Whether your pregnancy is hypothetical or real, we encourage you to inform yourself about maternity leave policies and procedures by talking to as many people as you can. Arguably the best way to gather information is by seeking recent precedents. Talk with friends and colleagues who have recently taken a maternity leave from the school, practice, department, or institution where you currently work. Talk to other women physicians in your practice or your call group. In academic medicine, women in your own department may be helpful as well as women in other departments or specialties at your institution. An additional resource is women in your specialty in other practice groups or departments at other institutions. It can be especially useful to speak to a physician-mother in your specialty at a different institution that has a similar job to your own.
The following pages discuss how to plan for children around a medical career.