Obstetric Anesthesiologist

Help reduce pain for women who are giving birth.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $210,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Obstetric Anesthesiologists do?

As an Obstetric Anesthesiologist, you’re in the business of ensuring that every woman can deliver her baby safely and without pain. Anesthesiology is often thought of in the context of surgery, but in obstetric anesthesiology, you focus primarily on safe pain reduction during and after childbirth as a Obstetric Anesthesiologist. If a woman does need to undergo surgery during her pregnancy or delivery, you oversee that process as well to ensure the safety and health of both mother and child.

Choosing the best medication and treatment plan for the mother is a multi-step process as a Obstetric Anesthesiologist. Before you start comparing medications, you need to evaluate the patient’s medical history and any complications with her pregnancy.

Once you have a solid understanding of the mother’s potential risk factors, you work with her to decide what painkillers should be administered during her delivery. Some mothers choose a natural birth while others want an epidural—an anesthetic that results in numbness from the waste down—to ease their pain. Often, the mother’s choice depends on the difficulty of her delivery.

In cases where the mother requires surgery to deliver the baby, you’re at her side to administer the numbing medication, and monitor her vital signs as well as her baby’s health. After the baby is born, you watch for any adverse side effects in the mother or child, and slowly reduce her dosage of pain medication. Your work alleviates the stress of childbirth and gives each mother a chance to truly enjoy this miraculous experience.

Should I be an Obstetric Anesthesiologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Obstetrical Anesthesiologist

    How to Become an
    Obstetric Anesthesiologist

    Most Obstetric Anesthesiologists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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