Obstetrics is a branch of medicine concerned with the treatment of women during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and after childbirth. Obstetricians work to ensure that pregnancy culminates in the delivery of a healthy baby, without impairing the health of the mother. The mother's medical history and health status are initially evaluated. Her antenatal appointment varies according to conditions found during a physical examination.
• a woman goes through a lot of physiological stages
• a woman can feel nauseous and “throw up” (morning sickness) which should stop after 3 -4 months
• the plasma volume goes up by a half and the red blood cell volume increases only around 25%
• a woman needs more calories in the form of protein.
• both protein and carbohydrate metabolism changes
• a woman should take supplements of vitamins for more nutritional needs.
• the kidney and ureter is enlarged.
• pulmonary activity changes including increased tidal volume, smaller total lung capacity due to raising of diaphragm due t0 compression of the uterus.
• decreased expiratory reserve volume,
• Lower back aching due to centre of gravity movement
• Edema, or swollen feet, common during pregnancy
• In last stage of pregnancy how fetus is positioned to come out is determined: Head first is the norm but may present feet-first, buttocks-first, side-on, or at an angle.
Some complications include:
Induction – artificially or prematurely stimulating labor in a woman. If a woman does not eventually begin labour by 41-42 weeks, induction may be used, as the placenta starts to become unstable after this date.
Labour – during labour itself, the obstetrician may
• monitor progress of labor
• accelerate progress of labor
• provide pain relief
• surgically assist labor, by forceps, etc.
• Caesarean section, if vaginal delivery is decided against