Finding yourself in an unplanned pregnancy in college may sound too challenging.
Being a mom and a university student may seem impossible.
Here are 5 things to strongly consider before making any major decisions about what you should do if you discover you are pregnant:
- There are many students who are pregnant and parenting. According to the Affordable Colleges website, there are over 5 million undergraduate students in the U.S. who are pregnant or parenting. That’s over 25% of the total student population.
- Pregnant students are legally protected. Title IX states that no school that receives federal funding can discriminate against a student because of their sex (which includes related aspects like pregnancy, child birth, recovery, etc.). This protection extends to all student activities such as housing, academics, sports, student services, and extracurricular activities. Schools are also required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant students.
- Pregnant and parenting students will need extra support. According to the Study International website, most U.S. parents in college are single. Many also work. Many drop out of college because of the financial strain of school and daycare. While that seems like bad news, there’s good news if you live in East Alabama. Here at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, patients enrolled in our parenting program can visit our Baby Boutique and find items such as maternity clothes, diapers, baby clothes, high chairs, etc. at no cost to them. Baby Steps is another non-profit organization in the area that specifically offers support to Auburn University student moms and dads.
- Student parents make better grades. National University reports that “despite many of the challenges they face, many student parents may be more driven than their peers without children. Often, student parents attend college to better their job prospects and provide a better life for their own children. Approximately 33 percent of student parents earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Only 31 percent of independent students without children and 26 percent of students who are dependents have a comparable GPA.”
- Adoption may be a valuable choice. Some students who don’t think they can be both a student and a parent choose to make an adoption plan. At times, students will choose adoption, a selfless choice that can be difficult but can ultimately be what is best for them and what is best for their babies. There are three different types of adoption: open, closed and partial. The birth mother and father get to be the ones to choose what they feel is best.
Pregnant students can make an appointment at Women’s Hope to talk to a professional about these decisions. Some of the staff have been pregnant and parenting students themselves.