Being pregnant in high school in my experience was one thing, but being pregnant in college was a whole other experience. Dealing with pregnancy in college is tough work.
Have you found yourself unexpectedly pregnant in college? You don’t want to quit school, but you’re also worried about how college and pregnancy can both be handled at the same time. I know the stress, and the worries you may have about being pregnant in college. I’ve been in that exact situation.
Right after graduating high school I did not attend college. I decided to wait a year. When I finally decided to attend college in August of 2013 I had found myself unexpectedly pregnant in early November.
It can be difficult and stressful dealing with a pregnancy while in college especially if you have a complicated pregnancy (like I did). Once I finished the 2013 fall semester I decided that since my baby wouldn’t be due until July I could continue my studies into the next semester, so for the 2014 spring semester I had signed up for classes.
Here are some helpful tips for getting through a pregnancy while in college based off my experience.
1.) Plan carefully and accordingly
Okay even if your pregnancy wasn’t planned chances are you’ll only have to deal with what you signed for just that semester. If you decide to continue your studies into the following semester KEEP your pregnancy in mind.
I got pregnant in early November of 2013. I only had about 6 weeks to get through which wasn’t too rough.
Where it got rough was the following semester.
I made sure to allow myself enough time between classes, so that I could pee and eat! (Quick tip: pack lots of snacks, always have money on hand, and drink lots of water!) I know some people like to schedule classes one right after the other, but trust me on this if you’re pregnant I DO NOT recommend doing that. The farther along you are in your pregnancy the more uncomfortable you will start to become. Be kind to yourself and your growing baby by allowing yourself enough time to rest and eat in between classes.
I was also careful about what classes I choose and what days and times I would be attending. Horrible morning sickness debilitated me, so I scheduled ALL of my classes in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, I made sure that any scheduled doctor appointments were made on Mondays or Wednesdays.
2.) Take a fitness class!
It may be required or it can be counted towards electives, but for me a fitness class was required. What better time to take one then during a pregnancy?! I really wanted to take yoga; however, all of the yoga classes were filled. That left me with either weight training (NO thank you) or jogging/running class.
I took the jogging class. At first I wasn’t too thrilled about it too be honest. My fitness coach was very strict, and it was not a jogging class it was a full blown running class. I’m really glad I took the class because it helped me tremendously during my pregnancy especially on the days where I felt icky. Running was a great pick me up!
Exercising throughout your pregnancy has been proven to help with labor pain and you’ll have an easier time losing the baby weight. I found both of these things to be true in my case! Running also helped me maintain a healthy pregnancy weight gain.
I highly suggest taking a yoga or jogging class unless you have a medical reason in which case you shouldn’t then.
3.) Educate yourself on the law regarding pregnant students
I recommend reading this article “5 Things Every Pregnant College Student Should Know ” from College Success for Moms. It’s great and extremely informative.
It’s important to know your rights, and to know that you CANNOT be discriminated against just because you’re pregnant.
4.) Talk to your professors
Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk to your professors about being pregnant. It’s important that they know. There were a few instances where I couldn’t make it to class, and my professors knew it was because of pregnancy complications. I always brought my doctors note or a hospitalization note (I was hospitalized several times). My professors always thanked for doing this, but said it wasn’t necessary. They believed me when I told them I was having complications in my pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to talk to your professors. Just tell them the truth about your current situation.
5.) Don’t take advantage of being pregnant
Just because you have rights it doesn’t mean you take advantage of them.
I remember one night before class I was bed ridden sick, and Bae had to take me to the hospital because I was severely dehydrated due to all the vomiting I had done earlier that day. The following day I had an essay due, and I had Bae drive up to school and turn it in for me. I didn’t use the excuse that I was sick and in the hospital, so I couldn’t turn my essay in. After that when I found myself sick and in the hospital I would email in my work ON TIME to my professors. I know they greatly appreciated this.
When you get out into the real world you’ll find that not everyone will be nice to you and cut you a break. That’s why it’s important to discipline yourself and learn time management.
6.) Look into online classes!
Look to see if your college offers online courses for the classes you need!
The spring semester of 2014 I took a total of 4 classes one of which was a in class/online. I was kind of unsure about the online courses and how well I would perform, so I wanted to just try it out for one class only.
The class I took was legal assisting and we met on Tuesdays only. On Thursdays we met online and everything including tests, quizzes,and essays were done and turned in online. I actually really LOVED it.
Online classes are sooooo convenient.
For the following semester (fall 2014) I took one class only (nutrition), and it was ALL online. Nolan was born the month prior, so I didn’t want to overload myself with school work. It was nice to be able to take my tests and read class lectures from my laptop at home while having Nolan with me. I can’t tell you how many times I would be doing my work on my laptop while nursing him. 🙂
Online classes are a really great thing for moms especially for moms of newborns!
And, if you don’t want to take the online route again I recommend talking to your professors. I kid you not I talked with several women on my campus who actually went to class with their newborns. Newborns sleep a lot, so if your professor allows it you can strap your baby in a baby wrap and head to class! (Quick Tip: Schedule your classes to coincide with when your baby sleeps!)
7.) If you need to take the semester off do it!
I know it’s rough. I know you want to finish college on time like everyone else, but if you haven’t already fallen a little behind on your studies once the baby comes you will fall behind. Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work. Don’t be afraid to take the following semester off.
Sometimes life happens and things go unexpectedly. You may find yourself completely bed ridden sick, or in pre-term labor. You may need to take a leave of absence for the semester and return the following year. It’s okay. Don’t stress yourself out. I used to stress out so much. Trying to plan everything out, and I just realized I don’t have control over everything.
I’ve decided that for now my studies and my potential future career will be put on hold while I raise my children at least until they’re both in first grade. Some people disagree with my choice, and that’s okay. I know there’s daycare. Hell, even my college offers daycare, so it’s not like I can’t leave them there while I attend class. Bae, and I have spoken about it though, and we’re just not comfortable with the idea of it. Although my children drive me nuts
most days everyday, I love them. I’m happy that I have the opportunity to stay home for the time being and raise them myself.
I’m respectful of everyone’s choices because everyone’s situation is a bit different. At the end of the day you do what is best for you and your family.♥
I hope these are some helpful tips if you find yourself in a situation similar to mine. Don’t forget to look on your campus and see if there’s any support groups for expectant moms, and talk to your counselor because you may need to readjust your educational goals.
For more helpful resources I encourage you guys to check out College Success for Moms.