Life is full of surprises. Pregnancy may be one of them. But pregnancy doesn’t need to ruin all your plans. Let’s talk about ways to stay on track even when pregnancy catches you by surprise.
Will pregnancy make me drop out of school?
Whether you’re in high school or college, you don’t have to quit going to classes. Even if your pregnancy were to develop complications that kept you home, you could finish your work from there. Federal law (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) requires your school to provide you with a way to finish your school work and graduate successfully.
What about athletic scholarships that might be endangered by pregnancy? You can’t lose them. According to the government’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), “terminating or reducing financial assistance on the basis of pregnancy or a related condition is prohibited under Title IX.” Check into options like taking a “red shirt season” and extending your eligibility after pregnancy. Both are possible for you under the law.
Neither dropping out nor terminating your pregnancy have to be your only options. Explore the possibilities. Know your rights. And if your school isn’t following the law, ask your local pregnancy center to support you in receiving your legal rights. Or you can contact the Office of Civil Rights yourself.
Will pregnancy ruin my relationship with my partner?
It doesn’t have to.
How you and your partner respond to this new situation depends on how the two of you have learned to handle challenges. If you’ve already developed good communication skills and unconditional love and respect for one another, pregnancy isn’t likely to change that. It may even draw you closer as you work through it together.
If you (and your partner, if he’s willing) want help keeping your relationship strong in the face of this new challenge, ask your local pregnancy center for their free one-on-one classes on healthy relationships. With the help of a caring mentor, you can enrich, strengthen, or even re-create your relationship.
Will pregnancy change the direction of my life?
Maybe, maybe not.
Like any major life event, pregnancy can give you a new perspective on life. You may want to shift your priorities, set new goals, or change old habits.
It depends on where you were headed before. Many women find that pregnancy pumps up their motivation to reach their current goals. Other say it makes them re-think their goals that now look shallow or short-sighted.
If your goals are not compatible with being a parent right now, you have the option of making an adoption plan. You don’t have to choose between the life growing within you and the life awaiting you. Both can go on from here.
So whether you continue in the same direction or steer somewhere new, your pregnancy can be a defining moment. What first seemed like seemed like a setback can turn into an opportunity.
Because pregnancy isn’t an end. It’s a beginning.
If you’d like to talk over your questions about where you want to go from here,
contact your local pregnancy center. (Find your nearest one here.)
Here at Choices Pregnancy Center in Redwood Falls, MN,
we offer Life Coaching.
It’s a free service designed to help you talk through what really matters to you
and how you can make your dreams come true in real life.
Let us help you navigate this new beginning.
Graduate While Pregnant? Yes You Can!
Back to School: Succeeding while Pregnant or Parenting
How to Turn Setbacks into Opportunities
For Further Reading:
US Dept. of Education: Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (especially pertaining to high school)
NCAA Pregnant and Parenting Students Toolkit
 If you want to learn more about your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, or if you believe that a school district, college, or university is violating Federal law, you may contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, at (800) 421-3481 or email@example.com. If you wish to fill out a complaint form online, you may do so at: http://www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html .