Having a child can be a life changing and enriching experience, and having the right healthcare provider by your side can be an extremely important source of support and information. An Obstetrician is a doctor that specialises in providing medical care and advice before, during and after birth, to ensure that you experience a smooth, healthy pregnancy. Some of the important functions that Obstetricians perform include:
Antenatal care is a series of appointments that begin once your pregnancy is confirmed and continue until you give birth. They are conducted by an Obstetrician and are intended as check-up appointments to ensure that you and your baby stay healthy. These appointments are focused on three key areas:
- Identifying your stage of pregnancy and the growth of your baby.
- Examining your overall mental and physical health, and recognising any risks you might be facing.
- To discuss anything you wish to know more about or any problems you might be experiencing.
These antenatal appointments are vital to ensuring that everything runs smoothly and can be a really positive experience, allowing you to educate yourself on anything you might need and helping you alleviate any worries or concerns.
As part of antenatal care, Obstetricians will perform a number of routine ultrasound scans throughout your pregnancy to check on your baby’s growth and health. These scans include:
- Dating scan: An early scan to identify your due date and observe the overall health of the child.
- Nuchal translucency scan: This is an optional scan that is performed to determine whether your baby might be at risk of having a chromosomal abnormality.
- Morphology scan: Is performed in the later stages of your pregnancy to create a detailed picture of your placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, cervix and uterus. It also examines the health of your baby and its position.
Nutrition in pregnancy is vital to both the health of the baby and the health of the mother before and after birth. An Obstetrician is a healthcare professional that can help guide your dietary choices and ensure that you are eating healthy and nutrient packed meals.
They can help educate you on what vitamins and minerals are important during pregnancy, what foods you should be avoiding and how to track your meals to ensure that you are eating the correct amounts. You will discuss important nutrients like folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D and ensure that you are eating the correct foods to satisfy you and your child’s needs.
Childbirth and High Risk Pregnancies
As the healthcare partner that has been with you from the very beginning of your pregnancy your Obstetrician is a wealth of information about you and your child. Having them present during your birth is important to ensure that everything is properly taken care of and that you receive the correct medical support for your needs.
If you are at risk of experiencing a high-risk pregnancy then the Obstetrician will also play a vital role in adjusting your prenatal care and advising on the delivery of your child.
Giving birth is just the beginning of the journey, so an Obstetrician will perform a postnatal check-up to discuss your pregnancy and any considerations you should take if you wish to have more children. They will also discuss your physical and mental health and ensure that you have the right support to continue to live a happy and healthy life with your child.