PinklhmD

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I am currently a fourth year med student and just found out I'm pregnant, 5 weeks. It looks like I will be due around July...just in time to start my residency in pediatrics. My fiance is in the military and comes into town only on the weekends. And will actually be overseas for six months or so. We obviously didn't plan this!!!! Anyone have advice on child care? How do you work out child care with call hours? And what kind of financial commitment should I expect? Any and all advice would be welcome. I'm feeling pretty nervous...:confused:
 

TexasRose

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I am currently a fourth year med student and just found out I'm pregnant, 5 weeks. It looks like I will be due around July...just in time to start my residency in pediatrics. My fiance is in the military and comes into town only on the weekends. And will actually be overseas for six months or so. We obviously didn't plan this!!!! Anyone have advice on child care? How do you work out child care with call hours? And what kind of financial commitment should I expect? Any and all advice would be welcome. I'm feeling pretty nervous...:confused:
First of all, congratulations. :)

Second of all, what kind of help do you have? Family in town? Residency presents a few problems because childcare is expensive (~$200/wk), residency hours are not always aligned with childcare hours (often 6 or 7am to 6pm), and you can't expect a baby to be in daycare for the same number of hours as you may work (up to 80/week).

If you had family or someone else who could help you, that would be a lifesaver.

Lots and lots of women have kids in residency, so don't feel alone. Hopefully someone with younger kids will be able to answer you here as well. (I have kids, but they are older and don't require childcare anymore.)

Good luck and congrats again! :)
 

PalmOlive

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I am currently a fourth year med student and just found out I'm pregnant, 5 weeks. It looks like I will be due around July...just in time to start my residency in pediatrics. My fiance is in the military and comes into town only on the weekends. And will actually be overseas for six months or so. We obviously didn't plan this!!!! Anyone have advice on child care? How do you work out child care with call hours? And what kind of financial commitment should I expect? Any and all advice would be welcome. I'm feeling pretty nervous...:confused:

Considering how due dates and be hit or miss I would make sure to match at a program that will perhaps allow you to take off maybe 1-2 months around July, not sure how old kids have to be to start daycare plus maybe you would want to spend time in the first 1-2 months with your newborn. I am pretty sure this is an illegal interview question to ask about pregnancy, and since you probably don't look pregnant yet it wouldn't impact residency application if you didn't want it to, but I would be sure to match somewhere that has a good reputation with pregnant residents. By participating in the match you are stating that you will be able to start July 1st, obviously some programs will make allowances will others may not.

There are some residency programs that have childcare on site, like in a building close by, and residents can visit their children, which maybe for you would allow you to breastfeed and eat lunch in a block of time. While childcare is expensive, some residency programs offer greatly discounted child care to residents at very affordable prices.

If I were you I would call around and get info on the internet about child friendly residency programs. I think for you finding a good residency program that is supportive will mean the world as internship is a very hard year with a newborn.

Best of Luck!
 
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Congratulations!! While I know you may feel overwhelmed right now, we are very excited for you!

Like TexasRose, I wonder if you have family in town to help out. That would certainly be a huge benefit. However, if you don't, don't fret, it can still work out. You might want to look into a combination of day care and part-time nanny. Day care for the day (they usually will take kids as young as 6 weeks), then you'll need a nanny for the nights on-call, weekend when you work, and possibly to help with day care drop-off and/or pick up, depending on what your hours are. Or you could go with just a nanny for the time that your fiance is gone, then do day care when he gets back and can hopefully cover the nights and weekends.

I won't lie - any arrangement is going to be expensive. My daughter's full-time day care is about $7k a year. Adding a nanny can be anywhere from $10-20k. But you'll both be making money and working so much that you won't have time to spend it (trust me).

Good luck, and let us know if you have any more questions!! There are lots of us out here who have done med school and residency with kids!
 
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You could consider taking next year off to enjoy being a mom, and not go through the match now. (A friend of mine did this and had no trouble matching the following year.)

You could take a month of maternity leave, then your month of vacation, so as to spend more time with your baby before starting residency. (My peds residency program gave a month for each, so this worked well for me.)

I was able to find a neighbor across the street who was staying home with her one-year old to provide all my childcare (located via local grocery store bulletin board). This arrangement worked well for me, as my husband was also a resident, and our call nights occasionally coincided. It cost less than traditional childcare.
 

