A perk of being a med student’s wife

Yes, you read it correctly.  A PERK!

I often hear fellow spouses talk about how hard it is to be married to a medical student.  Sure, it’s easy to sit and complain about the stress of upcoming tests, never-ending studying, exorbitant amount of student loan debt, the wall decorations in our room in our temporary apartment consisting solely of post-it notes of graphs, words anyone can hardly pronounce and the mile-long list of “to-dos”, moving the family out of the United States to a Caribbean island (I know, you’re probably thinking “complaints? what is there to complain about?!”), and the uncertainty of the future.  But…

This morning was different.  There was no complaining, I was more than appreciative.

I’m the type of person that likes to know as much as I can about the task at hand.  Example: When we found out we were moving to Dominica in 2009 I wanted no surprises.  I read every blog from every spouse that lived on the island.  I wanted to know what our days were going to be like, what apartments were available, how do we get food, where are we going to live, where do you do laundry…you get the point.  Same goes for the decision to cloth diaper Parker.  Brandon says I know everything there is to know about diapers.  Now that I read that it sounds a little pathetic.  Well, Parker’s health is no different.

Brandon is in the process of studying for the USMLE Step 1 exam.  It’s a national test that covers all the material from the first 2 years of medical school.  He studies at home by watching high-yield lectures on his computer.  Poor thing sits in the same seat all day with headphones on, taking notes, only for lunch and dinner and then he’s back to work.  His lectures today were about the benefits of breastfeeding.

::Ding Ding Ding::

Something went off in his head about how maybe I’d like to listen to the lecture with him since I’m super passionate about nursing Parker until he turns 1.  Anyone that asks how long I plan on nursing for and hears my answer gives me this look like I’m absolutely out-of-my-mind.  I get it a lot.  I could explain to each person about my reasons why but to be honest, I don’t really care what they think since it’s none of their business in the first place.  I sat there playing with Parker, folding clothes and listening to the lecture that reiterated and enhanced my reasoning.

Maybe a year isn’t an outrageous goal, solely because of how beneficial it will be for Parker.

Breastfeeding should continue for at least 12 months” American Association of Pediatrics

Bonding. Bonding. Bonding.  Breastfeeding mothers are more likely to read to their children and feel stronger emotions towards them.  I’m hoping that special connection we have will help me be a better mother.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty technical medical terms but babies that are breastfed absorb more iron and proteins than formula fed babies – in turn, aiding relief to their little tummies (less diarrhea, less colic).

Baby’s immune system is better (he technically has my immune system) decreasing infectious diseases, decreases SIDS, overweight and obesity, asthma, increases cognitive development…I could go on and on.

So I see learning this information as a perk of being a medical student’s wife.  If I hadn’t researched on my own, Brandon’s lectures would have been the only way I learned all of the itty-bitty details.  I went to a feeding class recently and I was the only breastfeeding mother in the group of 7, many of which had not been educated of the advantages for both mom and baby and held a great deal of false information.  It’s satisfying to see that our future doctors are learning about how beneficial nursing an infant can be so they can eventually inform their patients correctly.