Monday, May 20, 2013

MiM Mail: Pregnant and joining a new practice


I've stumbled across this page from time to time and have found it very supportive and informative.

I am a soon-to-be graduating neonatology fellow in the south.  I have one son who is almost a year and a half.  I am married to a very supportive, non-medicine type husband.

A few months ago, I accepted my first position as an attending in a private practice, community hospital setting to start a month after I graduate from fellowship.  I just recently found out that I am 7 weeks pregnant with our second child.  While my first emotions were excitement and joy, very shortly after came apprehension and guilt about joining a new practice while pregnant.  I am know I am not the first, and will certainly not be the last, to be in this position but I would like to hear from other moms in medicine about their experiences with this.  When should I tell my new practice that I am pregnant?  As soon as possible or just show up to work 20 weeks pregnant and tell them then?  How and when should I broach the subject of the length of maternity leave?  I would really appreciate any advise or insight from other moms in medicine.



  1. Congrats! I'd tell then at 12-15 weeks so they have time to make arrangements for your leave. Also, it'll give you an idea of what kind of leave you can expect.
    Good luck!

  2. I was in a similar situation, though I knew I was pregnant while interviewing for jobs. Since I was first trimester yet, I felt OK not mentioning it in the interview. After they offered me a job and I signed the contract, but before I actually started, I told my new practice that I was expecting and would deliver 3 months after my hire date. Telling them before starting gave us a chance to hash out maternity leave details ahead of time and allowed them time to look for locums to cover my absence. I would advise telling them before you show up- it shows that you're taking the concerns of the other partners into account, especially if you're joining a small practice, where it might have a significant impact on their vacation time.

  3. I haven't been in the position myself but absolutely agree that you need to tell them around 13-15 weeks. Planning for vacation, coverage, and even financial planning requires them to know you will be out. As for broaching maternity leave, telling them you are pregnant will help lead that discussion, I'm sure! If they don't mention it, ask: "What are the maternity leave policies", and then take it from there---you can certainly try to negotiate if you aren't OK with what they offer.

  4. I was in your position, almost exactly, only I was 7 weeks pregnant with twins. I told them right away with the caveat that things can change at that point in the pregnancy. I told them pretty early and they put my mind at ease. In my case it was a good time to be pregnant, while ramping things up.

  5. I was in a similar boat a few years back - I had interviewed & accepted the job pre-pregnancy, but would be starting with only 3.5 mo before by due date. I spoke to my department head at ~16 wks along. I'm primary care so I just did a lot of urgent type visits and didn't work on really building up my own panel until after maternity leave. As for how much leave, I took what I could (not much more than residency). It was definitely better though to come back as an attending from maternity leave (compared to as a resident - which I'd done the first time)

  6. As a fellow mommy-Neonatologist in private practice in the south I like to think that we are in a field that is quite family centered. I was very early in my pregnancy while interviewing for a job as a 3rd year fellow and by the time I was ready to accept a position was far enough along to have a solid discussion, which included delaying my start date several months after graduation to spend time at home with my newborn. As soon as you are comfortable sharing the news of your pregnancy I would talk to your boss- they obviously want you to join the practice and should be able to make this work. Plus then they have enough time to plan the staffing during your maternity leave. Congrats on finishing fellowship and the next step!


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