The Latin root word of the term ‘Obstetrics’ means “to stand by.” Obsteritrics is that specialised branch of surgery that deals with fertilisation, pregnancy, delivery and puerperium (the period soon after the birth). The non-surgical expertise in this field is called mid-wifery. Most obstetricians are also gynaecologists as in most cases obsteritics is exercised along with gynacology. In its stirctest sense, gynacolgy relates to the treatment of irregularities in the female reproductive system.
Obstetrics and gynaecology is actually a blend of surgery and medicine. It is a branch of science, which envelops many interesting aspects of life before birth. It demands highest skill, be that in the field of surgery or in that of therapeutic solutions. Obstetrics involves taking care of a woman’s health in the most decisive phase of her life. Maternal and foetal medications, prenatal well being, oncological surgeries all need to be undertaken by an obstetrician.
An obstetrician has the dual responsibility of taking care of two lives, both of the mother and that of her baby. The introduction of preconception preparation, pregnancy diagnostic techniques, monthly antenatal care and foetal monitoring in labour has minimised the risk factor involved in delivery. Earlier, obstetrics was a field that involved too many perils. The advancements made in neonatal care have considerably decreased the death rate associated with pregnancy and labour. Thanks to the fast developments made in obstetrics, the newborn mortality has been reduced from one hundred per thousand in 1900 to just six per thousand born in 2000. Progress in obstetrics was not made in isolation. It was the result of collaborative steps made with many other fields such as midwifery, radiology, child health, lab technology, genitourinary medications, radiography etc. The achievements made in the science of obstetrics have been so immense that women now have high expectations regarding their own care and that of their newborn baby.