Why You Should Continue with University When Pregnant
Having a baby is an eventful occasion, but becoming pregnant while attending university is an altogether different thing. The news of an unexpected pregnancy can come as quite a shocker to a college student. It's enough having to deal with one’s coursework and exams, but with the additional baggage of the financial and emotional implications of pregnancy, it's enough for many women to throw in the towel.
While some students unable to handle the stress go into a state of depression, others think of skipping a term and joining university at a later date.
No doubt, attending university when pregnant can be quite difficult, but it’s not impossible. Having a set of understanding friends and tutors can considerably lighten the load and make the journey as smooth as it could be. If tomorrow you find out that you’re pregnant, stop and think for a while before you hit the pause button in your studies. There’s nothing impossible about getting a degree while pregnant and here is why you should go on to complete your education.
1. Education is Important
The primary reason why you should continue with your studies even while being pregnant is because education is very, very important. Education has the potential to empower a person financially and emotionally and set them up on a career path.
So, don't stop your education midway just because you're pregnant, that's not a strong enough excuse. Education is not only going to improve your life for the better, but it also has the potential to improve your child’s life. Therefore, go ahead and complete your education because the future for you and your child deserves to be the best you can provide.
Think about what you want for your future, would your rather have a career you find rewarding and fulfilling, or just a job that allows you to get from point A to B without any recognition or a slim chance of promotion. Even though studies show that stay-at-home mothers lead happier lives, the single stay-at-home mothers aren't as happy as their married counterparts or as financially able to provide for their children.
At the end of the day, your education is important for your future success.
Once you feel motivated enough to give it a try and proceed with your studies while awaiting for your little one, make sure you know everything you need about the opportunities your school offers for the future moms. If you are not sure that it is the best choice for you and the baby, don't be afraid to consider other options and look into schools around you - changing schools is much easier than you think.
2. Your Right to Education
Pregnant women have a right to attend class and complete their education as much as any other student. Even the law admits as much. Under the 2010 equalities act, maternity is a protected category, so no university can refuse a woman entry on the basis of her being pregnant.
Under Title IX, any university receiving federal funds cannot bar a pregnant woman from attending class or participate in extracurricular activities. The university also must grant leave to a pregnant woman if her doctor says it is necessary. And once the woman returns, the university has to allow the woman to return to the same academic status as before her medical leave began.
It is also the university’s responsibility to give an opportunity to the pregnant student to make up any work that she might have missed when on leave. Considering that there are so many pregnancy-friendly laws, don’t you think you should at least give it a shot before thinking of taking a break.
3. Supportive Student Services
The whole idea behind having a student support service is to enable students to fulfill their university dreams and to help students who may have a disadvantage, whether it be a learning disability or financial difficulty. Student support services are there to see students succeed, because the more students who successfully complete their program, the better for the university.
Nowadays, many universities have a separate cell dedicated especially to pregnant women and their needs. Hence, even if you're pregnant, you needn’t worry about your studies getting hampered as your university is going to make things as easy for you as possible.
The only thing you need to do is to inform your departmental supervisor about your pregnancy as soon as possible so that they can plan your academic year around your due date. In a scenario where you are unable to attend classes your department can even arrange for your seminars and lectures to be emailed to you.
4. Taking a Break Can Disrupt Your Studies
It’s never a great idea to discontinue one’s studies, because having to restart one’s education after a long gap is not as easy as it sounds. Apart from having missed out on those precious years, you would have increasingly greater burdens to carry, so make that effort while it’s still possible.
Strive to the utmost to complete your education, because frankly, once you take a break, it can be quite difficult to get back into the groove. Having said that, one has to agree that sometimes the going can get quite tough for a pregnant woman, but enlisting the support of a cooperative set of friends and tutors can considerably lighten your load.
5. Help Maintain Your Sanity
Getting back into the regular university schedule of assignments and lectures and maintaining that connection with your pre-baby life can stop you from feeling lonely in a world of morning sickness and sleepless nights. It’s quite obvious that if you stay isolated from everyone at such a delicate juncture you are going to get stressed about your pregnancy.
Chances are that you will also fall into a state of depression and harbor negative thoughts which in turn can take a toll on your health. Hanging out with friends, attending university and concentrating on your work can put all kinds of depressive thoughts at bay because you would simply not have the time to think about these things.
And in the event that you do drop out, you might drive yourself crazy asking yourself if you’ve done the right thing.
6. It Will Boost Your Morale
When we ask someone not to study any further we are in a way ruining their chances for a better life – a chance to realize their dreams and goals. At a juncture when a woman needs all the emotional support she can get, asking a pregnant woman not to continue with her studies can just be the one thing that breaks her morale. Education is a great morale-booster that instills in us the faith to take on the world.
Going to university when still pregnant can improve a pregnant woman’s standing, not only in her own eyes, but raise her self-esteem too. In fact, a pregnant woman attending college should be encouraged for her decision as that shows her dedication towards her studies and career. She definitely can act as an inspiration to many people out there.
You are stronger than you think, and you shouldn’t treat your pregnancy like a terminal illness, you can be a mother and finish your degree, and that alone should make you feel pretty empowered. Besides, many colleges and universities participate in governmental programs encouraging pregnant women and young mothers to pursue their studies. All it takes is a strong desire to continue your path to learning and a the knowledge of the resources and alternatives accessible for you. You know you can do it!
7. It Will Help Your Family
An empowered and knowledgeable woman has the immense potential to bring about a positive change in her family. Being educated and having a degree is generally regarded as a stepping-stone to a great career which essentially means that one has a greater capacity to support their family financially.
However, financial benefit is just one aspect of the myriad benefits of education. What is most important is that you become a positive role model for people and inspire others to pursue an education. Don’t you think that is a sufficient reason to continue attending university?
The last months of pregnancy can become quite taxing especially if you have an exam coming up at the time of your delivery. In that case, you can think of deferring your studies for a while. If you need some me-time with the baby and wish to rejoin university later on, then it’s perfectly ok, but at the end of the day the decision should be yours.
No one else should have a say in that – the choice is yours and yours alone. So good luck to you and oh yes, many congrats on your pregnancy.