Being a Doctor and a Mom
As a brand new mother with an MD after her name, you would think I would know everything about pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing because I was giving patients advice through these milestones. But after beginning the journey of childrearing 6 months ago, I realized I knew a lot about sick children and how to treat them from medical school and residency, but I learned very little about healthy children and normal developmental issues.
For the past four months I have learned something every day that I didn't learn in medical school or residency. Becoming a new mother was the most eye opening medical experience I had ever had. Prior to becoming a parent I thought I was helping my patients by giving them advice on how to rear their children. I would educate using guidelines, dish out advice I had learned through power-points in medical school and quote answers to parenting questions I had read in textbooks. Little did I know that once you become a parent this type of advice is not always the most helpful. Being a parent is hard and the only way to really understand that was to become a parent myself.
Everyday since my baby was born, I have been reading mommy blogs on topics that I thought I should've learned about in medical school but didn't. Therefore, I decided one night during a 3:00 AM nursing session that I needed to share everything I had learned in the past six months with my colleagues and fellow mothers. I stayed up after my middle-of-the-night nursing session and created an account called doctormom.MD on social media and started writing down all of the tips/tricks/lessons I had learned over the past months. And that is when I realized I had tapped into something- my colleagues kept messaging me saying how much they had learned from my posts. I posted about breastfeeding, formula feeding, sleeping, newborn rashes, day-to-day necessities for moms and so on. I then got numerous questions and comments from mothers around the world. People loved getting medical information from a source that they could trust.
I also was reaping the benefits. In Canada, we can take up to 18 months of maternity leave without any repercussions and I had already been off for a few months and was worried about losing touch with medicine. Reading articles, researching topics and talking to specialists had kept me up to date with my medical knowledge and allowed me to continue my medical education. . I'm hoping becoming a mother will make me that much of a better doctor when I return from maternity leave and I hope to impart this knowledge and experience on medical education so physicians and physicians-in-training feel better prepared to help their new parents. I can’t wait to share what I have learned and am learning with the amazing Moms Beyond community. Keep an eye out for my articles and let me know if you have any topic ideas you would like me to write about.