Obstetrics is the field of study in medical science that deals with reproductive health. Since, it is a woman who bears and gives birth to children, the focus of study in this field naturally falls on a woman’s reproductive health. Men’s reproductive health forms only a small part of this discipline. The field of obstetrics dealt with women’s reproductive health only after conception of the baby. The three phases in which women’s health are categorized are during pregnancy, at childbirth and in the post-partum period. The other related medical field is known as gynaecology. This field deals with reproductive health of women in entirety, that is, right from beginning of reproductive age at puberty to its end at menopause.
Unlike traditional medicine, modern medicine looks at the two fields of gynaecology and obstetrics as direct complements of each other. Gynaecology studies the reproductive health of women in its entirety. Obstetrics deals with the specialized case of childbearing and childbirth. Thus, the two fields are now tagged together and popularly known as OB-GYN. Most of the specialist gynaecologists of any reputed IVF clinic Brisbane Northside are also specialist of obstetrics.
The obstetrician deals with one of the most crucial phases in human life, namely, the creation of new life. Alongside creation of a new life, the initiation of parenthood is also a momentous time in the lives of the mother and father. It is especially important for the mother as she is the one actually experiencing the whole process of childbearing and childbirth. The first job of an obstetrician is prenatal care. This involves a whole sequence of medical tests to check for any potential complications in pregnancy or risk to the foetus. The next role played is during childbirth where the obstetrician holds the responsibility of ensuring a trauma-free labor and care of the newborn in the crucial first minutes of its life. The third role is postnatal care, that is, care of mother and child after the process of childbirth is over, the first few days after birth being the most crucial for both.
Traditionally, the professions of gynaecology and obstetrics were considered distinct from each other, especially during the era of midwifery. However, interestingly, although midwives were exclusively women, gynaecology was a largely male dominated field in the very same era. An important reason for this was definitely the existence of various hurdles to women pursuing higher studies or specialized professions, like medicine. In recent times, as these hurdles have gradually lifted, more and more women are seen to enter this field to the extent that now, this field may be considered to be actually dominated by women.