If you are a student and you have recently found out that you’re pregnant, you might worry about whether you can stay in school once the baby comes. While it can be challenging at times, it isn’t impossible. Remember, pregnancy lasts nine months, so you have time to plan. The important thing is not to panic or make rash decisions. You should look at all your choices, including parenting the baby yourself, or, if that is something you cannot contemplate, perhaps your best choice is placing your child into an adoptive family.
If you live in the Coeur d’Alene area, you can get the pregnancy help you need. Advocates can help you learn necessary life skills, help you to access financial support, and show you how to take care of yourself and your baby while you navigate your way through school.
1. Tap into Your Existing Network
Your first resource should be your friends or family members. Can your parents or siblings drive you to your doctor’s appointments? Once the baby is here, will some of your friends, siblings, or relatives be able to babysit for you while you go to class or do your homework? If it’s safe, you should also speak to the father of the child. Often, fathers want to be involved, and having a co-parent could take a lot of the pressure off you.
It will not always be easy, and it will take planning, organization, and effort. But those skills are useful life skills, and life is the best teacher. Don’t be discouraged: you are capable of finding a way, and you will be justifiably proud of yourself for not just taking an easy way out and dropping out of school. Focus on ways you can succeed, not the obstacles you will overcome. It is important to chart a course that will build you up, not leave you with regret or remorse.
2. Get Professional Pregnancy Help in Coeur d’Alene
Sometimes, young people don’t have a good support network, and that can be difficult when you get pregnant. But know that, even if your friends and family aren’t there to help, you’re not alone. Reach out to the professionals at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic. We have classes, support groups, and lay counselors who can help you figure out the next steps. All of our pregnancy services are no cost to you, so you can access them no matter your financial situation. We even have practical help in the form of baby supplies! We can discuss with you ways to make sure your schoolwork is not neglected once the baby is here.
3. Connect with Other Parents
Being pregnant while still in school can feel very lonely, but there are many others in the same situation. Connecting with them and exchanging ideas and sharing concerns could help you find a way forward. You can ask the other young parents how they managed pregnancy and what resources they used. What’s more, you might be able to babysit for each other once the children have arrived, so everyone gets a chance to take a break, attend school events, or do homework.
4. Take Care of Yourself
You won’t be able to do schoolwork if you’re constantly exhausted or not feeling well. At this time, it is more important than ever that you take excellent care of your body and your mind. Eat well, make sure you take part in some gentle exercises, and take your prenatal vitamins daily. Even though you have a lot on your plate, don’t skip spending at least some time with friends and doing fun activities. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
5. Work on Life Skills Early On
For many young women, pregnancy is a “wake-up call” to start taking on more adult responsibilities. Even if this sounds a bit scary, don’t short yourself by thinking you are not up to the challenge. If you decide to keep your baby, you will have some time to build up life skills that will allow you to juggle school or college with parenting. Taking small steps every day prepares you to handle all the challenges that will come your way through life, and you will be amazed at how strong you are. We have counselors who can coach you, and you can take group classes that will teach you how to solve problems, how to communicate and work with your partner and family, and how to co-parent effectively.
Staying in school while pregnant can be a challenge, but it is possible. In Hayden, there are lay counselors ready to offer help to women and men facing these challenging times. Contact us today at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic to book your first appointment.