Who is that Masked Man? Meeting the Primary Players

If you choose to give birth in a hospital, you’re likely to witness a large number of people parading in and out of the delivery room. Who are all of these masked men and women? Educating yourself about the names and roles of the primary players will help you feel more at-ease on delivery day.

  • An obstetrician, also known as an OB, is a physician who specializes in childbirth. Your OB will work with you during every stage of your pregnancy from the moment you conceive to your postpartum recovery. Choosing an OB you like and trust is very important – interview doctors carefully before making your decision.
  • A perinatologist is an obstetrician who has specialized in the care of problem pregnancies. If there’s an unusual finding or an abnormal growth pattern, your regular obstetrician may consult with a perinatologist. And if you have a high-risk pregnancy, the perinatologist might be your main health care provider.
  • If you elect any type of pain relief, and certainly if you need an emergency C-section, the anesthesiologist (a physician specializing in anesthesia) will become very important to you. In addition to relieving your pain, they’re also there to watch out for you and protect you through every moment of your delivery.
  • A neonatologist usually works exclusively in the Intensive Care Nursery and specializes in the care of very sick or premature babies. Though a neonatologist will typically be called in only if there’s a problem, don’t panic – their expertise makes them highly qualified to handle any problem situation that may arise.
  • The Respiratory Therapist (RT) is usually only called in for resuscitations. If your baby is having difficulty breathing or has an obstructed airway passage, an RT can help save your son or daughter’s life.
  • The people you’ll see most often during your hospital stay are the nurses, and it’s important to remember that not all nurses are the same. Knowing their titles and varying levels of experience is important. A Registered Nurse (RN) has completed all of the training and mentoring required for the title. A Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), on the other hand, does not have the same level of education and training, and though they can assist in your care, they should never administer medications by themselves. A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) assists the head anesthesiologist and may work under the direction of the surgeon.

Going into the delivery room knowing what to expect is crucial. If you know the people you’re likely to meet, you’ll feel safer, better educated, and prepared. Just pronouncing the word “perinatologist” correctly will earn you major hospital points!

Visit www.SafeBabySystem.com for more info on the team of hospital professionals.