Proper planning before pregnancy sounds good, doesn’t it? But the majority of the time, women get pregnant unexpectedly. There are contraceptives available, of course, like condoms and oral contraceptives, but what do you do when you have an important career on the line? Do you have to choose between sacrificing your thriving career as a physician to be a mother or can you have both, a thriving career and a vibrant mother-to-be?
Well, the truth is, it depends on your lifestyle. There are female doctors in the world who have been pregnant and still practiced medicine during their pregnancy, had their baby, and returned to work to continue practicing medicine, so you can do the same! But just to be on the safe side of things, there are a few considerations you might want to think about before going down this road.
Women Do This All the Time…
Working during pregnancy is something women have been doing for many years, even doctors! The pregnancy options have changed drastically over the years to better accommodate women with busier lives who want to work on their career but still have the option to conceive. The National Center for Biotechnology Information talks about the challenges associated with being pregnant physicians and the decision-making processes that come with it.
For example, some physicians opt to freeze their eggs to preserve their fertility, especially if they’re getting older but have no prospects of a sexual partner or sperm donor. So don’t be afraid to get pregnant, just think ahead about a few things before you go down the pathway to motherhood as a physician.
When it comes to getting pregnant, as a physician, there are definitely some major considerations you will need to make. Whether you’re in a doctor’s office or a hospital, you’ll need to have some type of plan of action in motion.
Establish Credibility as a Physician Before You Go On Maternity Leave
Although you can’t really predict when you will get pregnant, a good rule of thumb to have is to establish your credibility as a physician before you try to get pregnant. Why does this matter? Because you want the location you’re practicing medicine at to know what they can expect when you go on maternity leave and when you come back from it. This is especially important when you want to return to the same job location.
Some physicians have their baby and want to start completely fresh with their careers in medicine. Luckily, there are resources available for doctors that make it easy for physicians to find positions in different areas of medicine, whether they’re just starting out in their careers or wanting to change locations.
Letting Your Patients Know of Your Plans
Being a physician, you’re going to build a relationship with your patients and as your pregnancy progresses, they’re going to notice that you’re pregnant and ask questions. They’re of course going to be happy for you and want to know what you’re having but they’re also going to want to know answers to these important questions as well:
- When are you coming back?
- Who will be taking your place?
- Are you coming back? If not, where will you be going to?
When your patients ask those types of questions, it shows that you’re not only doing a great job as a physician but it also shows that they like the service you provide. If you do decide to go to a different healthcare facility, sometimes your patients will follow you because you’re just that amazing of a physician… when that happens that’s how you know you’re good!
Sharing this information is totally up to you but when you serve patients with optimum care, they’re not going to let you go as their physician… the least you could do is let them know of your plans so they can make proper plans for their future healthcare endeavors.
All in All…
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. Your pregnancy will, of course, be a little bit easier when you have to plan for it before conception but things don’t always happen in that order so you just have to roll with the punches of it all.
The point is to enjoy your pregnancy and motherhood in its entirety before you go back to work. Don’t stress yourself about getting your pre-baby body back as soon as you have the baby; you need to give your body time to heal and as a parent of a soon-to-be newborn, you need to focus on loving your baby… there are definitely tips out there on how to lose weight after pregnancy that you can look into in due time.
There will always be a need for doctors in the world so just know that you can have the best of both worlds… You can take time away from work to have your bundle or bundles of joy and still have a whole world of medicine to return back to!