How to Survive School Being Pregnant



Determine whether or not your school is held to Title IX.,
Speak to your school’s Title IX coordinator.,
Demand your education.,
Take the time you need.,
Take special classes for pregnant students if you want to.,
Learn your school’s policies for all students with physical or emotional conditions.,
Ask to be made comfortable.,
Don’t put up with harassment.,
File a grievance.,
Get medical support.,
Enlist help from friends.,
Find mental health support.,
Find a safe home.,
Eat well and eat often.,
Give up harmful substances.,
Give your body rest and exercise.,
Treat school like it’s your job.,
Practice safe sex.,
Consider taking time off.

All public educational institutions are accountable to protect you as a pregnant student under title IX. Private schools that receive federal funding are also accountable. Any educational institution that receives federal funds, including those run in correctional or health care facilities, must abide by Title IX or forfeit funding.Any educational program that receives federal funds, including internships and School-to-Work programs, must abide by Title IX.
A school that is controlled by a religious organization is exempt from Title IX when the law’s requirements would conflict with the organization’s religious beliefs.This means if the religion has a strict belief against premarital sex, the student would not be protected by Title IX and could potentially be denied the opportunity to continue participating in classes or have excused absences due to pregnancy.;
, Every school that receives federal funds must designate a Title IX coordinator or counselor.This person will help you navigate the system as a pregnant student. Ask in the main office of your school, or look up the coordinator online. The information has to be readily available for your school to be in compliance with Title IX, so don’t take no for an answer., Under Title IX, your school must allow you to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities while pregnant. Continue to take your regularly scheduled classes, including advanced placement and honors classes. If you would like, you can continue to participate in school clubs, sports, and after-school programs.Hold your positions. If you have been elected to a position of student leadership, an honors society, or anything else, you may not be asked to step down because of your pregnancy.
Again, if you school is exempt to Title IX, you may not be guaranteed these rights.

, If your school is held to title IX they must excuse absences related to pregnancy or childbirth, provided your doctor says they are needed. Your school must allow you to return to the same place you were in when you left. They cannot demote you from positions you held, nor remove you from the classes you were in. You must be given the chance to make up the work you missed when absent, including homework, tests, and presentations. If you are graded on attendance or class participation, your teachers must give you alternative assignments of equal worth., Your school may give you the choice of transferring to an alternative school, or taking special instructional classes for pregnant students. This program must offer the same types of academic, extracurricular and enrichment opportunities as your school’s regular program. Under Title IX, this must be a choice: your school cannot pressure you to participate.If you are in middle or high school, your school might want to transfer you to an alternative school. You do not have to transfer. Visit the facilities of the alternative school. If you don’t like it, stay in your regular school.Students who transfer when they don’t want to are more likely to drop out.

, As a pregnant student, you should have the same rights as other students with temporary medical conditions. Some schools offer significant help to students with medical issues. If your school provides these students with homebound instruction, independent study, or at-home tutoring, you can ask for these options as well.

Unless your school requires one from all temporarily disabled/ill students, you should not be required to get a doctor’s note to participate in class or extracurricular activities.You are not required to provide a doctor’s note to excuse your hospitalization during childbirth, unless all students who are hospitalized are required to provide a note.

, Your school must provide for your comfort as a pregnant student. You can ask for adjustments such as a larger desk or access to elevators. Ask to be seated near the door, so that you can take frequent trips to the restroom. Go to the restroom as often as you need to: you cannot be penalized for pregnancy-related bodily demands., Your school is required to protect you from bullying and discrimination. Report any student, teacher, or other member of your school’s community who makes a sexual comment about you, calls you a “slut,” spreads rumors about you, makes sexual gestures, or does anything else that makes you uncomfortable. Tell people they can’t touch you without permission, even when your belly is big.Report offenders to your Title IX coordinator, your counselor, or other staff.

, As a pregnant student, you are covered under the same policy that prohibits sex discrimination. Your school is required to have a policy against sex discrimination, and to distribute it. Your school is also required to have grievance procedures in place. If you experience sex discrimination, file a complaint with your school’s Title IX coordinator using your school’s internal grievance procedures.If your school has failed to appoint a Title IX coordinator, or if the coordinator has proven unhelpful, file a grievance with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within 180 days of when the discrimination took place.If your school has been egregiously discriminatory or unhelpful, consider filing in court.Contact the Office for Civil Rights if you have questions about your rights or if you would like to report a school district or university for violating Title IX., One of the most reliable ways to survive school while pregnant is to have on-campus health support. Visit the school nurse and ask what sorts of aid are available. Unless you study at a university with its own hospital, you are unlikely to have all your health needs taken care of on campus. Visit a regular doctor for other needs.If you are a teenager, you are at a higher risk for pregnancy complications such as anemia, premature birth, and high blood pressure.If your parents have health insurance that covers dependents, you may be covered by their plan until you are 26.Discuss the terms of your parents’ health insurance policy to determine whether or not you are covered.
If getting on your parents’ insurance plan is not an option (maybe you are not on good terms or you aren’t covered), you will need to seek out your own insurance.
Giving birth qualifies you to apply for government insurance even after the deadline for Open Enrollment (or the period during which you can sign up for insurance) has passed.If you enroll up to 60 days after giving birth, your insurance will begin the day of the event. So, if you give birth on March 15, 2016 and enroll on May 14, 2016, you coverage applies from March 15 to the end of the year (December 31, 2016).If you are unable to work or afford the monthly payments for insurance, you may be eligible for Medicaid through your state. If you receive Medicaid, your infant will automatically be eligible for coverage as well. Each state has its own requirements for eligibility, so you will need to contact your local Medicaid office to find out if you qualify.Try searching here for an office near you.
While you wait for your government insurance, visit a free clinic such as Planned Parenthood. They may have resources your school doesn’t have, such as classes for expecting parents.
Most towns have women’s health centers or family services centers you can visit.

