Best time to have a baby (or another)?

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    Hello all,
    Let me throw this big question out there…

    Assuming you can plan everything, if one was to have a baby during medical school/residency what would be the best time?

    I ask this with some experience. In the middle of my 2nd year of med school, I had a (surprise!) baby girl. She’s now approaching 2 years old and my husband and I keep dancing around the idea of when to have another. We don’t want our children to be “too far apart in age” however, I’m not so sure being full-blown pregnant on residency interviews would be the best thing, nor does being pregnant while being an intern seem all that appealing either. Any suggestions, questions? Anyone?



    Hi Chelsea – I can’t answer your question from experience, but I found some interesting comments on this site when I was looking for the same answer…

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    Hi Chelsea-

    I went through that decision process myself about 16 months ago…I had my daughter during my 2nd year, just after starting clinical core rotations, and then had my son about 6 months ago. I had decided that it would be easier to have my children during medical school for the simple reason that I had never seen any residency program “happy” about maternity leave. Yes, I know that many programs are “friendly and welcoming” to moms having kids, but it always seemed that there would still be some grumbling about a classmate who needed to change the call schedule, etc to accomodate maternity leave. Fortunately, my med school and dean have been very supportive and it’s worked out great. Alas, I will graduate one year later than planned, but I would never give up the time that I’ve been able to have with my kids. I figured that they’ll only be young once, so I might as well enjoy them as much as I can and retire a year later 😉


    I was pregnant (greatly so!) during residency interviews and I didn’t encounter any negativity for it. However, now as a resident watching other residents have babies, there is SOME mild resistance created in the program for maternity leave and “lighter” call towards the end of the pregnancy. I’ve only heard grumbles, no one has been overtly hostile, but it is there from both the men and women. I guess you should decide if you’re comfortable with that possibility. In the big scheme of things, though, you have to do what’s right for you and your family at the time. Best of luck!

    Of note, one of our interns just had term twins so it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy as an intern as well!

    ttc #2ttc#2

    Just wanted to remind everyone that you should consider lots of things when trying to plan a pregnancy. I’m starting my third year of medical school. I have a 3-year-old son. My DH and I have been trying to conceive for 14 months with no luck. I had hoped to have a baby between 2nd and 3rd years and take a year off. Anyway, I’m currently under the care of a reproductive endocrinologist and trying some fertility treatments. This is not something I had to do last time to get pregnant. This was wholly unexpected. So, the old maxim about the best laid plans kind of applies here. Don’t wait too late assuming that just because you decide you’re ready it will happen.

    I’m just suggesting you consider several things when planning your pregnancy.

    Good luck in school and motherhood, everyone!


    JM (ttc #2),

    Hi. I just wanted to say that I feel your pain. We also had problems conceiving and I know how it feels to watch your “life plan” kind of slip away from you. It took us 27 months to conceive my son (now 2.5) and 18 months to conceive my current pregnancy (due in October). I can’t tell you how many shots, ultrasounds, and blood draws I have had.

    Anyway, I wanted to wish you luck and tell you that I can sympathize. I spent a lot of time on the INCIID boards. If you haven’t been there, you should check it out. Here is a link to the Secondary Infertility board: INCIID Secondary Infertility Board .



    Hi, I would like to be pregnant my 3rd or 4th year of med school but am concerned about being on-call during my clinicals. Do all of the clinical rotations require being on-call? Can anyone tell me which rotations involve that (I know surgery is one) and what that involves (staying up all night?, extra hours of work?, etc.) Thanks so much.


    Has anyone adopted during medical school or residency, or know anyone that has? Is it treated the same as maternity leave?


    Hello everyone,

    I am new to MomMD and I already love this site! Anyway, both my husband and I will be starting med school this fall and we definitely want to start a family somewhere along the way. I know this will be extremely difficult since BOTH of us will be in med school, but we were thinking to have our first baby during my second year of residency. I plan to specialize in OB/GYN, which I am aware is notorious for grueling work hours. My hubby wants to be an ophthalmologist. We figured that would be the best time, especially since I’m not getting any younger. By then I will be 31. Are we waiting too long? And should I worry about obtaining a “pregnant-friendly” residency? I know I have so many questions but I just need advice. Is there anyone out there who has done this successfully? :confused: I would love for you to share your experiences.



    In general, here are some times you could have a baby and not be penalized for it time-wise:

    You should have two or three months off between first and second year of med school – if your planned it right (and things followed your schedule! 🙂 ) that could be a good time.

    During your fourth year, you get to chose your own schedule. I think this applies to nearly all MD schools but I can’t speak for DO schools – maybe an osteopath could post a reply? At any rate, if you plan the pregnancy, you could arrange your schedule however you wanted it that year.

    During residency – I know a couple of women, myself included, who conceived toward the end of intern year so they could deliver second year, then get back on track again for job interviews during the third year. This of course applies to a three year residency. I know some who have taken off only the vacation time that they had saved up, then others who took anywhere from seven weeks to four months off and made up the time at the end of the residency. If you aren’t planning on a fellowship, making up that time off at the end of your training may affect nothing but eligibility to take Boards. I planned it so that I would finish residency just two days before the cut-off date for eligibility to sit for the Boards on time.

    I don’t know of any “pregnancy friendly” residencies. Does anyone else? I’d love to know, I am mentoring a female medical student who I know wants to have a baby during training.



    Thank you so much for the advice. From what I know, we can schedule our own rotations during 4th year also. Wow, I never thought about having one the summer after 1st year! That kind of makes it too real too fast. Oh well, thanks again.

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