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What Does an Obstetrician Do? (Step By Step Guide)

What Does an Obstetrician Do

Are you trying to work out what your medical specialization should be? If you are interested in delivering babies and caring for pregnant women, then you may want to consider training to become an Obstetrician.

These physicians specialize in all stages of pregnancy, from advising on diet to providing aftercare. This includes managing and treating different types of health conditions that pregnant women suffer from. While this can be a very rewarding career, you need to devote several years to become qualified. 

So, let’s find out What Does an Obstetrician Do? And how to qualify for this specialist field. 

Duties And Responsibilities

This role involves guiding women through all stages of their pregnancy. Depending on where you work and your specialization, your daily duties can vary widely. Here are some of the types of tasks you may be charged with regularly. 

Providing prenatal care

Some women adapt to pregnancy more easily than others. Women who suffer from an ongoing medical condition may need specialist care. Others simply need regular consultation to make sure the fetus is developing properly in the womb. 

This includes looking for potential complications and helping to treat them. If complications are discovered, it may also be necessary to refer the patient to a specialist. 

Prenatal care for high-risk pregnancies

Women who have existing medical conditions often require specialist treatment to mitigate risk. It is necessary to closely monitor these medical conditions and make sure both the woman and fetus are healthy. This often includes lifestyle and dietary advice to help women prepare for childbirth. 

Some of the types of tests that may be provided include:

  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Blood type and Rh factor testing
  • Fundal height measurements
  • HIV screening
  • Ultrasound tests
  • Urine tests
  • Weight measurements

Delivering babies

Delivering babies

Helping pregnant women bring new life into the world can be one of the most rewarding duties of this job. It is important to be able to remain calm and focused throughout all stages of the delivery. You will need to constantly monitor vital signs and make important decisions when necessary.

The delivery can take many hours, especially for first-time mothers. When things do not go as planned, you have to be able to explain the options and make recommendations. This includes being ready to provide a Cesarean section in emergencies. 

Postnatal care

Patients who are recovering from a Cesarean section may require extra monitoring. It is essential to make sure that women are both physically and mentally fit and ready for motherhood. This includes helping guide new mothers into the next stage of their lives. 

Some of the postpartum conditions you may help treat include:

  • Infant care and breastfeeding.
  • Postpartum depression.
  • Follow-up on delivery complications.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Chronic health problems.
  • Contraception and birth spacing.

Performing surgery

Performing surgery

You need to be able to perform Cesarean sections as well as other emergency surgeries. Women who are suffering from pelvic pain or disease may need a hysterectomy. Endometrial, cervical, or uterine biopsies can be used for diagnosis purposes. 

Educating patients

You need to be ready and willing to answer any questions your patients may have. This includes providing information on reproductive health and caring for new babies. You may also conduct educational classes for women in a group setting to provide important prenatal information. 

Making hospital rounds

Patients may be hospitalized before, during, and after pregnancies. You will be charged with regularly visiting each patient and checking on their condition. This can include assisting with different stages of deliveries and providing nurses with guidance. 

Collaborating with other healthcare professionals

It is essential to be able to collaborate with healthcare providers in different fields. This will help you to take a more holistic approach to your patient’s healthcare and treat them more effectively. You need to know the skills and specializations of different professionals and be ready to refer patients to them. 

Caring for premature births

Caring for premature births

Babies that are born early are often smaller than average and may be underdeveloped. It is essential to be able to help mothers come to terms with any issues that arise from premature birth. This role also involves making sure both mother and baby are as healthy and happy as possible.

Associated tasks include:

  • Prenatal screenings, exams, and lab tests.
  • Evaluating the baby’s size, growth, and position in the uterus.
  • Detecting congenital anomalies.
  • Assessing potential complications.
  • Using ultrasound, blood tests, and urinalysis to monitor pregnancies.
  • Managing labor and delivery, including labor induction.
  • Providing postpartum care.

What Does An Obstetrician Do? – Specializations

There are several different areas of obstetrics that you can choose to specialize in. Doing this allows you to become an expert in the field and perform specialist care. Here are some of the main areas that you can choose to specialize in. 

Gynecologic Oncology

This involves diagnosing and treating cancer of the female reproductive tract. This includes performing surgery on tumors and overseeing chemotherapy treatments. Gynecologic oncologists also work closely with medical specialists like radiation doctors to manage cancer cases. 

Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Maternal and Fetal Medicine

This is also known as MFM and focuses on specialist care for pregnant women. These are usually women who have higher-risk pregnancies and are likely to suffer from pregnancy complications. Maternal and fetal medicine also focuses on caring for women who are carrying more than one baby.  

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

This specialization focuses on treating women who are having trouble conceiving. This involves diagnosing and treating certain endocrinological conditions that can cause issues. It is also necessary to provide holistic and emotional support to women and their partners. 

Education And Training Requirements

It takes several years to earn the necessary degrees and licensure to do this job. It is important to start mapping out your career path as early as possible to gain the necessary skills. Here is an overview of the education and training requirements for this role.


The first step on your path involves completing a bachelor’s degree. It is best to choose a course that includes foundation classes on a range of medical topics. This will help you to build a solid foundation for your further education. 

Medical School

You are now ready to invest four years in medical school. The first two years are mainly devoted to coursework covering topics like pathology and pharmacology, ethics, and medical law. This is followed by two years of hands-on experience working with patients in a supervised environment. This will largely involve meeting women in different stages of pregnancy and providing checkups. 


Further obstetrical training is provided after medical school through a residency program. This can involve complete rotations in the private practice of an obstetrician or in an emergency ward. Residency programs typically last for four years, and you will be paid for the work you perform. You may also need to attend lectures and seminars as part of the course requirements. 


This is the final step on your road to becoming qualified, and fellowships last between one and three years. This will provide you with additional training in your specialization, such as gynecological surgery or maternal-fetal medicine. The fellowship can also include teaching residents and medical students.

Licensing and certification 

Once you have earned your degree and gained experience, you need to apply for a license to practice. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers a special license to people who have completed medical school. This involves sitting and passing a written exam to prove you have the required skills and knowledge. 

If you want to specialize in a particular area, you usually need to apply for an additional license. Becoming board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties will help you take your career to the next level. This association offers a range of specialist certifications for you to work toward.

More Medical Career Guides For You

We’ve put together a collection of guides that you might find interesting such as my OB GYN Job DescriptionSonographer Job Description, and Midwife Job Description, or perhaps you’re interested in finding out what are Top Highest Paying Medical Jobs.

If going into nursing is a better fit for you, then check out How To Become A Paediatric Nurse, as well as our Neonatal Nurse Job DescriptionNICU Nurse Job Description, or how about our CRNA Job DescriptionSurgical Nurse Job Description, and Operating Room Nurse Job Description.

Lastly, we also have our Doctor Job Description, including How Long Does It Take To Become A Doctor, and finally, our Orthopedic Doctor Job Description for 2023.

What Does An Obstetrician Do? – Final Thoughts

It is essential to have a lot of compassion to work as an Obstetrician. This will help you to care for your patients more effectively and focus on their needs. However, like other healthcare professions, this job can become very stressful at times.

It is essential to be able to find ways to unwind while you are not at work. Although it can take several years to become fully qualified, your hard work will pay off eventually. The average salary for this role is around $200,000 per year.

All the best in your career as an Obstetrician!

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