If you were born in the United States, probably the first doctor you ever laid eyes on was an obstetrician, a medical doctor who delivers babies.

In many parts of the world, it’s more likely that a midwife would welcome you into the world. But even though an obstetrician is a medical doctor and can be male or female, the name goes back to the Latin word for midwife, obstetrix, the woman who "stands in front [of the woman having the baby]." Obstetricians are often called “O.B.,” for short, and an O.B. who also treats diseases of the female reproductive system is called an “O.B.-G.Y.N.,” “obstetrician-gynecologist.”

Definitions of obstetrician

n a physician specializing in obstetrics

an obstetrician specializing in perinatology
Type of:
medical specialist, specialist
practices one branch of medicine

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.