Whether you’re deciding what field of health care to go into or you want to know who you want by your side as you move through your pregnancy, knowing the various professions in the area of obstetric health care can be instructive. It’s not uncommon for a woman or couple going through the process to have more than one of the following professionals help them through what can be an exciting, rewarding, but also scary time in their lives. To decide which path you want to take (from either a career-oriented perspective or from the point of view of choosing someone as your guide), you’ll need to spend some time exploring your options. Here’s an overview of some of your choices.You may find more details about this at Obgyn-Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates of Hampton.
This is probably the most well known and respected career in the obstetric health care field. An OB/GYN is a medical doctor, with specialized training and experience in providing health care to women. Usually a doctor with this specific title will be involved mostly in dealing with pregnancy, although this isn’t always the case. Four years of medical schooling is required as well as an additional four year residency in the chosen field.
A CNM is a Certified Nurse Midwife and they are specifically trained professionals in the field of obstetric health care. These professionals are able to provide a level of comprehensive care from the time of your first visit upon learning you’re pregnant to beyond the birth of your child. They are registered nurses by education who have gone on to earn their master’s degree. Their master’s coursework will have had a specific emphasis on midwifery, making them more than qualified to handle your health care. Of course, for surgical concerns and complications, an obstetrician is usually standing by.
Many pregnant women will dispense with finding a specialist and simply stick with their family doctor throughout their pregnancy. A general family doctor has enough knowledge in the obstetric field to take care of all normal care, although he should be prepared to quickly refer his patient to a specialist should any problems arise. If you feel more comfortable using your regular doctor or feel that your career would be enriched by not tying yourself to any one specialty, this is a good path to choose.
Of course, the field of obstetric health care is vast and there are many other professionals, both doctors and otherwise, who can be of use during a pregnancy. Find some professionals you are comfortable with or find a path that will lead you to a career you find rewarding by keeping yourself open to all options.