- A subspecialty of obstetrics concerned with the care of the mother and fetus at higher-than-normal risk for complications. Since the perinatal period, depending on the definition, starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth, perinatology logically could be an obstetrical and pediatric subspecialty but, in practice, it is part of obstetrics. The comparable area of pediatrics is neonatology. A high-risk baby might be cared for by a perinatologist before birth and by a neonatologist after birth. The word "perinatology" is a linguistic sandwich of the Greek "peri-" meaning "around or about", "natal" from the Latin "natus" meaning "born" and "ology" from the Greek "logos" meaning "treatise or study of."
* * *A subspeciality of obstetrics concerned with care of the mother and fetus during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, particularly when the mother and/or fetus are at a high risk for complications. SYN: perinatal medicine.
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* * *peri·na·tol·o·gy (per″e-na-tolґə-je) [perinatal + -logy] the branch of medicine (obstetrics and pediatrics) dealing with the fetus and infant during the perinatal period.
Medical dictionary. 2011.