Mummyhood Series #01~ The Pre-Pregnancy Phase

By Editor - August 13, 2019

We all dream of that day we would hold our little ones in our hands, watch them grow and hear them call us mummy. Motherhood is a priceless gift that cannot be bought and so it is an experience to be cherished forever.
From the moment you decide to become a mum or the moment you find out you are going to be a mum, so much changes, its like a whole new world. For me it was too many emotions at once that I didn't even know how to express my joy and happiness. I had planned for it subconsciously, I wanted it to happen at a particular time that although it did happen at the time I wanted, it still came as a surprise. It was mid- training/residency for me and that was perfect timing. Perfect timing because I was to go on maternity leave at the end of a rotation not at the start or at the middle but just at the end, meaning I wouldn't have to repeat the rotation.
Did I tell hubby immediately? NO, I did not, I had planned in my head of how I was going to break the good news but life happened, work pressure was so much at the time so I waited for a second test to confirm before I told him. I waited for 2 months before I told anyone else that included family. My mum thought I would tell her first but I just didn't. I think I just wanted to absorb it first, understand it and be psychologically ready to share. In the end I told immediate family and very few close friends who found out along the way.
So many people have unanswered questions about the initial phase of pregnancy or the pre-pregnancy phase, young doctors want to know when its best to actually get pregnant and share with employers. There is so much and with my little experience, yes little because I am still very new in the business, I have tried to answer the most common questions.

When is the best time to plan for a baby? I think the best time is when you are ready, most importantly when you and your spouse are ready. Do not let societal pressure rush you into going on a journey you are not ready for.

As a Junior doctor when is the right time to get pregnant? I think this is also when you are ready.  Remember to put into consideration certain factors like maternity pay and how far into your career you have gone. FY 1/Internship isn't usually the best time because you are just getting used to being called a doctor, getting used to the routine of a doctor and at this point because you still hold a provisional license and you certainly haven't worked long enough, you may not be entitled to maternity pay. If however it happens unknowingly, I think you should embrace it, the only thing is you have to plan to get back to work as soon as you feel strong enough without taking a very long maternity leave.

How soon can you do a pregnancy test? If you are worried that you might be pregnant or planning for a baby, you should do a pregnancy test from the first day of your missed period. Doing a test too early on may be unreliable because of the undetectable amount of HCG (Human chorionic gonadotrophin) a hormone produced by the placenta after implantation in the blood stream very early on after conception. However some over the counter pregnancy testing kits can be used really early  but it is best to wait to have a more reliable result.

When should you inform your doctor/GP? You should inform your GP or midwife as soon as possible, a booking appointment will then be arranged, this is usually around 8-12 weeks. It is advised that when you start trying for a baby or confirmed your pregnancy, you should start taking folic acid. You will have series of appointments with your GP or midwife during the course of your pregnancy till delivery four routine tests and follow up.

When should you inform your employers? You should inform your employers as soon as possible this will enable them plan ahead for your time off during maternity leave and adjust the rota where necessary. You may also need some support whilst your pregnant as symptoms are unpredictable, so informing your employers would allow you get all the necessary support you need.

When should you tell your husband? I think you should let them know as soon as you want, you may want to leave it as a surprise for some time but remember, they are as excited and expectant as you are.

When should you inform friends and family? This is entirely up to you as you know your friends and family better than anyone else. You may want to leave it as a surprise that's fine, you may want to let them share your experience and journey that's also fine. I also think you are not obliged to tell anyone you don't want to tell. You may want to enjoy the journey with close family only just to avoid that pressure. I chose to inform only those I wanted to inform, some people may not be pleased with your decision but it is your life and you choose to live it the way you want.

I hope you have enjoyed this first post of the series. I am looking forward to the next. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or just show some love...x

Dr Mute.

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