Completing Your Studies When You’re Pregnant

You’ve got chapters to read, exams to cram for, and a whack of gazillion-word essays to pump out. You’re hands are full, you don’t have enough hours in the day, and the last thing you need is something else to deal with. But there it is–a positive pregnancy test. A seemingly insurmountable wrench in your life plan.

You may be tempted to plunge into despair and abandon your educational goals. After all, this is a huge obstacle that you cannot possibly overcome, right? Wrong. Make that 100 percent, unequivocally wrong. You can grow a healthy baby bump, study for exams, and generate top-notch papers. And, yes, you can graduate at the head of your class.

Admittedly, being an expectant mom and a straight A student is not an easy feat. It will require a significant amount of perseverance, dedication, and, yes, a healthy dose of good old-fashioned elbow grease. And everyone will feel the need to pass on words of advice.

pregnant graduate

In the interest of preparing you for the flood of incoming “pearls of wisdom,” here are a few helpful nuggets to get you started.

Guard that Baby Bump

While many expectant moms can continue their regular activities well into their third trimester, this is not always the case. Unanticipated medical conditions–related or unrelated to pregnancy–can crop up, requiring you to put your studies temporarily on hold.

If you find yourself in this predicament, do not become discouraged. As “5 Things Every Pregnant College Student Should Know” points out, even if a professor has an attendance policy in place, you can be granted a leave of absence for as long as it is medically necessary, and, at the conclusion of that leave, you must be allowed to resume the status you held before your leave began.

When it comes to guarding your unborn child, the most important thing you can do is follow the advice of your physician, avoid exposure to people who are ill, and stay away from harmful chemicals. And, if something doesn’t feel right, have it checked out immediately.

Create Breathing Room

Stress is not good for either you or your baby bump, so you will need to take steps to keep it under control. Plus, as your pregnancy progresses, your energy levels will dramatically decrease. As a result, you may need to make alterations to your schedule.

If you are currently enrolled in a bricks-and-mortar program, you may wish to consider switching to online studies. This greater flexibility will where to buy levitra cheap enable you to work around things like morning sickness and medical appointments. It will also allow you to take advantage of those opportune moments when your exhaustion and pregnancy brain subside.

If online studies are not an option, you may simply want to cut back on your course load.

Inform Your Professors That You’re Pregnant

Your professors can prove to be extremely helpful when it comes to juggling your pregnancy and your studies. Inform them that you’re pregnant. Not only will this forewarn them of any potential absences, but it also shows a higher level of maturity, responsibility, and respect on your part. By working together with your educational professionals, you may be able to devise a plan that will keep you on track towards meeting your goals.

Seek Support

You are definitely not alone in your plight. There are countless other young women who are pregnant college or university students–and these women can prove to be a huge source of emotional support and practical knowledge. “Juggling Graduate School and Pregnancy” recommends checking around campus for a support group of pregnant students as being around and interacting with women who can relate to your experience will be best for you moving forward.

Share Your News

Some women feel ashamed or embarrassed that they’re unexpectedly pregnant, as a result, they try to hide it from friends and family. You have no reason to feel ashamed. And, hiding your pregnancy will only result in you feeling isolated during a time when you need other people the most.

If you are having difficulty bringing up the subject of your pregnancy, “How to Tell Your Family that You Plan to Give Your Baby Up for Adoption” suggests writing a note, giving your loved ones a chance to take in your news, and allowing them the opportunity to let it settle before they respond. This will work whether you plan to keep the baby or opt for adoption.

The important thing is not how you open the conversation. The only thing that matters is that you do. After all, you will need the love and support of your nearest and dearest.

Don’t let a positive pregnancy test mark the end of your educational dreams and career pursuits. You can have the future that you’ve always dreamed of–and a bouncing bundle of joy to share it with.

Are you a graduate who successfully juggled pregnancy and school work? What advice can you offer someone in the same situation?

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I am a freelance writer, avid blogger, illustrator, and aspiring novelist who thinks the world is a terribly funny place filled with bizarre things to observe--and, of course, comment on. You can follow her somewhat neurotic and OCD ramblings at The Embiggens Project and at Searching for Barry Weiss.

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