School or College
Becoming pregnant while still in school does not mean that you have to give up on your education. It is important that you disclose the fact that you are pregnant at an early stage to a teacher or a counselor in the school. This may be someone you feel comfortable talking to, and who can help you talk with the Principal. You will then be able to work out how best to manage exams and school work. It is also important that the school is informed of your pregnancy so that your health and safety while in school can be supervised.
Staying in School
Unless you are feeling unwell, there is no reason why you should not be able to go to school up to a few weeks before your due date. Sometimes you might feel awkward about being pregnant, or think that people are talking about you. Maybe they are, but this will often stop when something more interesting happens. In the early days people may be curious, but then they will get used to the idea and move on. If you do get a hard time from anyone, do try to tell a staff member. Any behaviour which hurts or upsets anyone should not be allowed to go on. Your own friends will be there for you.
Looking after yourself
Check with the school if you can wear a track suit or other comfortable clothes as your pregnancy progresses. It is also important not to carry a very heavy school bag, try to leave as many books in school or at home as you can.You may need to put your feet up sometimes during the day if they get swollen, perhaps during your breaks and when you get home in the evenings.
Try to bring healthy lunches, snacks and drinks to keep your energy up and reduce feelings of nausea which can happen if you are hungry. While you won’t be able to do much sport as your pregnancy progresses, use PE time to walk around outside if you can, gentle exercise is good for you during pregnancy.
Your ante-natal appointments will usually be during the day. You will normally have to bring a letter or appointment card to show the school, when you need to leave to attend clinic or doctor appointments.
If you are unable to attend school for a long period due to difficulties in your pregnancy or other health reasons, your school might be able to organise “Home Tuition” (home schooling) for you. A grant is available from the Department of Education and Science which goes towards the payment of a tutor to help you with your school work. This usually consists of about 8-9 hours a week for a period of 10 weeks. This time can be spread out depending on the need of the individual girl. It can be helpful the end of your pregnancy or for a few weeks before you come back to school after the birth. Ideally it is best if the tutor is from the school that you are attending as they will be linked into your school and the work being covered at a particular time. The principal of the school and your parent/guardian can work out what would work best to meet your needs.
A Home Tuition grant can be applied for by the Principal of your school directly to:
The Department of Education and Science,
Post Primary Administration Section,
4 Portlaoise Road, Tullamore,
A letter from the principal needs to include reasons why the student needs to be tutored at home and the approximate length of time needed.
A GP’s letter is needed with your application stating expected dated of delivery or, if baby is already born a medical reason why student cannot attend regular school.
Note: Payment is made at the end of the tuition period to the girl’s parent/guardian. The parent/ guardian therefore may have to pay for tuition up front themselves and be reimbursed at the end of tuition period.