What could be better than working with pregnant women and their newborn babies? You get to experience firsthand the miracle and fragility of life, and you get to help expectant parents out at one of the most exciting and joyous times of their lives-a time that is, for some people, also one of the most stressful.
When you decide to enter the field of obstetrics, you of course have to choose a specific job, and there are many jobs to choose form. Now, if you think of medical professionals who work with pregnant women, you might first think of obstetricians, doctors who monitor the health of women throughout their pregnancies and who deliver infants as well. But they are far form the only people to work with expectant mothers. You could be a nurse who specializes in obstetrics. You could also work as a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist at a pregnancy center or clinic. After all, there are many mental and emotional issues that revolve around pregnancies. Sometimes a new mother or father just needs someone to talk to to find mechanisms of coping with stress, as well as the physical effects of sleepless nights. Sometimes a teenage girl might become pregnant and she doesn’t know where to turn. And, of course, there is the tragedy of a miscarriage; many women need therapy to deal with the heartbreak of this situation.
You also have a choice of where you want to work when you choose to become a childbirth professional. You could work in a bustling urban hospital or a quiet rural doctor’s office. You could also work at a pregnancy center that specializes in crisis pregnancies. There are also non-profit pregnancy centers that help women who are young or somehow at risk. Many of these women are struggling with poverty and aren’t sure how they’re going to be able to make ends meet and support their new baby.
If you’re preparing to do this kind of work, just be sure you know what you’re in for. Many pregnancy centers, especially those that cater to underserved populations, are understaffed, and those who work there are expected to put in long hours. The pay isn’t always great, either. And even if you work in a hospital, you might have to start out working late at night-babies are born at all hours of the day, after all. Of course, the rewards that go along with this kind of work are also great. You get to ensure that newborn babies have a great entry into this world, and you can keep track of a baby’s progress. Many childbirth professionals develop strong bonds with new mothers. You never know, years from now, when someone might come up to you somewhere and say, “You helped deliver my baby!” or even “You helped deliver me!” There’s no feeling quite like the one those words will give you.