There is never the perfect time to start a family and conception and fertility do not lend themselves to strict timings. However, the following are some points that you might consider when ‘planning’ your family.
Early Stages of training
- You are only allowed four weeks out of FY1 & 2 before you have to repeat some of all of the year.
- Frequent job/location changes can be more challenging to accommodate.
Training (ST3 and above)
- Are you in a long rotation e.g. an NTN? Your CCT date moves forward by every week you are on leave after the first three months.
- Are there any rotations far from home and can you request these early in your training?
- You are still developing your skills and confidence in your role. Supervision will be provided on return but there will be an element of re-skilling required after any period of leave for whatever reason.
- Fellowship and Consultant posts: Are you going to be ready for opportunities?
- You will have a more settled working location and more control over your working timetable.
- May need to consider how role will be covered (locum etc) especially if you cover a subspeciality in a small department.
- Fertility decreases with age and managing treatments such as IVF may require time off from work.
- Think about how you will factor this in.
- Time off can help with preparation but it can also be hard to revise and manage a young family.
- If you choose to avoid cement/ x-ray you may need to stop on call depending on your role and support.