Babies in Med School

Hi, I’m sure this has been discussed before in some form or another…but I will be starting med school this Fall. I’m a 29 year old married female (turning 30 shortly after starting school) and I would like to have more than child. All too often, I have seen women wait for the perfect times in their career to have children…who to find that getting pregnant is not as easy at they thought and that there is not perfect time, so I’m definitely planning on popping out a baby somewhere. Again, I know this isn’t ideal but I wasn’t ready for a baby or med school in my early 20’s so this is where I am now.

Anyhow, if you had to have a baby during med school, when would you say is the best time? I heard the summer between 1 and 2nd is ideal as our last real summer…but I’m concerned about being pregnant during the shock that is first year…every pregnant women I have known was exhausted during her pregnancy…and I’m not sure how well I will deal with being extra challenged yet extra tired and caffeine deprived!

Any thoughts?

I had a baby in January of this year (med 2). Fortunately, my school has an Independent Study Program, so that helped with the timing. If you can time it for “summer” between M1 and M2, that’s great, but realize that at most medical schools, summer is down to about 8 or 9 weeks. Fourth year is also rumored to be a good time to have a baby.

Honestly, I wasn’t that tired except for the first couple of weeks and the last month or so. Being pregnant during 1st year where you’re sitting on your a$$ in lecture and studying most of the time is certainly easier than being pregnant during clinicals where you are on your feet constantly. Many schools now have lectures available on audio or video that you can listen/watch at home on your own schedule.

You’re right, there is no good time. Usually, though, schools are pretty good about working with you as much as possible. Develop a good relationship with your deans, so that when you need their assistance they know you and your situation.

I discussed this with my OB (i just had a complicated preg and c-section and am starting MS this fall) I thought about having child #2 but am thinking that will not happen.

She advised NOT during 2nd or 3rd year, but possibly during 4th (often due to flexibility of elective clinicals). It may depend on where you go, family support, etc., and whether you have any problems during preg.

Certainly it can be done, esp if your program is supportive of you. However, it will make an already challenging journey much more so. Children are a LOT of work! I love my daughter’s more than anything in the world, but being a good father is every bit as hard, if not harder, than being a good physician. Add to that your need to be a good partner/spouse/SO & your plate is RAPIDLY filled.

I am not discouraging you from reproducing in med school. My oldest was born my senior year of med school & my youngest born during my senior year of residency. I would not trade anything in the world for them or the experience & honor of being their father, but do not kid yourself - life, in some ways, would probably be easier without children in the mix…but, the same could probably be said for any other job too. And, having children, I could not imagine how unfulfilling life would be without them.

It is all about planning, compromise & setting your priorities.

There is a girl at my school that got pregnant during last year (MS1). The last time I talked to her she was planning on taking 2 weeks off when the baby was born to recoup and then back to school… I don’t know if she talked to the admin and they told her that she could be out for that long or what…

Personally, I’d need longer than that to recover and get used to a new baby… with my first I had 4+ months off… and with my second 3 months… can’t imagine coming back after 2 weeks… but… if she can do it, more power to her.

she has all my support.


One of my classmates did the same thing, and she managed. She’s tough!

I was actually scheduled to take a test the day my daughter was born 8 days early. I ended up taking the test about three weeks later. I could have (and should have) done a lot more studying in the early days after she was born.

How much time you have to take off depends on a lot of factors . . . family support, people to watch your baby, how much sleep you are getting, etc. I have been very fortunate in that my daughter has slept through the night since about 5 weeks (and only woke up once per night before that). A male classmate’s baby pretty much refused to sleep at night, and he looked like death warmed over for quite awhile.

iwant2bmd, i am in a somewhat similar situation…

i am 25 and have a 5 yr old and 3 yr old…by the time i would matriculate into med school, i will be either 27 or 28 (depending on when i take the mcats)…my husband thinks we should plan another baby now, rather than later (since med school, and especially residency will be really tough…and because he thinks we should enjoy our 40s toddler-free), and i’m really confused, because, i want to focus on my pre-reqs and mcats right now, and i know throwing pregnancy in the mix will stress me out, and you don’t want to see me when i’m overwhelmed, trust me…

maybe i’ll wait to take the mcats in 2009, so that i have a year off before matriculation, and i can have a baby at that time…decisions, decisions…God help us!

I am applying to medical school for 2008 and am expecting my first. I turned 33 this summer and decided then that I rather try to have one before med school starts than worry about planning around the curriculum. I’m due April 22nd and will be able to stay home with the baby until classes begin.

Doing the baby thing during application year has worked out quite well so far. I am 17 weeks and have already been on several interviews. I am not showing yet which is good because I wasn’t ready for it to come up during the interviews. I am hoping that the other schools will call me soon but it does look like I might be showing for my later interviews. Thankfully my top choices are out of the way. The other nice thing is that come new year I can focus on baby stuff while waiting to hear back from the schools and then I will have the summer to bond with the baby. The question will be how to deal with MS1 and a newborn. I figured I wasn’t going to be sleeping much anyway hahah.

If we do decide for a second one then I would most likely do it 4th year. It seems like the least stressful time plus it also ends up being the spacing I kind of wanted all along. That all being said, we may decide to just stay with one. We’ll see how it goes.

In the end just go for it when it feels right. I thought I would never get to that point because I always found an excuse to keep on waiting. Thankfully I went for it (during a moment of weakness) and now that the baby is in there things have worked themselves out.

Best wishes to you with your pregnancies.