One of the main purposes of prenatal obstetrics is to continually monitor both the mother and the fetus during each stage of pregnancy- the first, second, and third trimesters- and to screen for and protect against any complications that may develop during this time.
During the pregnancy or prenatal stage, the obstetrician will carry out a variety of prenatal testing which can include measuring the size of the mother’s uterus (the symphysis-fundal height), the gestational age (GA) of the fetus, blood pressure, and general fetal screenings.
If the obstetrician discovers the presence of any abnormalities, either in regards to the health of the mother (e.g., hypertension) or the health of the fetus (e.g., birth defects or diseases), more specialized tests, such as an amniocentesis, will have to be run. Such specialized tests may be automatically run on women who have an increased risk for prenatal complications and conditions or have high-risk pregnancies, such as women who are older in age, have a history of pregnancy complications, or have genetic predispositions for passing on congenital developments or conditions.
Obstetrics during Childbirth
Giving birth is one of the most physically painful, yet wonderful events that can happen in a woman’s life. In order to bring about a successful childbirth, both the mother and the baby need to be monitored continuously during labor and delivery, making sure that no complications arise during any part of the birthing process.
During childbirth, the dilation of the woman’s cervix will be monitored, the positioning of the fetus will be kept an eye on, the heart rates and blood pressures of both the mother and fetus will be watched over carefully, and so on and so forth, until the woman has given birth to a healthy child or children.
For some women, obstetrics during childbirth is very, very crucial; there are some women whose pregnancies may need to be induced if the mother’s health is at stake or if the condition of the fetus changes and some women who have high-risk pregnancies need to be very closely monitored and checked on during childbirth to lessen the chances of a potential birthing complication from occurring. Depending on each individual woman’s situation, a number of different obstetric techniques or regimens may be used to ameliorate the situation.
Postnatal obstetrics refers to any care and monitoring of the health and wellbeing of the mother and her child (or children) immediately after childbirth and during the following six or so weeks, with the most careful and critical observations occurring during the first 24 hours after childbirth. The main concern of postnatal obstetrics and care is to keep an eye out for any deviation from normal childbirth recovery for the mother and from normal development for the child.
Postnatal obstetrics care can include any pain medication prescribed to the mother for any post-childbirth pains, breast-feeding instructions, and scheduled check-ups for the mother and child.
It is very important that the mother keep careful watch for any changes to the health of her child as well as herself, and to let her obstetrician know right away if any changes to either arise.