An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the management of pregnancy, labor and birth. He/she also receives specialized education in the area of the female reproductive system and surgical care. Much of their education focuses on the detection and management of obstetrical and gynaecological problems.
AIMS OF ANTENATAL CARE
To identify potential complications for either the mother or foetus so that these can be managed properly
To provide information to the expecting mother regarding her care, and screening tests for her and the foetus, in a way that she can understand, which in turn will enable her to make wise decisions
To monitor and promote the health of the foetus
To prepare the mother for the events of pregnancy and birth
The antenatal period is a good time for pregnant women and their partners to seek support regardless of whether he or she is feeling depressed. It is also a time of exposure of their expectations of life as new parents, their fears, concerns and questions. For some men and women, this period may also involve depression and anxiety, known as Antenatal Depression.
Health professionals who provide antenatal care must be able to view childbearing women and their families comprehensively. It is important that they are able to make out the early signs of antenatal and postnatal depression, especially since women tend to hide their feelings. Asking the right questions can encourage her to talk about her concerns and prevent depression and anxiety, thereby making childbirth and early parenting more difficult. Once identified, extra supports and care can be established to ensure the new parents and family are adequately supported. These health care service professionals include midwives, obstetricians and shared care general practitioners across the public and private sectors.
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