A career girl's guide to surviving pregnancy and parenting
My OB/GYN is one of my favorite people on the planet. At our first visit when I became pregnant with my second son (who’s now in middle school), we became instant and lifelong friends. During a recent visit, I was excited to tell her about my new project and everything related to Women@Work, including the Men@Work book that published and the emerging Babies@Work book. As I started going on and on about all of it, a bolt of lightening struck both of us at the same time and we started talking over each other saying, “We have to write Babies@Work together!...We have to cover this challenge with our combined experiences!…We have to address this question and that question and provide this resource and that resource!…We to tell this story and provide that advice…!”
With that context, I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Pramila Yadav (Pramy), the most extraordinary physician and mentor and counselor and friend to so many women over the years. Her experience helping women at work deal with all sorts of challenges, opportunities and decisions related to fertility and pregnancy and parenting and more is second to none. Her warmth and sense of humor and smarts and work ethic and generosity make her one in a gagillion. I’m so darn lucky and beyond thrilled that she’s willing to dive into this with me!
Working comes with a myriad of challenges for women. Add babies into the mix and you have something pretty darn combustible. How do you handle pregnancy and leave? What if your water breaks at work? When do you tell people? Can you come back to your same job? Are your kids going to be decent people? Are you going to be fired? Can you support your family and pay for school? What’s the best childcare option? Will you make it to doctor’s appointments and school plays? The complexity, exhaustion, logistics, tradeoffs, constraints, agony and ecstasy, and the relentlessness of all of it for years and years.
For the older working moms out there, I thought you might enjoy commiserating. For younger women, I thought these stories and advice might help you find answers to questions emerging as you’re contemplating marriage and/or babies. I thought those now in the throes of making it all work and wondering if you should stick it out might be able to use some perspective and longer-term on how things will play out. I guess my biggest hope is that the book might help more women choose stay in the game once they start having families and things start to become a bit complex and overwhelming.
When I first met Christina over a decade ago, I was a green, fresh faced physician, just out of my residency. While she was my patient, we immediately built a broader relationship talking about the business of my practice as well as her career-life journey with one son and one on the way. I was struggling with the politics and economics of my first group and she encouraged me to be bold and go it alone, to start my own practice. In fact, I distinctly remember her coaching me on this in the middle of her labor process, which oddly turned out to be a great catch up for both of us. Fast-forward thirteen years and I have a thriving independent practice that has given me all sorts of amazing things - economic self-reliance, a rich network of friends and colleagues, and the opportunity to help women achieve their life goals, good health, and happiness.
My career has enabled me to educate and care for women at all stages of their reproductive life. Having practiced in the Boston area since medical school, I've been able to collaborate with thousands of well educated women with strong careers and big opportunities, all facing a watershed point in their professional and their personal lives. This time of so many decisions and considerations and all sorts of variables and tradeoffs can can be confusing, stressful and overwhelming. My goal has been to help working women optimize their medical care and overall health and happiness in the context of their broader life goals. To that end, I hope to impart wisdom and guidance gained from my career to women navigating these critical decades of their life. I hope to demystify the maze of birth control, fertility, pregnancy, birth plans, postpartum health, and everything that goes with them, all with the goal of making this whole process "work" for those that want to work.
From Christina & Pramy
We're just getting started, but we’re looking forward to the journey of building out what we know and sharing it with you. In the meantime, I wanted to pass along some of my story of pregnancy and parenting in the context of work and invite others to engage in the conversation about babies and work. If you’re on the other side of having kids while continuing to work, we’re eager to get your ideas, feedback, questions, and stories! If this whole adventure is in front of you, tell us what you want to know! Click here to read more of what we have so far on this work-in-progress book and get engaged in the conversation.
We’ve established Facebook groups to facilitate live, ongoing questions, answers and conversation around this topic
If you’d prefer not be so public and social, but have a story to tell or advice to impart, I hope you’ll complete a survey – staying anonymous is totally fine.
Finally, if you’re looking for quick, quiet advice, I hope you’ll send me a note and I’ll be happy to do my best to provide guidance or connect you with someone or something that might help.
Books in the works
Work-in-progress pieces are the beginnings of new books on topics that we thought would be of interest to working women. We’re eager to get your thoughts, stories, and questions on any or all of them as we build them out into full-fledged guides.