Back to School… and Pregnant

Pregnancy brings a lot of change between physical changes to your body and emotional stress, and it can be tough to balance all of your responsibilities while still taking care of yourself. It’s important to remember that you can do it though! Today, we are going to share challenges to expect and tips on how to get back to college while dealing with a pregnancy. 
What challenges will I encounter being pregnant while in college?
Morning sickness
In the early stages of pregnancy, you may experience morning sickness which could make attending early morning classes difficult. If you must attend an early morning class, try waking up several hours before class time to give your body time to adjust to being awake. Make sure to eat breakfast (even if it’s light), pack water and snacks in your bag, and communicate with your professors about your situation in advance if possible. 
Here are some snack ideas of what to pack:
– Saltine crackers
– Almonds or other nuts
– Jolly ranchers or hard candy (A great option is Preggie Pop Drops which you can order off Amazon.)
– Berries 
– Dry breakfast cereal
Most women experience fatigue later in their pregnancy, but morning sickness can take its toll too. It’s important to prepare for this ahead of time by setting yourself up for success. Evaluate your class schedule, and try to incorporate time for breaks. Also, it might be a good idea to ditch the cute shoes and opt for comfortable tennis shoes.
Here are some tips for how to set yourself up for success:
1) Dress Comfortably
As mentioned above, comfortable shoes can be a game changer, but don’t stop there. Choose loose and comfortable clothes as well. This will make it easier to move around campus, get in and out of chairs, and it will help you feel more relaxed overall. The best part is you don’t have to throw style out the window – you can choose dresses or loose fitting pants (joggers for example).
2) Adjust your course load 
Most colleges offer a drop period where you can drop any class without penalty. It is usually within the first week or two of classes starting. When you are attending your classes, try visualizing yourself keeping this same schedule throughout the semester while also balancing your pregnancy (and possibly work schedule too). If you need to adjust your course load, do it as soon as possible! If you find yourself needing to adjust your classes later in the semester, it would be best to reach out to your college advisor or chat with your professors about your situation. While there are no guarantees of accommodations, it’s never a bad idea to ask! 
3) Find support and resources
College campuses are full of resources, and it’s a great idea to scope these out before you might need them. Here are a list of potential resources your college campus may have that you could look into:
– Writing lab / Tutoring (for help with classes!)
– On-campus jobs (to make your schedule easier!)
– Health resources
– Reach out to other expectant mothers
It’s also a great idea to look at local support groups and resources in the area. For example, Daybreak LifeCare Center has an in-house boutique with maternity clothes and baby items. We also offer free ultrasounds and other services. You could also look at local churches and nonprofits. 
4) Make sure that self-care is a priority!
One of the most important things you can do for both you and your baby is take care of yourself.   This can be as simple as eating nutritious foods and drinking lots of water, but it can also mean reducing stress around you. Find healthy ways to manage your stress – whether that’s writing down your to-do list and staying organized with a planner, attending an on-campus workout class, going for a walk, or spending quiet time with yourself. And make sure to get plenty of rest! 
The main takeaway is that YOU can absolutely pursue your education while pregnant. It won’t be easy, but with the right plan of action, you can take it one day at a time. Have patience with yourself and the process, and always reach out to a trusted source if you need help. Daybreak LifeCare Center serves the Columbia, South Carolina region, and we are always here to help.

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