Specialize in dealing with complicated child births.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $200,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Perinatologists do?

Babies may be cute, but giving birth to one is no treat. In addition to the standard labor pains, there are also what are known as difficult births, due to complications either the mother or the baby faces. When this is the case, patients are sent to a Perinatologist, or an Obstetrician specially trained to deal with complex births.

A Perinatologist works with patients who have been referred to him or her and are facing a range of issues. For example, as a Perinatologist, you might see moms who have had difficult pregnancies in the past, or ones who have developed issues during their pregnancy, like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. You also see soon-to-be mothers whose fetuses are facing potential problems, like genetic diseases, infections, or a slow growth rate.

Just like any type of Physician, you begin your first meeting with the patient by taking a detailed medical history. You then might do an ultrasound or blood work to test for potential problems. One of the ways Perinatologists and Obstetricians differ is that the former have advanced training in reading ultrasounds to detect issues like abnormal development or growth of the organs or head.

Throughout your meetings with your patient, you keep detailed charts and notes. You answer any questions they might have, and help them prepare a birth plan that ensures a healthy birth. In order to improve a mother’s chances for an easy birth, you might prescribe bed rest or specific medicines.

Occasionally, you might need to deliver a baby. This isn’t common, but it’s done in extreme cases so you can quickly get the baby and mother the help they need shortly after birth.

Should I be a Perinatologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become a Perinatologist

    Most Perinatologists 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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