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When pregnancy and school collide . . . .

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm not pregnant, but just about to start nursing school. Due to some health issues, it looks like we will TTC during my final year of school, delaying might not be an option for us. Just curious` if anyone has been there, done that. What were your experiences like? Were you done by the time babe was born, or did you go back to school with a newborn? Other kids at home, or your first?

post #2 of 14

I have BTDT - twice! Both of my sons were born when I was in school. My first one when I was getting my bachelors degree (my 1st year of college) and my second when I was in my 2nd year of graduate school. Both times, I went back to school with a newborn. I pumped milk so they wouldn't need formula when I was at class and breastfed when I got home. It wasn't easy to study and be a student and a mother at the same time, but I made sure to discuss my condition with my professors so they knew that I would be missing some classes around my due date. They were very understanding and allowed me to turn some things in early/late. Although it is hard to study for a test with a toddler tugging at your shirt or a while daydreaming about cute onesies, it was a good experience. my classmates were very supportive. They took notes for me and emailed them when I was out after giving birth. It worked out well. When I finished my program, I was able to get a job right away. If I had waited to finish school before having kids, I would have wanted to have them right out of school which may have been a problem in my first year (Oh, by the way boss, I'll be taking 6-12 weeks off my first year on the job, ok?) so I am glad I had them before I finished school. Now, I am ttc#3 and feel confident because I am secure in my career and am not worried about taking time off when the new little one arrives. 


I am not a nurse, so I am not sure what your final year in school will entail but I would be sure to discuss it with your professors to make sure you won't be in a situation that is risky for your pregnancy (X rays in a hospital or something) during that semester. With supportive teachers, classmates, and DH, I think you could have a very positive experience having a new baby while in school. Best of luck ttc! 

post #3 of 14

I was not pg in nursing school but we had three students who were, and they were able to manage it just fine. One had her baby the day after graduation, and one had hers believe it or not right before finals! But since she was planning for the birth to maybe happen she had studied very hard before the birth, and then was able to take the final the week after. The third student got unexpectedly pg right before we started the OB rotation. LOL! She was terrified by the awful birthing video we watched, but was excited after doing the actual rotation.


I went through FT fast track nursing school with my two school aged kids. It was very hard, but we managed. I honestly think it would be easiest to be pg with your first in the last part of school than being a mom of kids who need your time, too.

post #4 of 14

I'm glad to hear that there are those that were able to make having a baby and going to school work. I'm not in nursing, but I will be starting a graduate degree in September and am due at the end of September. I only need to take two courses between September and December and then I qualify for 9 months of maternity leave. One of my professors knows that I am currently pregnant and has given me an assignment to begin working on to help ease the burden of work during the semester. I'd like to talk to my professors about bringing my infant to class with me. The classes are three hours long and I figured that I would just baby wear and leave the class if I needed to. The daycare on campus doesn't accept babies that young and I'm just not sure who else to ask to help out with child care.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for chiming in guys, it's good to hear some different perspectives. Definitely some things to think about, especially the thought that it would be easier to be pregnant in school than pregnant and looking for a job.


Sukhada, babywearing in class . . . wouldn't that be a dream? Certainly would make everything much more feasible!

post #6 of 14

I wasn't pg in nursing school, I found out I was pg on graduation day, LOL. I had several pg classmates, most timed the pgs to be very pg when school was out for the summer or right when we graduated and give them some time off with baby. I would not suggest giving birth while in the actual program unless it can't be prevented. Nursing school is quite intense and special treatment is usually not given to anyone. You are only allowed to miss x amount of classes or clinicals, which are very little. We had moms give birth, miss a day or two and then have to be straight back to full clinical/class load. Babies were not allowed to attend classes with moms. I had done my prereqs at the same college and babies had been allowed in those classes but not in the actual nursing program. Pumping during clinicals was also a problem for some since your schedule is at the mercy of others. 

post #7 of 14

Aphel - yes, baby wearing would make everything easier. I'll let you know whether it works out. I'm actually a social work student. Generally speaking, I would say that social workers tend to be understanding of other people's life circumstances - it is after all part of the job. There are other students who have brought infants to class. When a student can't find daycare for a particular class, they will simply bring them to class (regardless of the age of the child).


