As a college student, it is normal to feel all kinds of emotions when you find out that you are pregnant. Whether joyous, anxious or uncertain about the future, know that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences and have made it out the other side. Most importantly: know that you don't need to go through this alone!
You probably have a lot of questions - that's normal. We'll try to answer some of them in this post.
"I'm still in college and I'm pregnant. What do I do now? What can I do?"
Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, you may feel burdened by having to make a life-altering decision in such a brief period of time. You might feel like abortion is your only option, but the reality is that you have three primary options available: abortion, adoption, or parenting. Each option comes with its own benefits and challenges, all of which must be considered before making a decision that may alter your future forever.
Abortion: When college students unexpectedly read a positive pregnancy test, terminating the baby is often seen as the most straightforward answer. But it's important to remember that an abortion can have long-term psychological effects on the mother and carries potential medical risks. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as the consequences of an abortion should always be carefully weighed before having one.
Adoption: Carrying your pregnancy to term and putting the baby up for adoption is another option. Adoption can be a selfless act that provides an infant with a loving and caring family, even if you are not capable of raising them by yourself. While rewarding, this decision may also be emotionally taxing, as you must part ways with your child after carrying them for months.
Parenting: Parenting is a third option worth considering if you are pregnant. Raising a child requires the most responsibility, but usually provides the most fulfilling and rewarding outcome. If this ends up being your decision, modifications must be made to your lifestyle and routine - but many women have been able to make those adjustments while finishing their work and obtaining their college degree. It is possible!
"If I choose to keep the pregnancy, what do I do about school?"
For many expectant mothers, experiencing their pregnancy surrounded by the comfort and familiarity of school may be preferable. However, others may recognize that taking a break from educational pursuits is necessary for them at this time in life. Every woman must choose what is right for her situation. If you're unsure of which route to take next, our team is here to provide guidance in your specific circumstances so that you can make an informed choice on the path that works best for you.
"I want to stay in school and keep the pregnancy. How do I do that?"
If you decide to continue your education while expecting, there are some steps you can take to make balancing school and pregnancy a bit easier:
If possible and safe, reach out and communicate with the father of your child. Invite him into this life-altering experience by letting him know what is happening and give him a chance to step in as a source of help throughout the pregnancy. It's important for fathers to have an opportunity to bond with their unborn babies too!
Turn to your family and friends for support throughout your pregnancy. Explain the decision you've made to remain in school and continue the pregnancy, even if they don't always agree with it. Remember that this is entirely up to you, so follow what's best for yourself! If those closest to you can not provide sufficient comfort, we are here ready offer peer counseling as well as other services tailored specifically towards addressing any anxieties or concerns related to your situation.
Take the initiative to arrange a meeting with your academic advisor to explore your options in terms of course load and any necessary accommodations, such as an oversized desk or more frequent breaks.
To ensure that you and your baby stay healthy, it's essential to manage your time efficiently and get enough rest. Pregnancy can be draining, so make sure to listen to yourself and keep a manageable pace at all times.
Eat healthily and remember to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water and getting the right nutrients helps keep you and your baby healthy throughout the pregnancy.
Let us partner with you. iChoose Pregnancy Support Services exists to provide support and resources to women in situations like yours. Whether you need guidance, advice or simply a listening ear at any stage of your pregnancy journey, we are here to support you.
It's understandable to feel scared when you discover that you're pregnant as a college student, however, it is possible to remain in school and maintain a pregnancy. You are capable of achieving your academic aspirations despite this new hurdle. At iChoose, we offer care, compassion, and real assistance during this time. Don't put off asking for help if you have questions or concerns - we're here to help you.