Published on July 30, 2022

A provider holding a newborn.

Family medicine physicians with obstetrics treat patients of all ages

A woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant has choices when selecting a physician to see her through all the stages of pregnancy. She may choose a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, or she may prefer to partner with a family medicine physician with obstetrics.

Family medicine physicians are knowledgeable about a broad spectrum of care and work with a patient’s medical specialists to provide integrated care when it is needed. They get to know their patients well, understand each individual’s medical needs, and provide comprehensive services for everything from a sore throat to depression or diabetes.

Every family medicine physician receives training in prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care during residency, and can provide these services to their patients. They also care for newborns and children, and can be the primary care doctor for your entire family.

At ProHealth Medical Group, family medicine with obstetrics physicians routinely screen pregnant women and new mothers for depression, too. The nationally recommended screening helps physicians determine whether a patient may be in need of behavioral health care. Mild or moderate depression can be treated by a physician providing obstetric care, or they can refer the patient to a behavioral health specialist.

Over time, the family physician gets to know each patient’s concerns, health issues and communication preferences. The patient also becomes more familiar with the physician and more comfortable about sharing information and asking questions – essential aspects of high-quality care. Doctor’s visits can be even more comprehensive, clear and productive when communication is open and complete.

Additionally, when a parent and child have the same physician, the doctor has more information to use when making health and lifestyle recommendations.

When a woman is pregnant, the family doctor and patient have several months of prenatal visits in which to discuss health concerns, labor and birth, and the expectations of the mother-to-be. The patient knows the doctor who will be with her in the delivery room and follow up with her and her baby after the birth.

It is important for pregnant patients to discuss their needs and questions with the doctor in early pregnancy. For example, the patient needs to know about access to her physician and medical team after office hours, what it means when her doctor is on call, and what she can expect if she should need an unplanned medical procedure or Cesarean section.

Every woman deserves a trusted, knowledgeable health care professional who can ensure seamless, dedicated patient care throughout her pregnancy. Family medicine with obstetrics physicians offer this level of care as providers for both mother and child – from the child’s infancy through adulthood.