An obstetrician is a doctor that specialises in providing medical care to women during their pregnancy (antenatal care), childbirth, and provide postnatal care after the baby is born. Obstetricians are trained to handle complex or high-risk pregnancies as well as births. They are able to perform various interventions and caesarean sections.
As a mother herself, Dr Diale always aims to ensure that your pregnancy culminates in the delivery of a healthy baby, without impairing the health of the mother. If Dr Diale suspects any issues, prenatal tests need to be done on the fetus with the use of ultrasonography and blood tests, to allow her to diagnose any intra-uterine conditions non-invasively. Proper diagnosis is essential as she understands that a happy mom equals a happy baby.
Obstetricians also provide treatment and management for pregnancy complications that may arise during pregnancy, such as hypertension in pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, diabetes in pregnancy, preterm labour, just to name a few.
When is it necessary to see an obstetrician?
If you are thinking about becoming pregnant or you are pregnant, you should then make an appointment to see an obstetrician. If you are pregnant, it is essential to visit an obstetrician for prenatal care and make appointments as early as possible (first trimester) to get the best outcomes for your pregnancy.
Usually, women are recommended to see the obstetricians for the first time, for prenatal care routine, approximately eight weeks after their last menstrual cycle. You will see the obstetrician at least once a month from the early stages of your pregnancy, and you will be evaluated for developmental growth as per each trimester.
Postnatal care appointments are also recommended to enable you to:
- Find out about birth control options such as the contraceptive pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs), etc.
- To review on breastfeeding success or difficulties
- Get clarification on anything that happened during pregnancy, labour and childbirth
- To follow up on any medical issues, you might have encountered during your pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure
- To ensure vaccinations are up to date
- To discuss any issues, you may be experiencing after childbirth while adjusting to motherhood or about postpartum depression
- To get a pap smear done if there are no recent results
What to expect during my obstetrician visit?
Dr Diale will help ease you into the consultation by going through your history of the main problem, and other medical and social issues of relevance. She will then perform a physical exam alongside a pelvic ultrasound. The consultation’s focus will be on the little one’s development, the mom’s health and the little one’s health. The obstetric sonar will then be done on every visit to check the baby’s wellbeing in terms of fetal heart, fetal growth, movements and blood supply (dopplers), liquor volume, etc.
In terms of labour, Dr Diale will discuss childbirth options with you, and she may guide you in deciding according to your health needs. The different childbirth options include:
- Natural vaginal birth which is the birth of a baby through the vaginal canal. In some instances, when necessary instruments are used to hold the little one's head to help guide the little one through the birth canal.
- A caesarean section, also known as a C-section; this is a procedure that is performed when vaginal delivery or natural birth is not possible. The baby is then delivered through a surgical incision that is made on the abdomen and the uterus.
What conditions can obstetricians manage?
Obstetricians can manage conditions such as;
Medical conditions in pregnancy:
- Preterm labour
- Obstetrical haemorrhage (eg. placental abruption/praevia)
- Fetal distress
- Cord prolapse
- Uterine rupture
You may have a high-risk pregnancy for a number of reasons such as your age, general health, multiple foetuses or pre-existing conditions. If this is the case, Dr Diale will work closely with you throughout your pregnancy to monitor your vitals and help you manage your diet and lifestyle. You may need to take supplements or be on bed rest in some cases.
Yes, as an obstetrician, Dr Diale will deliver your baby either vaginally or via C-section. Just keep in mind that for her to keep her smile, she does need some days to refresh but there will always be a friendly and competent colleague to assist you on doctor's off days.
Yes, Dr Diale will provide post-natal care after you give birth to ensure you recover well. This may involve caring for surgical wounds if you had a C-section or episiotomy. It also includes contraceptive care and pap smear planning.