A commonly used abbreviation. OB is short for obstetrics or for an obstetrician, a physician who cares for pregnancy and delivers babies. Obstetric medicine, sometimes referred to as maternal medicine, is a sub-specialty of general internal medicine that specializes in the physical health of pregnant women and their babies.
Obstetric physicians may provide care for chronic medical conditions that precede the pregnancy (such as epilepsy, asthma or heart disease), or for new medical problems that develop while the pregnancy is already in progress (such as gestational diabetes, hypertension and preeclampsia). Formal sub-specialty training in obstetric medicine is currently offered in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.