There are so many occasions where I am invited by my patients when they celebrate the arrival of the long awaited baby after a hard time of treatment. They feel proud to become parents and want me to share their joy. I was desperately waiting for the party to conclude because there was nobody known to me except the host. I overheard a conversation where one lady was proudly announcing about the high-risk obstetrician she would be visiting in the subsequent months. I was little bit amazed with the way she was uttering the words like “high-risk obstetrician” as if she is an expert of the subject. This was not the first time I heard this jargon and it seems there is a craze to visit high-risk obstetrician after getting pregnant!
What is it exactly?
Well, it is in fact a specialized branch of gynecologists also known as perinatologists or MFM Maternal Fetal Medicine) expert. They are highly expert and able to deep dive in the problems of pregnancy and childbirth. They are typically more proficient in:
Sophisticated ultrasound techniques and special procedures like the tests of amniotic fluid, etc.
Understanding the probable problems that can be caused at the time of childbirth
They have great exposure of high-risk nurseries and have a phenomenal capability of handling premature and extremely sick babies
They are equipped to handle cases with complex medical history and complications
When a “high-risk obstetrician” is really required?
Although the female was boasting a lot about the “high-risk obstetrician” she was planning to consult, actually there are very typical scenarios when you actually need it. Normal gynecologists are capable enough to handle the normal and complex problems of pregnancy. Infertility experts like us are even more capable of doing it since we treat the infertility problem that has more complex facets.
In case of normal pregnancies, there are a few situations when you really need an expert that can help you in case of an unforeseen event.
Multiple complexities during the pregnancy: There are cases when females are suffering from multiple complex situations like fibroids, thyroid problems and history of repetitive miscarriages and so on.
Triplet pregnancies: They are extremely critical to handle and therefore require very special care. There may be cases with further complexities like obesity or diabetes where utmost care and absolute close surveillance is required. Sometimes there is a need of selective reduction in order to deliver healthy babies, and then it is the situation that can be handled by a “high-risk obstetrician” only.
Late age pregnancies: There are cases of late age pregnancies, typically in case of infertility issues where the prolonged treatment increases the age drastically. There are many problems associated with the late age pregnancies and therefore, always need an extra effort to look after the situation.
“High-risk obstetrician” is a specialized person that should be called only when it is really required. People consider it as a status symbol and unnecessarily go for it when it is not needed.