Living as a student is by no means a simple, trouble-free life. Students have to tackle many things: complicated lectures, tests, lab work and often part-time jobs as well. It is also a time to develop long-lasting connections and have loving relationships. And in this exciting time of life, it is not rare for someone to be faced with a choice between having a child and continuing one’s studies. But is pregnancy really that incompatible with college? Let us think about it!
There are many instances when the pregnancy is considered in connection with studies. Sometimes, a young family wants to have children right away. Sometimes the pregnancy is completely unexpected and unplanned. And in some cases, it is the pregnancy itself that causes the need for additional education because parents want to improve their future chances of employment for the sake of the baby.
But in all those cases the biggest question is – do I stop my education while I am pregnant? Of course, this question is most pertinent for the future mothers, but fathers also may have their hands full with caring for their pregnant partner and making decisions for the future. So, can one study while expecting a baby? We are offering some tips!
We are offering here a possible plan of action which can potentially make possible to combine expecting a baby with improving oneself. This plan is not set in stone and may not be comfortable for everyone. But you can still use some tips from here and also add some inventions of your own.
Step Determine if you are pregnant
So, just several weeks before your term paper is due – you are experiencing something that looks very similar to early pregnancy signs. If you suddenly realize that:
- The menstrual period does not come as expected;
- You are experiencing nausea or vomiting, especially in the first half of the day;
- You are constantly feeling tired;
- You tend to sleep more than usual;
- You food preferences are changing – you suddenly crave certain dishes and cannot abide others;
- You become very sensitive to events and smells,
It is time to get a consultation. Remember – all those symptoms can point either to pregnancy or some other conditions: gastrointestinal diseases or exhaustion, for example. These conditions are quite likely to develop if you are experiencing stress while learning. Therefore, before deciding by yourself that you are pregnant – go to your local GP. They will examine you and confirm whether or not you’re pregnant. They would also help you use the pregnancy calculator to determine the stage of your pregnancy and the likely date of labor.
Step Evaluate the risks
Pregnancy is a normal condition for women. Still, there are some risks associated with it. Arduous physical training, working with toxic chemical substances and other types of tasks can be dangerous for the developing baby. You won’t be able to go on long-distance, strenuous trips, carry high loads, or participate in activities that can potentially cause a lot of stress. You will also need to look over your nutrition and overall day plan. It is necessary to consult a GP on the potential risks of tasks that associated with your current studies. He will perform a risk assessment, pointing out what is better to avoid and what can stay in your schedule.
Step Inform your professors and the university
Instead of trying to shoulder everything on your own – go to the faculty administration and your college advisor. More often then not they will help you. For instance, they will help:
- change your schedule to daytime classes instead of morning ones;
- exclude or put on hold classes that are included in your risk assessment as dangerous for the pregnancy;
- arrange your schedule around your examination appointments;
- discuss you exam options and possible academic leave;
- discuss nursery options (some universities have their own);
With such help, it will become possible to continue at least for one semester before you will need to take a rest before giving birth.
Step Create your own support group
It is very likely that your university would have a counselor or a support group for expecting mothers. You can always ask them for advice and help, but it would also be great to have support and understanding from people close to you. Your family, your friends, your dorm roommates – be as open with them as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Also, remember that future fathers can also be allowed leaves from lessons to help you with appointments and preparations – make use of it if you need your partner’s support. According to many accounts of young mothers, it was their student friends that lent them the energy and inspiration to move forward. Also – imagine how many uncles and aunts your baby would get!
Step Plan a new, healthy lifestyle for yourself
Pregnancy would significantly change your day-to-day life. Implement a new plan, so that neither you nor your classes and homework suffer as a result.
Implement a new daily plan
Mornings are difficult for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester. Rearrange your tasks accordingly. Try to move most strenuous tasks and classes to daytime. Also, avoid overtime in the evenings – you will need your sleep.
Change your mealtimes and watch what you eat
It is very important to eat healthily and eat enough. In the mornings, it is better to have a light breakfast, for example with dried bread or simple crackers. It will help prevent nausea and vomiting. Eat in small portions and try to avoid overly greasy and salty food. It would also be a good idea to prepare small lunches to eat through the day. Include fruit and vegetables and avoid foods like bacon, fries and meat with fat. Coffee and alcohol are also not advisable.
Plan in advance
It would be necessary to build your life not only around classes but around appointments as well. Your part-time job will probably have to change as well – at least you won’t be able to put in as many hours as before. If you get assignments that need a lot of time and research, such as an essay or a term paper – do not cram everything in the last few days. Plan it so you can put in some work every day. And do not forget financial planning as well.
Obey the rules for pregnant women
They are simple: dress comfortably, avoid high heels, avoid stressful situations and take regular walks. Not everything on this list can easily implement, but if you manage to do this – you will be much happier and healthier. And therefore – you will do better in your classes, too!
Of course, all these tips just sound easy. It will still take much courage and willpower to go through with them. But it is possible. And then you will be able to have a child and get your degree at the same time. Access your options and make your decision. We are sure – you will choose what is better for you and your family’s future. You will do splendidly either way.
The article was written with the assistance of the au.edusson writers.