An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and a woman’s reproductive system. Although other doctors can deliver babies, many women see an obstetrician, also called an OB/GYN. Your obstetrician can take care of you throughout your pregnancy, and give you follow-up care such as annual Pap tests for years to come.
OB/GYNs have graduated from medical school and completed a four-year residency program in obstetrics and gynecology. The residency trains them in pre-pregnancy health, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, health problems after childbirth, genetics, and genetic counseling. A board-certified OB has completed the residency training and passed rigorous written and oral exams.
What Your OB Does
During your pregnancy, your OB will:
- Monitor your health and your developing babies’ health, including doing routine ultrasounds, measurements, and tests
- Check for health conditions that could cause problems during your pregnancy or affect your babies’ health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infections, and genetic disorders
- Advise you about diet, exercise, medications, and staying healthy
- Help you cope with morning sickness, back and leg pain, heartburn, and other common pregnancy complaints
- Answer your questions about pregnancy and your growing baby
- Explain what will happen during labor and delivery