I am crazy for wanting kids now?

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    Hi. My name is Jeanine and I am in between my first and second year of medical school in Chicago this year. My soon-to-be-husband (on 12/28) thinks I am absolutely nuts for wanting to start our family right away (in the next year).

    Is raising a child attainable for a Mom med student and a full-time working Dad?

    Please help if you have any experience with this!


    Hi Jeanine!

    I had my daughter during residency, but I went through med school to get there, so I’ll add my two cents… your third year is going to be tough! Some rotations you’ll be up all night every third or fourth night doing important things like holding retractors in the OR when you can’t even see the operating field, or doing rectal exams on trauma patients, or babysitting patients in the CT scanner while your intern takes a nap, or writing q2 hour notes on women in labor only to have the intern steal the delivery. Imagine that level of sleep deprivation with a newborn at home. Yikes!

    Your fourth year, on the other hand, is pretty sweet at most medical schools, and you’ll only have one or two months out of the whole year with call. So, if you can muster the restraint… you may want to wait to have your baby during your fourth year, so you can enjoy him or her more and have some sleep, and not in your third year.

    And, my ever-given advice – find good childcare! It will be such a load off your mind.

    Take care… 🙂


    I don’t have children yet but have asked myself (and others) these same questions. My family physician told me that between 2nd and 3rd years is a good time. If you had the baby after boards in May/June you could take a year off and be home if you wanted. Another natural break is after 4th year but before residency. If you’d rather not take time off, then if may be better to have a baby now (during 2nd year) or during 4th year. Or, plan to have your husband be the primary caregiver if you plan to have the baby during 3rd year. I’ve also been told that there is no perfect time…that the best time is when it works best for you and your partner. So, when he is also ready (if men are actually ever ready) would be a good time! Lots of women do it and raise beautiful, happy, well-adjusted kids. You can do it anytime and things will (somehow) work out. Your planning may simply help things go a little more smoothly for everyone involved. Good luck whatever you decide.

    Portland MomPortland Mom

    I did a research fellowship the year after I finished medical school. I had a baby during the middle of that research year and then resigned the fellowship for the last half of the year and stayed home. I interviewed for internal medicine residencies while I was about 36 weeks pregnant . After my six months at home with my daughter, I started a hard core internal medicine residency on the east coast. It was absolutely horrible. I worked about 70-80 hours per week and hardly ever got to see my daughter. My husband changed careers around the same time and was able to work part-time from home. We also had a very trustworthy part-time nanny.
    Unless you are worried about your age, I HIGHLY recommend waiting until your senior year of residency to have a baby. Alternatively, if you just can’t wait, I would recommend being pregnant during your fourth year and then taking the next year off before internship. I would also highly recommend that if you are going to have a child before you finish residency that you do your residency very close to where your parents or in-laws or other close family members live. You will definately appreciate their help even if you have fantastic child care.

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