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I'm an intern now with an almost 2 year old. Private childcare here in northern NJ is outrageous (~$600 per week!!!) so my husband and I (who are both residents) utilize my parents' help A LOT. If you can get a residency near your parents or some other family that wouldn't mind helping you out when you're on call, etc., it would make your life 100% easier.
 

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I have a similar situation, due at the beginning of June. How are you planning to handle this for the match/interviews? I am not sure if i should bring it up in the interview or afterwards, or not until after the match? The thing is, i am unlike to be ready to start July 1 having had a baby 3 weeks earlier, but legally speaking, joining the match means that I will be able to start then. But I don't want to get screwed by programs (illegally) not taking me seriously b/c I am pregnant. What's a med student to do?
 

PinklhmD

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That's tough. I have started interview and signed up for the match already. I planned to do as much I could and then go on maternity leave. I am not going to say anything during my interviews. However, I make a point to ask residents about how family friendly the program is...and ask people in the program who have kids how they dealt with maternity leave, etc. As soon I match I plan to inform the program and talk extensively to the program director about my situation. I have read several threads that suggest not to mention unless you are showing...? Maybe someone else has better advice, but that's what I was thinking. Congrats and good luck!
 

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From the financial standpoint: since your fiance is in the military, look into taking advantage of on post/base (depending on what branch you are) daycare at the Child Development Center if you're going to be in a residency that is close to a post/base. The cost is usually based off of your total family income, which is nice. And don't forget - you don't have to worry about paying for health insurance.

The hours are the same as the outside (maybe a little earlier since the military starts it's day earlier).


One other thing that you should know about - some CDCs don't take infants less than 6 months so you'll have to figure something out until then. But contact them early to get on the waitlist as they are all always full.
 
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BigNavyPedsGuy

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That's tough. I have started interview and signed up for the match already. I planned to do as much I could and then go on maternity leave. I am not going to say anything during my interviews. However, I make a point to ask residents about how family friendly the program is...and ask people in the program who have kids how they dealt with maternity leave, etc. As soon I match I plan to inform the program and talk extensively to the program director about my situation. I have read several threads that suggest not to mention unless you are showing...? Maybe someone else has better advice, but that's what I was thinking. Congrats and good luck!

I totally understand the logic/reasoning behind this, but it sucks. I showed up to start my internship at a small program (8 PGY1 spots) and discovered that one of my fellow interns was pregnant. Due to work rules (military) she couldn't work more than 40hrs/week and only took one call per week. That meant the load got shifted to the rest of us.

Now I'm family friendly and I understand your hesitation I just think you should be honest and up front as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you will likely have intern classmates that have delayed having children (I'm one of them) because they know how hard the demands would be. That just sets one up for frustration when they have extra call b/c their classmate did not.

Again, congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm not critical of that. I'm just warning not to be too decpetive during this process. I likely wouldn't mention it during interviews either. I know some programs are DEFINITELY more family friendly than others.
 

dtn3t

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I totally understand the logic/reasoning behind this, but it sucks. I showed up to start my internship at a small program (8 PGY1 spots) and discovered that one of my fellow interns was pregnant. Due to work rules (military) she couldn't work more than 40hrs/week and only took one call per week. That meant the load got shifted to the rest of us.

Wow, you really stuck to the 40 hours? Either green suiters are tougher or our program was a lot harder on all the pregnant residents (we had an especially fertile group trying to get babies in before finishing residency and deployments). We accomodated as much as we could, but I don't think any of the residents tried to exercise that rule because it would have screwed over someone, if not everyone.

And to the OP: I agree with BNPeds(GMO)Guy, be up front. Peds is (generally) a lot more family friendly then other specialties. If I were a PD, I wouldn't care if you were pregnant but I'd be upset if you weren't up front with me from the start - it'd be hard to build trust with me after that. Just my $0.02.
 

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Wow, you really stuck to the 40 hours? Either green suiters are tougher or our program was a lot harder on all the pregnant residents (we had an especially fertile group trying to get babies in before finishing residency and deployments). .

I guess in years past they tried to get some residents to sing some waiver releasing the program from liability if they worked 80hours a week and had complications. They refused and now the policy is followed. My fellow intern actually tried to get out of it and couldn't.
 
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