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What is Obstetrics?

Gynecology and obstetrics are twin subjects that deal with the female reproductive system. While Obstetrics deals with pregnancy and its associated procedures and complications, gynecology involves treating women who are not pregnant.

The field of obstetrics thus deals with the wellbeing of the pregnant mother as well as the delivery and healthy outcome.

Obstetricians closely work with the pediatricians and neonatologists to deal with the care of the newborn baby to reduce the chances of mortality and disease of the newborn.

Functions of an obstetrician

Gynecologists and obstetricians both deal with the wellbeing of females and obstetricians especially deal with pregnant mothers. The procedures and functions that they perform include:-

  • Normal delivery and performing essential assisting steps. Obstetricians are responsible for working in collaboration with midwives to monitor and assist normal delivery in a woman during labor.
  • Their functions include facilitating delivery by performing episiotomy that involves placing strategic cuts over the perineum of the pregnant mother to enlarge the birth canal.
  • Sometimes prolonged labor might require assistance to speed up the process to reduce maternal fatigue and fetal distress (rising heart rate and possible brain damage to the baby). This uses techniques like forceps delivery and vacuum-assisted delivery.
  • The Caesarean (or C) section requires surgical removal of the baby from the mother’s womb to reduce the complications that arise during labor. These complications in turn may cause death or damage to the newborn unless delivery is expedited with the C section.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized ovum gets implanted in any place other than the womb. Commonly it gets implanted in the fallopian tubes.

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