, Being pregnant and in school is a lot of work. You will need your friends to help you out in ways they never have. If your friends have not been pregnant or helped someone who is pregnant, they may not pick up quickly on your new needs. Communicate clearly about things you need.

You may need help with food, with errands, and with getting around. Create a schedule and ask your friends to sign up for shifts.
If you are in middle or high school, you also may need help socially, as some people won’t “get it.” Ask your friends to stand up for you if they hear someone spreading rumors or calling you names.
Tell your best friends exactly what you’re going through. If student pregnancy is unusual at your school, you will have to spell out your needs to your friends. Tell them what you are worried about, what you need, and that you appreciate their support.
If you don’t have supportive friends, see if you can join a local meet up group for new parents. You’ll meet people who have gone through what you are going through.

, Your mood may become more variable during pregnancy, which can affect your performance in school. Depression might happen during pregnancy, and is very common afterward. If you find yourself to be unusually sad, have thoughts of hurting yourself, or feelings of hopelessness, report this to your doctor like you would a physical pain. Ask your doctor for help finding a therapist or a social worker to get you through your depression.

, If you are facing familial rejection for your pregnancy, you will need to find a place to live in your area. Ask your counselor or social worker to help you find a group home for pregnant teens and teen parents that will not require you to move far from your school. If you are escaping an abusive relationship with your partner or family, you may need to stay in a secret location. Contact your social worker or local police and ask for help if you are being physically harmed or endangered., Especially if you are still a teenager, you will need to keep a healthy diet while pregnant. Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat meat and dairy. There are government programs such as the WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) that can help you afford good food. Avoid soda and junk food, and eat healthy snacks like fruits and nuts in between classes to keep your energy up.

An empty stomach can lead to morning sickness and nausea. Carry a mild snack like wholegrain crackers to eat throughout the day.Try to drink fluids throughout the day, cutting back during mealtimes.Seek treatment if you have an eating disorder. You can seriously harm your child and yourself if you give birth without adequate nutrition.If you eat at home, teach your family about good nutrition. You and whoever cooks in your house should come up with meals together that will support your health.

, Drugs, alcohol, caffeine, junk food, and cigarettes are all harmful for your child and yourself. Drugs and alcohol are also bad for your schoolwork. The sooner you are able to quit, the better. Talk to your school nurse, your counselor, or a doctor to get help with addiction. Ask your friends and family for their support while you give up smoking, drinking, and eating unhealthy food., You may find you need to sleep longer hours, or take naps after school or in between classes. Ask your school if there is a place you can lie down if you find you need a nap during the day. Exercise will help you sleep better, reduce health risks for you and your baby, and ease your back pain. If you always exercise, you can probably continue a similar exercise regimen during your pregnancy.If you do not normally exercise, start by going on walks or exercising for 10 or 15 minutes at a time until you build up more stamina.
Avoid any exercise that has you lying on your back after your first trimester.
Avoid exercise that puts you at risk of falling.
Drink plenty of fluids while you exercise.
Check your local hospital, fitness center or gym for exercise classes for pregnant people, such as prenatal yoga., For a pregnant student, school becomes less of a social space and more of a job. You’re taking care of your body full time, so taking care of schoolwork will need a special focus. You also might experience what is sometimes called “baby brain,” or a lack of focus and memory associated with pregnancy. Keep a calendar with all your assignments as well as your doctors appointments and other dates.

Get a tutor or talk to your teachers if you are struggling with understanding the material.

, Talk to your doctor about sex during pregnancy. If your doctor says you it is safe for you to have sex while you are pregnant, use a condom when you do. Sexually transmitted infections can be extremely harmful to newborn babies. Use a condom to avoid contracting an illness that could hurt you and could cause cause blindness, pneumonia, or meningitis in the baby., If you are in college, you have the option of taking a semester or a year off. Talk to your guidance counselor about the possibility of leaving and picking up where you were. You might want to stay in school while pregnant and then take a year off if you are keeping the child, or you might need to stay in school in order to collect your financial aid. If you do take time off, make sure you apply for extra scholarships for students who are parents when you are ready to return.

If you are in high school and you are struggling to take care of your pregnancy and your schoolwork, consider taking classes for your GED. Talk to your school counselor about this decision.

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