I've spent my whole pregnancy in placement at community agency. I was pretty lucky because my supervisor was really understanding and let me take time off when I needed to for midwifery appointments. In fact, I often had to convince them that I didn't need any other accommodations. I specifically chose a placement that was more community development and policy focused so I didn't need to worry about needing to make special arrangements re: what kind of work I was able to do. If I had been doing community based case work, I would have had to think about not working with particular clients because their home environments might not have been "safe" (e.g. tobacco, cat feces, hoarding, etc.). I have also been very lucky to have a fairly easy pregnancy. I haven't really had any morning sickness or other issues. I just finished my placement last week. I'm 33 weeks now and I'm starting to feel a little tired and really need some time to prepare for baby. 


I think you could be pregnant during your program, particularly if you planned it for your final year. You would need to, as others have said, be careful about your clinical placements and be prepared to push through some tiredness.

post #8 of 14

I also wanted to just remind people that not every pregnancy is an easy one of course. You might unexpectly end up on bedrest and have to drop out. :-(

post #9 of 14

I was a grad student when I was pregnant with my son.  My first pregnancy was VERY rough... I had hyperemesis that didn't improve until the 20 week mark, when I got a kidney infection and was hospitalized for a week and then spent another week recovering at home.  I had already decided to leave school for other reasons (I was really, really unhappy in my program, about to finish a 2 year fellowship, and not making enough progress to justify paying out of pocket for the next year if I couldn't secure an assistantship) but the pregnancy sure didn't convince me otherwise.  I think if I'd been on the fence, the amount of ill I was and the lack of support I got for it in my program would probably have pushed me over.


On the other hand, one of my best friends, another grad student, had a normal, healthy pregnancy, continued school throughout the entire thing, and went back to class (with her son in a carrier, which I understand is not an option in a nursing program!) like a week after giving birth.  She's an amazing woman and I love bringing her up as an example that yes, it IS possible to progress in academia and have children.

post #10 of 14

I'm in this boat now... at university and 8 months pregnant. It looks like I will have this kiddo just before fall term begins (the timing is purely great luck on that front) and I have already spoken to my professors who have all encouraged me to wear him to class. Can I just tell you how much I absolutely adore living and going to school in such an amazingly baby friendly town, where all my professors are familiar with, and in favor of, attachment parenting??!! Just... wow.


I'm an economics student, so I'll agree with the others here who have suggested you determine what sort of things would be required of you in nursing school and whether or not they'd be compatible with being pregnant. And I'll also concur with the previous poster who reminded us that not all pregnancies are as easy as mine has been. I've gone to school full time, worked 24 hours a week, and volunteered a bunch at about three different places as well... all until just this week, so I'm really blessed, and I keep forgetting that.


I'm a single mama, and I'm not coming into any lottery or inheritance money anytime soon, so not finishing my degree simply was not an option for me. LOL I think this is true for all of the student mamas here: if education is a priority for you, you just find a way, right? You can DO IT!! Go, mama, go!

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the encouragement ladies love.gif


Unfortunately, my second year of school will involve two clinical rotations a week, 8 hours each. Most likely, I'll be on my feet that entire time. And there will definitely be no bw'ing in the hospital!


My last pregnancy was mostly uncomplicated, but I did have frequent preterm contractions starting at 30 weeks. There was little to no cervical change, but it was concerning enough that I spent a chunk of each day on what my MW liked to call "couch rest". Hopefully, it won't be an issue in a future pregnancy, but it's worth speaking to my CNM about. Maybe a reason to push back TTC so I would be out of school at least by the time the third trimester hit. Good food for though, for sure . . . .


post #12 of 14

I just finished nursing school and I have a 2 1/2 month old sleeping beside me right now. 


Here's how it worked for us-  I was in an intensive graduate program that lasts slightly longer than a year for students with BA/BS in other disciplines, and got pregnant one month in (doh!...seemed like a good idea at the time!).  Baby was born in June after a pretty easy pregnancy; the program finished up in August (like...last week, hurrah!).  I wasn't able to take any time "off" for the birth/newborn period- obviously I missed a few days, but I had to make up any hours before the program ended.  I was at clinical for 10 hour shifts having regular contractions and bloody show and sticking it out because making up the time was going to be difficult or impossible.  I was back at orientation for our next rotation a week after he was born (and three days after he got out of the NICU- that's another story) while my husband walked the halls with him so I could slip out when the baby needed to eat.  When he was 2 1/2 weeks old I was back full-time and pumping, and trying to find time to make up the days that I had missed.  It's doable, but it's not fun.  Feel free to PM me if you want more details.


Now, if you can time it so that you have the baby during the post-school, but pre-NCLEX/finding a job stage, that could be ideal.




post #13 of 14
Here's an article about having babies in grad school: Babies in Graduate School: Making it Happen smile.gif Good luck!
post #14 of 14
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