January 07, 2021

Becoming a Mum During Medical School

Becoming a mum during medical school- am I mad?

 

“You can’t have a baby during med school!” Oh how many times did I hear this? Lots.

Ok, I admit, it’s not the ‘normal’ route through medical school, and most people probably do think I’m a tad mad, but I hope by the time you get to the end of reading this, I can convince you that it really was the best decision I ever made. More importantly, if you are thinking of starting a family whilst training to be a doctor, then I am here to reassure you that all will work out just fine.

 

When I found out I was pregnant in my third year of medical school, I couldn’t have been happier. Each time I told someone the news I could have almost burst with excitement! Until the time came where I had to tell my university. I aimlessly googled, “what happens if you’re pregnant at medical school”. Nada. Literally nothing was coming up. I couldn’t find a single piece of helpful information. Lots of horror stories and panicked students writing anonymously in a plea to cover up their identity, because boy, if you’re a medical student and your pregnant- there’s no hope!  Judged by google, I took the plunge and I told my university.

 

I’m pretty sure I will never forget the moment the words ‘I’m pregnant’ escaped my mouth in front of my head of year. Words of support and congratulations shocked my ears as I waited for some kind of expulsion from medical school. Plans were in place for me to continue as normal until 3rd year ended, and then to take an academic year off to spend with my daughter on “maternity leave”.

 

The year flew by and before I knew it I was meeting my bundle of joy and soaking up all the new baby feels. It was by far, the best year and one that I am so glad I took off. I often worried that taking a year out would mean I was a “year behind” my friends, and that I would struggle to fit back into university after such a long time away. If anything, it was the opposite. Most of my friends had intercalated and I was re-joining with them, and my first placement of obstetrics felt like I was at home. I had been one of those pregnant women that I was answering MCQs on.

 

I’m by no means saying having a baby is a walk in the park, of course it comes with its challenges along the way. Yes, I am probably one of the few medical students awake at 6am watching Peppa Pig and changing nappies, but am I glad I did it- most definitely yes.

 

If you find yourself in a similar position, whether it be planned or not, please don’t panic! Whatever you do, please reach out to your university and please- resist the urge to google!

 

Thanks to Ellie for contributing her story to our blog! 

You can follow her on insagram @medicmumma

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