I am a mature student at Uni and the organised person that I am, I have planned my pregnancy to be during my second year of my course. It wasn’t a big issue for me to cope with both course work and pregnancy. However it was been really important to take some steps to deal with both.
These are my recommendations to cope with pregnancy while studying.
- Let your tutor know as soon as possible. Your tutors can help you plan your academic year around your due date. For example taking time off for antenatal appointments or even getting a comfortable chair during exams. In fact, if you tell your tutors about your pregnancy, they will be aware that you have some special needs during the lectures for example, running to the toilet because you might have morning sickness.
- Set off early to attend classes on time. The further along you are the slower you walk so set off early to be sure you get there on time, this will help you not to miss any part of your class. For example, during my first trimester of pregnancy it took me 12 minutes to walk from Leeds train station to Uni but during my last trimester the same journey took me 20 minutes!
- Keep up with academic work. Every student gets their academic schedule at the beginning of the year so make your own agenda and try to complete your coursework ahead of the deadline. Since pregnancy changes your lifestyle (i.e. going nightclubbing) in some way you end up with more spare time on your hands, it would be a good use of your time to keep on top of your assignments and preparation for exams.
- Rest between lessons. For pregnant women is not healthy to be standing up or sitting down for long periods, so between lectures take time to do some gentle walks. Every Tuesday I had a horrible three hour gap between lectures and because I don’t live in the Leeds area going back home wasn’t an option. I decided to have split this time between walking gently around the campus, having my lunch and having a siesta. The last one was the most difficult since there is not really anywhere allocated for mothers-to-be to rest in privacy so the best option was ‘The Silent Room’.
- Keep calm, carry on. I know pregnancy can sometimes be hard for a student but stressing about you coursework doesn’t do any good. Stress isn’t good for your unborn baby.
I would say try to get your education done if your health lets you do it. Obviously, do what is best for you and your baby above all else. If your pregnancy is going well think that getting your degree could lead to getting a better career and giving a better quality life for you baby. Always remember you are not the first pregnant student doing a degree and you wont be the last.