What Is A Perinatologist, What Do They Do?

Have ever heard of the term “perinatologist”? Medicine is advancing faster and faster, and with it, new advances appear both in terms of knowledge and technology. One of the most recent professions whose name tends to surprise us the most, is perinatology, a new branch of gynecology and obstetrics. The woman who wishes to become pregnant generally seeks information regarding various aspects related to pregnancy. One of them is the medical personnel by whom she will be attended. 

Although most gynecologists are OB/GYN physicians, many choose to refer their patient to a colleague with more specialization in pregnancy to ensure better care for the patient. Throughout the entire gestation process, the woman must go periodically to different check-ups, in order to keep track of both her health and that of the fetus.

However, when the embryonic development and health of both the mother and the baby are not in normal conditions, the doctor usually refers the case to a perinatologist. Despite how strange the name may sound to us, it is nothing more than a more advanced professional.

What is a perinatologist?

The perinatologist is an obstetrician-gynecologist who completed a higher specialization in maternal-fetal medicine (MMF) and who is therefore much better trained to attend high-risk pregnancies or deliveries whose circumstances are unusual. Perinatology is a new branch of specialization in gynecological medicine.

Therefore, the perinatologist has in his hands the great responsibility of monitoring the development of the pregnancy when there are complications at the fetal level.

Both obstetrics and perinatology have a common objective of great importance: to ensure that both the health of the mother and the fetus are always in the best possible conditions to guarantee their well-being. This is accomplished through an accurate diagnosis and effective and early treatment of pathologies that may occur during pregnancy.

In other words, physicians aim to:

  • Reduce pre- and post-natal mortality rates.
  • Monitor the development of the fetus.
  • Prevent possible complications in the future.
  • Make diagnoses on time.
  • Take care of the health of both the mother and the baby.
  • Ensure that childbirth can take place in the best possible conditions.
  • Reduce stress levels of pregnant women.

The best option for us

If the pregnant woman decides to attend both the obstetrician and the perinatologist to be calmer, there is no problem. In fact, both doctors could work hand in hand throughout the entire pregnancy process. However, the ideal is to choose a single doctor who handles the specialties that interest us (generally OB/GYN) to save both time and money.

In this sense, we can affirm that timely follow-up is the key to success that will help the pregnancy to reach a successful term. Thanks to the work carried out by different medical specialists, the maternal and neonatal mortality rates decrease considerably.

How to choose?

Remember that there will be nine long months that will pass until the baby’s arrival, in which you must feel comfortable with your doctor to achieve both good communication and a maternity experience as pleasant as possible.

The first appointment with the doctor on you chose is decisive, so take advantage of clarifying any doubts you have (prices, appointments, how to locate him in an emergency, if he will be present at the birth, etc.). If you feel more comfortable, you can ask her about her experience and her way of monitoring the pregnancy so that you can get a better idea of the routine that you will follow together.

A great idea is to make a list of questions you want to ask your doctor, so you don’t miss any details. In the same way, clearly state how you would like your birth experience to be so that you can feel as comfortable as possible and reduce the levels of anxiety that everything related to childbirth entails.

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