If you think about how a woman’s body changes and adapts to the wonders of pregnancy, you’d see that it is nothing short of a miracle and a true blessing. When one looks at pregnancy, they see it as a new chapter in their lives, something to obviously look forward to. When I was a child who grew up in the standard four person household, I had always dreamed of having a large family. So, why exactly did my heart drop when I stood in the bathroom holding a positive pregnancy test? You’d think that if my main wish was to be a caring mother to many children (I actually wanted 5!), my reaction would be anything but disappointed. Something major loomed over my head. “How am I going to deal with school?!”
Now, somewhere inside of me was happy that I am pregnant. However, I had become so in love with my major that plans of bearing a child had been placed in the back of my mind. I knew that I wanted to focus on school and still carry my child, but my main concern was how I was going to achieve having a healthy pregnancy and still be successful in school. No one knew how I felt. All of my friends who have had children had either dropped out or flunked out of school. That is a double negative for me. I needed to graduate and in good standing. After doing research and reading stories of mothers who dealt with pregnancy while attending college, I thought that there had to be a way for me to be a successful college graduate and a caring mother. I started the fall semester at the beginning of my pregnancy and traveled all through pregnancy. I’ve reached my trial and tribulations, but after coming up with a plan, dealing with pregnancy and being a successful student was actually easier than I thought.
Based on my experience, here are 7 helpful tips in getting through a pregnancy while studying in college.
1. Take A Light Class Load
If you can and if you have time, try to go through your schedule and see if there are any classes that can wait to be taken. If you are used to taking a minimum of 16 credits, try to cut it to 12 credits. You will still be considered a full time student, and you will have time to rest as well. Trust me, you do not want the extra stress during your pregnancy. Stress+ Pregnancy = DANGER.
2. Try To Look For Online Classes
It is helpful to take classes online if you are able to. This will give you a chance to work on your assignments stress free and in the free space of your home. Almost all colleges and universities have online programs. You’d be surprised at how many required classes can be taken outside of the classroom.
3. Talk To Your Professors
I made the mistake of waiting to talk to my professors towards the beginning of my pregnancy. I had the worst morning sickness and found myself missing out of class because I had felt so horrible. After sitting down with my professors, especially towards the end of my pregnancy, they all were understanding and helped me come up with a plan to either study independently or found other methods to help me succeed in the classroom.
4. Find Your Support Team
Pregnancy is NOT easy, but having someone there for you can help lessen any negative feelings you may have. It’s understandable though that some would like to keep their pregnancy quiet for a bit but would still like the support. There are many different resources out there, such as counseling, which can help you in your situation.
5. Ignore The Looks
Though pregnancy is very, VERY common in today’s time, some people might think that seeing a pregnant student walking around campus is a bit odd. Trust me, I’ve gotten those looks. I have seen students whisper behind my back, and let’s not forget the classic “But you’re so young!” comment. No matter what people say, it should never influence you to be ashamed of your pregnancy. Like I said before, it is a wonderful thing! I won’t lie, you will get looks. A lot of them too. But just keep your head up. What you are doing is incredibly brave and inspiring.
6. Pack Ahead Of Time
I know this tip might belong more in the “Tips To Be Successful In School!” , but it is completely necessary in this case as well. If your pregnancy exhausts you like mine does, then you’d come to realize that getting up in the morning becomes 10 times harder than normal. An easy way for you to have a stress free morning is to pack your things the night before. All you have to do is get ready and head out the door. Simple as that!
7. Request Time Off Weeks Before Your Due Date
Okay ladies, the last thing we want is for our water to break right in the middle of a lecture! Not only would that be embarrassing, but that would truly be frightening as well! Requesting time off from school a few weeks before your due date is a key to having a safe delivery. You do not want to have to drive yourself to the hospital in immense amount of pain, do you? With time off from classes, at least you will be able to study and won’t have that worry about anything happening while in class.
Being a pregnant student in college is completely doable, but it is a challenge. Hopefully these tips can help you go through this blessing while getting good grades. Don’t forget, you have your little buddy in there giving you glorious kicks of encouragement!
Good luck, Future Mothers!