From Latin obstetrics, the obstetrics is the branch of the medicine who cares for the gestation, the Birth and the puerperium (the period from delivery to delivery woman returns to the state it had before gestation).
Obstetricians take care not only of the physical condition of the mother and her baby, but also take care of the psychological and social factors linked to motherhood.
The prenatal checkups performed by obstetrics allow to take care of the Health of the woman and her child so that the delivery proceeds normally. Throughout prenatal care, it is usual for the obstetrician to instruct the mother (especially when she is a first time) about responsible childbearing and family planning.
In certain cases, the obstetrician may order the induction of labor if you notice risks of maintaining the pregnancy. Induction can generally be done at any time after 24 weeks of gestation, although delivering a premature baby also carries risks to your health.
As for the delivery itself, it can be done by vaginal route (what constitutes the natural birth) or by Caesarean section (a surgical incision in the abdomen and uterus to remove the fetus). The obstetrician will work, in both cases, together with the gynecologist.
It should be noted that, in some countries, obstetrics is known as midwifery. The specialist in this science of health, therefore, may also be called midwife or matron.
All that said, it is clear that obstetrics has a great importance in modern society, both for pregnant women and for every child who comes to this world in a hospital, since it is about the area professional who is in charge of the health of future mothers throughout the entire process, from preconception to postconception, including the care of newborns.
It is precisely because of this importance that science has dedicated so many resources throughout history to make advances in this field. Before continuing, it is necessary to clarify slightly that there is a difference between obstetrics and gynecology: the latter is a subspecialty that deals with diseases of the uterus, vagina and ovaries. Experts say that it is correct to say that every obstetrician is also a gynecologist, but that the same does not happen the other way around.
In prehistoric times, women did not have all the support that obstetrics or other specialists currently offer them, but had to face all the pregnancy and even childbirth on your own. In fact, it is believed that when it was time to give birth she would go to the water to be able to wash and wash her baby. Regarding pain, he had to endure it in silence so as not to alert predators. His position did not resemble the current one either, but instead squatted.
In the ebers papyrus, one of the oldest scientific documents that medicine preserves, it can be read that the births of ancient Egypt were led by groups of women who had already given birth to, who offered their advice to the new mothers and they also prescribed drugs to treat different disorders in the uterus and vagina.
In ancient Greece, on the other hand, it was also women who cared for women in labor, although with an authority that brought them closer to current obstetrics. The first obstetric school emerged only in the 16th century, in France; By then, men had already achieved exclusivity in the field of surgery.