Handling pregnancy in school

Being pregnant while you’re in school can be scary. You don’t only have to deal with your pregnancy but you’re likely to face judgement, negative comments and the normal pressures of studying. However, there are ways to deal with this. Here are my tips.

Accept the situation

This is probably the toughest step, but it’ll help you start planning ahead and finding solutions. While being pregnant in school isn’t easy, it’s important to accept that the situation is happening right now and that it’s not permanent.

Prioritise mental health

Your mental health affects you and your unborn child, so it’s important to prioritise it during this time. Incorporate positive ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, like meditating, reading, light exercise and journaling. This will help you clear your head and focus better on your responsibilities.

If you are finding it hard to cope with the stress you can reach out to the CIPLA 24-hour Mental Health helpline on 0800 456 789. I’m also here for you, if you need to talk.

Ask for help

Apart form getting prenatal care (very important), you’ll need help dealing with your studies and planning ahead. It helps to speak to a teacher or an adult that you trust so that they can help you make arrangements for when you’ve got to be at home taking care of your baby. By law, the school needs to help you come up with a plan so that you can continue to do your schoolwork. No school can expel or refuse to let you do your work during this time.

Get enough rest

Juggling your pregnancy, making plans for your child and your studies can get exhausting. It’s important to prioritise getting sleep and using your free time to get some rest. This will help you prevent fatigue and maintain your mental health.

Know your rights

Your teachers are not allowed to treat you differently because of your pregnancy as this is against the law. As long as your safety isn’t jeopardised, you’re allowed to attend classes with your peers and submit tests and assignment. If your teachers do treat you differently or even discriminate against you, you’re able to contact your district Department of Education to report this.

Being pregnant while in school doesn’t mean you don’t deserve an education. You’re entitled to a good education, just like any other student, so no one has the right to take this away from you, Choma. Prioritise your mental health, use your time to plan ahead and lead on the support system around you.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).