How To Continue Your Education At University During Your Pregnancy
Some women tend to have their perfect life plans mapped out for themselves. For many of them, this means scheduling when in their lives they will complete their educations, when they will find and hold down their career jobs, when marriage will come, and how soon after that children will come.
But for those of us who are a little more lax with the planning and have long since ditched strict schedules for ourselves, careers, education, babies, and life partners can come in pretty much any order. For the women looking to continue education while pregnant, quick to wave a dismissive hand at the idea of "right timing", the juggle can be a little tricky. But not at all impossible.
If you are quick to ask yourself how you go to college while pregnant, the short answer is: like everyone else. Except you will eventually get a diploma for one hand and an adorable bundle of baby for the other. While the journey through university with a baby on the way means possibly turning in assignments a little later or fielding the looks of pity or sympathy from your classmates, it doesn't mean that you can't handle it.
Heck, as a soon-to-be mom or a mom already, you've already proven your rock star status by even thinking of tackling more education while brewing that baby in that belly. Granted, your university experience might be a bit different this time around. Read: less keggers, more Netflix and chilling. But that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the learning experience and be seriously proud of yourself.
You're setting the groundwork for you to become an even greater role model for your baby someday by taking on a semester or two while pregnant. We've all done something less than easy as pregnant women, whether it was continuing our educations at university or working until our waters broke, and figuring out how to do it all is the hardest part.
You've set your goals straight and priorities right. Now it's time to prepare for what's coming. It won't be a piece of cake, but you can always arm yourself with information and know your rights and options when you choose to continue your education while waiting for your little bundle of joy.
You can also use our free tool available to you by clicking on the image below:
1. Don't Treat Yourself As An Invalid
That might sound harsh, but we mean well. Don't act as if you are incapable of doing things for yourself because of your pregnancy alone. One of the major pet peeves that pregnant women can agree on is the feeling of others making them feel weaker than others or unable to perform normal tasks.
If you're quick to treat yourself this way, then you can bet that your classmates and professors will follow suit. Sure, it's always a plus to have those around you act as sensitive to your situation as possible, but what you don’t need is anyone acting like you're a little waif of a girl just because you're pregnant.
If anything, you're kind of another version of Wonder Woman. Go you.
2. Remember Your Rights When It Comes To Making Up Missed Work
Because yes, your professors are required to allow you to make up any missed work that your pregnancy has afforded you. It is actually federal law that the university you attend makes exceptions for you when it comes to assignments missed because of any complications with your pregnancy.
Just as a student with a serious illness or surgical need would be allowed the exceptions when it comes to their papers and other assignments, you are permitted the opportunity to make up for your lost work. Of course you may be one of those lucky as heck women who have totally smooth pregnancies, but there is the off chance that you will need this extra help and as a pregnant woman attending university, you are more than entitled to it. We also put together a free tool that you can use to help you make the best decision.
3. Use That Walk Across Campus As Your Daily Exercise
If you're attending university on a small campus, then you can just thank your lucky stars as a pregnant woman far enough along in her pregnancy to be missing her feet. But if you're attending university on a campus that entails your first class of the day be in a main building and your following class be held in an extension that takes a good 15 minutes to walk to, then you can forego those evening walks meant to keep your baby weight at a minimum.
Okay, so maybe that's not an insane amount of exercise to be taking part in daily, but it is something, and as a pregnant woman, it is totally okay to be a little easy on yourself. Swollen feet are no joke, trust us. There are many online universities out there, just waiting for you. You can find them here
4. Keep A Snack In That Backpack
Remember that huge walk across campus that we were talking about? Well, whether or not you've got that across-campus commute to deal with, packing a healthy treat for yourself is a pretty perfect idea. Not only will you get that mid-day (or mid-morning!) boost, but you'll also get to feed little bean before he or she gets antsy in their cozy cave that is your belly.
It also doesn't hurt to treat yourself to brain food when you might be having baby brain all day. Which we can't really fault you for, to be totally honest.
Some schools have more facilities like cafeterias, lounges and on campus parking. These little things might make your life with a baby on the way so much easier, so when you are looking for schools make sure you have considered all the factors.
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5. Look Into Your University's Leave Of Absence Policy
Even if there is a certain attendance policy set in place by each of your professors or even your university as a whole, don't be too quick to worry. Although it isn't written out there in huge block letters for everyone to see, chances are, your university has plenty of counter policies in place so that students who need to take medical leaves of absence may do so without consequence.
Of course your impending pregnancy is of no surprise, especially with that cute little bump poking out to rest your books on, but a medical leave is a medical leave. And this sort of policy is also super handy, should you need to partake in some doctor-ordered bed rest.
6. Don't Be Afraid To Take A Break
As mamas, we like to think we can do it all, without taking breaks, and without any help. And for the most part, the superheroes in us do make us able to tackle all that motherhood has to challenge us with and then some. But when you're pregnant, trying to continue your education at university during that pregnancy, and feeling the major stress of it all over your body, you are totally entitled to let it get the best of you sometimes.
Don't be afraid to take breaks sometimes, and don't let yourself feel "guilty" for wanting to just sit down - or lay down - and veg out for a while. Because, believe us, you're already doing so much for yourself by continuing your education and refusing to give up on it.