Post # 1
I was wondering if there was anyone out there who has been through a similar situation to this. My Darling Husband has one year left of medical school before he begins his four year residency in a city that is TBD come match day in March. I am currently out of school and working in the medical field as a physical therapist. I was wondering if anyone else here has had babies during a medical residency (whether it’s you or your spouse as the resident) and can offer any advice about the best time to have babies?
Thanks for anything you can offer!
Post # 2
I haven’t done it but my husband is in his first two months of residency so I’m in a similar life position. I’m not eager for kids but we decided that we definitely won’t be having them during residency for many reasons (financial being one of them – residents make crap money and loans are so much). I’m also out of school, working in corporate finance
I highly, highly suggest putting on the brakes until you have a better idea of what he’ll be doing and where. Interviewing is a total wild card, and he may not even get interviews in places he has in mind. It was a roller coaster of a year for us, and we ended up at our #2, but we now live in a studio in Manhattan – not exactly a great place for a baby. Darling Husband also has an extremely erratic schedule and it changes monthly, so that’s rough, too. Honestly, I’d wait and see what kind of time he’ll have, where you’re living, and what kind of work you can find.
Can I ask what specialty he’s considering? Psych, for example, is radically different from surgery.
Post # 3
Thanks for your reply! He will be doing Ob Gyn so it will be four years!
Post # 4
I’m in my 4th yr of med school and have been TTC for 17 months now (sigh). I was hoping for a 3rd year, then 4th yr, and now residency baby. You can do it if it’s what you want especially if it’s dad in residency and not mom. I know it’ll be difficult but people do it all the time and it’s what I want. I don’t have any particular advice because I haven’t done it yet but do whatever you want! Good luck with whatever you decide.
And as for when during residency to have kids, it usually goes the later the better but it really depends on what specialty he picks!
Post # 5
balletbride12 : My Darling Husband is in anesthesia, so also 4 years. From what I understand, OBGYN is a slightly harder residency with longer hours, but obviously it’s extremely variable from program to program.
The first year of residency tends to be the worst, so keep that in mind. There’s an 80 hour rule, of course, but in malignant programs and high hour residencies (surgery, etc) that may not be rigidly enforced.
Post # 6
My SIL did residency for OB/GYN while she had her first baby. I believe it was her 3rd year. She worked a ton before baby got here so she wouldn’t be too far behind when she took 6 weeks off and worked up until he was born… Even had surgery 6 hours before she went back to the hospital in labor! It was hard on her, but she and my bro made it work.
That being said, I think it’ll be more manageable with it being the dad in residency as opposed to you. Good luck!
Post # 7
I’m a researcher in an OBGYN department, and a lot of our residents have babies in their third or fourth years. They’re all women though (we haven’t had a male resident in eight years!), so that could make a difference.
Post # 8
My husband just finished a 5 year surgery residency. We waited until his last year so I could stop working. It was a necessity for us, his hours were just too unpredictable and mine didn’t line up with child care hours. If waiting that long won’t work, I would recommend avoiding intern year at least.
The biggest thing is having a solid childcare plan. We couldn’t make it work without a nanny, so we decided I would stay home.
Post # 9
balletbride12 : so I am a month from giving birth and my husband is in his first year of surgery residency (5 years plus 2 years of research in the middle.) This was supposed to be a 4th year of med school baby but I struggled with infertility. We plan to have a second child during his research years so his schedule is more sane. We knew I was pregnant when we ranked programs so we moved to a city where we have friends and family for support and company for me. We also are somewhere where our housing situation is such that we can afford for me to not work, which helps for us. My mom will be taking six weeks to stay with us after birth because my husband doesn’t get paternity leave. So I guess the main thing is, if you can, set up as much of a support network as possible, more than most people need. Because chances are, he can’t be there as much as even most parents who have demanding, high-powered jobs.
We are also in our 30s, older than traditional-track students so we weren’t waiting another 7 years! The saying goes, there is no good time to have a kid in residency so just do it any time. But some considerations: intern year they aren’t supposed to work more than 16 hours straight. After that, they can work 24 hours straight. Some programs that do like q4 call, interns don’t take night call due to that restriction. In my husband’s program, every year they have a few two week blocks of night call, so that doesn’t affect us. Some programs/cities, going over hours and lying on paperwork is expected in surgery programs, some it really isn’t, so that’s another consideration if OBGYN has that type of variation. Each discipline/program also had its own rhythm of relatively hard/easy years. In surgery, 3rd year is the worst, so we want to have things in a good place for that extra stress.
Post # 10
Just finished med school and currently doing my MBA before residency and not currently TTC (however we have decided we will start TTC my intern year). however from all of my friends, preceptors and attendings I have met, they’ve suggested for a female MD to wait until the last year of residency to give birth, and for male MDs it can be anytime after intern year. Truthfully there’s never a good time in medicine to have a baby, there’s always something going on, so whenever it happens you just make it work, like everything else. However like others have said, make sure you have a solid childcare plan in place, be it family near by, you working from home or staying home etc. best of luck
Post # 11
Internship is rough. The more senior years of residency have a bit more flexibility.
Post # 12
We had one kid during med school, another during internship, and one during fellowship.
There is no “best” time to have a baby. That’s true for everyone. You just never know what life will throw at you, so your perfect time to have a baby may turn in to a really bad time in retrospect, but you just do what you have to do.
These days, with the new residency work hour rules in place having kids shouldn’t be too difficult. My husband went through med school, residency, and fellowship before those rules were in place, and he was pretty tired, but it wasn’t too bad.
Post # 13
I echo the advice of others to avoid having a new baby during the first year of residency (intern year), that year was the most brutal of my residency. If you go ahead with having a baby during his residency, be prepared to take care of everything on your own, because your husband will have very little time or energy to help. He will also have very little time to spend with the baby during its early years, and will likely miss many of the major developmental moments. I did have a few colleagues who had babies during residency and it was extremely hard for them to spend so little time with their new babies because they were working all the time. Keep in mind that it will be very difficult for him to take any time off since training hospital schedules plan for a certain number of residents to operate in the different clinical settings of the hospital (gynecological oncology, obstetrics, reproductive endocrinology, maternal fetal medicine etc)…any time a resident drops out or takes a leave of absence, the workload becomes much harder on the remaining residents who had to cover the former resident’s shifts. After residency things should get much better (with regards to work hours as well as salary) unless he does a very intense fellowship.