Health Library

Obstetrician

Obstetricians (also called OBs) are medical doctors who specialize in the care of pregnant women, from the time of conception through delivery and the period following delivery (postpartum). Most obstetricians are also gynecologists who diagnose and treat diseases of the female reproductive system and provide care for women when they are not pregnant.

An obstetrician can further specialize in perinatology (maternal-fetal medicine), which focuses on high-risk pregnancies, testing, and fetal development, or an obstetrician may specialize in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (care of women who have hormonal or fertility problems).

Obstetricians can be board-certified through the Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 8/20/2010