through the delivery and continues to care for the mother with post-delivery check-ups. (Care for the infant, once born, is usually passed to the pediatrician or general practitioner except that the obstetrican may also perform the circumcision of the male infant).

The reason for a obstetrics specialist derives from the complexity of the life creation process. While a vast majority of pregnancies and deliveries go smoothly, it is a complicated process during which a woman's body undergoes tremendous stress in order to create a new life, and unfortunately, in a small percentage of patients, problems can arise. An obstetrician can use a variety of tests and tools to monitor the progress of the fetus and mother, suggest changes in diets and habits and prescribe medicines to correct many deficiencies and to ward off potential problems.

In many cases, the obstetrician is also a gynecologist (specialists in women's health) as well, and they frequently go by the shortened name of OB/GYN.

Who to Contact (click to visit)
See the advertisements on the right for which sites to visit to learn more.

To learn more about prenatal heart monitors that let you hear the baby's heart beat while still in the womb, see fetal doppler monitors.

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Updated April 12, 2004 - go to our list of medical specialties or professions page or river2u home