PhD and pregnancy- advise needed


I have started my final year PhD and my partner insists that we have a baby now. I have 5-6 more months of lab work as advised by my supervisor .Is it possible to do work in the lab after getting pregnant as I am working with some chemicals which are quite toxic ..or should I temporarily stop and start after a year? Advise needed


He insists?!?! Right now?!?! Has he got a bet with a mate about the date you give birth?

If it were me (and I'm not a female so it couldn't be), I'd delay it. Some of the chemicals you're using could potentially be teratogenic, and even if you're using adequate ventilation and protection for yourself, I wouldn't want to risk it with a baby. Also, the lab work and write up will be quite hard work, I presume, and giving birth could come before you finish, meaning a fairly long break. IMO it would be better to wait until you've finished it all, or if this isn't possible, at least until the lab work is done.


depends what sort of lab work you do but most women here stop relatively early on... what happens if lab work overuns?? surely you need to choose a time for both of you to have a child. it has to be both of your choice.


I'm with Matthew - he insists?!!! He has no right to "insist" you get pregnant now or at any time in you life, unless it's what you want. Tell him to bog off.


My advice: get rid of your partner.

If he "insists now" to have a baby, the implications are twofold:

a) he does not understand you and your Phd demands

b) he is not interested

Apart from that I think it's a bad idea in every respect. Wait 'till you have finished the entire PhD or it might never be completed.


I second what everyone has said - any partner who doesn't respect your work or your body deserves to be dumped. It doesn't say a whole lot about his capacity to be a good compassionate father either


Thanks for the reply. I agree its really taking a risk .My partner insists because he is around 40 now and iam now 30 and he fears time is running out. But I guess its not worth taking the risk.


It sounds to me like you're no more than a year away from completing. Therefore, why not wait 1 year - I know it a year older, but 40/30 vs 41/31 isn't much, and you get to carry your baby in a nasty chemical-free environment. Better for mother and baby...


A certain Mr.Chaplin was fathering children at 72. Plenty of time at 40 I'd have thought.


I don't think a few more months is going to make a real diference. The issue here isn't about having a baby - I think he sounds rather controlling.


Well, i think he's just being a little bit over concerned with the fact that he is not getting any younger :) which is understandable. But in this, he has failed to understand the implications of having a baby at this point, especially with you working with toxic chemicals in the lab. Sit he him down and speak to him about it, explain your current position and as to what damage could be done to your baby if you have it now. I'm sure he'll agree and come to a compromise.


well, it will be you who will be carying a baby AND trying to finish PhD, not him. What if you pregnancy will have some side-effects (hopefully not) on your wellbeing and it in turn will affect your ability to work? Pregnancy(especially if it is your first baby) and completing PhD both are too stressful events to combine them. Half-a-year is not such a long time to wait and wont make so much difference, but pregnancy could make a diffrence on how fast you finish your PhD.


If it were me in this situation, I'd wait until i'd finished, and in the meantime, practice conceiving


taking your age in cosideration first... you should try to finish your PhD early, as soon as possible. This is the right time for giving birth to a healthy baby.....without putting urself in any more risks. And as far as chemicals are concerned, i am sure... being experienced phd student u know better how to handle those hazardious chemicals and how to protect ur self from them.
But i still feel you should finish early and give your entire time in planning your kid, after all phd is not all you have in life.... you can hold it upto maximum 1 year not more than that.... its advisable (in my view)..!


Hi Esther,

apart from the already mentioned issues (no age limit for your partner regarding fatherhood, you being 30 (abitrary lower risk of pregnancy related complications below 35) and the risk of hazardous substances from the lab) there may be the view of the employer: It may be that you are not allowed to work with dangerous substances while pregnant.

Probably best to wait a year