Labor and delivery is a highly specialized area using an obstetrics team. These teams are made up of highly trained staff. This team ensures safe care and delivery of new babies and mothers.
The obstetrics team working with new babies includes; physicians, surgeons and specialized nurses. Anesthesiologists are also part of the team. They provide pain relief and anesthesia. All the members of this team are highly trained to handle deliveries.
Years ago, many mothers and babies died in childbirth. There is a risk of infection, blood loss and oxygen deprivation. Merck manuals explain some of these dangerous complications. It takes nurses who are trained to see the symptoms of danger quickly. It also takes skilled physicians that are ready for anything.
Obstetricians are trained as both physician and surgeon. They can both deliver babies via vaginal route or perform cesarean deliveries. The anesthesiologist is also trained in labor pain relief and anesthesia for cesarean. In this day and age the obstetrics team working with new babies has lowered the death rate in childbirth.
Attention is now paid to obstetrics care. They physician monitors the mother and baby on a monthly basis. Weight gain, lab values and fetal heart rate are all checked often. Mothers are instructed on good health practices. Any issues during pregnancy are handled promptly. If babies have higher predicted birth weight, cesarean surgery can be scheduled ahead of time.
When labor begins, nurses at the hospital monitor the mother constantly. Doctors are only a phone call away if there is a problem. The obstetric team working with new babies are also trained in infant resuscitation. This minimizes problems after childbirth. Physicians/Surgeons who deliver babies also have a small amount of training in neonatology. They can care for difficult cases until a pediatrician arrives to take over care of the infant.
Being a physician/surgeon on an obstetrics team working with new babies can be tiring. The hours of work can be at any time day or night. Calls can come in at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. Specialists often cannot find someone to cover days off. This takes an enormous amount of dedication for doctors and staff. It is also a high stress environment at times. For the most part, it can be a very rewarding healthcare career!