Many high school graduates struggle to choose a major or classes to take, to learn how to live away from home, and eat healthy on their own. Getting through college is definitely not easy, but it’s even more difficult if you’re a pregnant young woman. Whether you planned to have a baby or not, whether you left college and came back, or simply want to finish what you started before you become a mother, there are some ways to make it easier for you.
Disclosure – this is a collaboration post
Know Your Rights
As a pregnant mother, your rights are protected while you’re a college student. Under these laws, you are entitled to remain in college and complete your degree. You are allowed to have absences, both for prenatal care and after delivery, with a doctor’s note so that you aren’t penalized for missed time. You must be provided opportunities to make up any coursework and exams and can file a complaint if your institution breaches any of these rights.
Communicate your plans with your college administrators and professors so you’re all on the same page and can work together to create a plan that allows you to finish your degree, even if you have a baby on the way.
Build a Support Network
You’re going to need to have some people in your corner while you finish your degree. This gives you someone to turn to when things get hard. You need someone who can go to appointments with you, talk you through when emotions get high, study with you, help you stay on track to reach your educational goals, and to be a friend. The baby’s father is an obvious support person. Still, you may want to find trusted professors, sorority sisters, nearby family members, and a counselor to help you get through this time.
Consider Going Online
Many top-notch colleges offer online degree programs, and it might make it easier for you to complete your coursework if you don’t have to be in class every day. This gives you time to work if you want to save money for the baby and is also ideal if you’re facing health struggles with your pregnancy and are afraid you’ll have to quit school until after the baby is born.
If you don’t want to do all of your classes online, perhaps you could do just a couple of them so you can still get the college experience but aren’t overwhelmed by everything that’s going on.
Take Care of Yourself
For many students, college is a time of having fun, staying out late, and eating junk food. If you’re pregnant, you won’t be able to enjoy college life the way your classmates do. You should take care of yourself so that your baby grows and develops normally. That means abstaining from unhealthy beverages and making it a habit to eat more healthy food. You can also get a check-up right here on Mid Atlantic Women’s Care.
You might also consider getting a wheeled backpack to take the strain off your back and stomach as you walk from class to class. Make sure you get plenty of pregnancy appropriate exercise and as much rest as possible.
Time Your Class Schedule
Because a pregnancy lasts for nine months, chances are you’ll be mapping out your next semester. Taking care to create a doable class schedule is important, especially in the later months of your pregnancy.
Choosing afternoon classes lets you rest in the morning and prevents you from running out with morning sickness if you’re experiencing it.
Plan time between classes instead of having them back to back, which allows for small breaks. When you start to struggle to keep up with all the classes and homework, be resourceful. Check that, if you need to buy a cheap essay and outsource some of your assignments to a professional. This way, you can both keep good grades and have a rest when you need it.
Plan for the Future
Nine months might seem like a long time, but it will go by before you know it. That means you should be making plans for after your baby is born right now. If you’re living in the dorms, you’ll likely have to move out and get an apartment since most of them don’t allow children. If you plan to go back to class to finish your degree after your baby is born, be sure you have trusted childcare lined up.
You might also consider getting a part-time job to support your baby. If your baby’s father remains in the picture, spend some time deciding how you’ll divide up baby care chores and your work schedule so you can both be participating parents.
The Takeaway: Plan to Succeed
While college might not be when you expected to become a mother, pregnancy is an exciting time that you should engage fully in. By having a college plan, you can revel in your impending parenthood, while also staying on track to reach your goals and make your future dreams come true.