If you think you might be pregnant the first step is to find out for sure - you can take a pregnancy test at your GP surgery or you can buy a home pregnancy test at most pharmacies. You can do most pregnancy tests anytime from the date your last period was due.
What to do if you're pregnant
Remember that you are not alone. Don't worry, you have plenty of options and we're here to support you in your decisions. Before you rush to make a decision, seek advice about the options open to you.
Help available through BU
There are various on-campus services that can provide support. You should go to whoever you feel most comfortable talking to. Faith & Reflection, Student Wellbeing, SUBU Advice and the Student Medical Centre are the main places you can go to for help and advice.
We recommend contacting your Programme Support Officer to have a greater understanding of the support available to you within your faculty and the process of interrupting during the academic year if you need to. Contact AskBU to find out who your PSO is.
It it worth considering that if you need to interrupt your studies to have your baby, that your student finance payments will also be paused. BU are also unable to support interrupted students with any additional funding while they are interrupted because they are not studying. You would also not be eligible for Universal Credit prior to the birth as you would be considered a full time student.
With this in mind we recommend speaking with SUBU Advice before making any decision about your studies as they can give better guidance on what government funding is available. You can contact them by email to SUBUAdvice@bournemouth.ac.uk.
We also recommend looking at the Sure Start Maternity Grant.
Outside agencies that can help you
There are a number of external agencies that offer support if you get pregnant. These include:
In the meantime, try not to worry, doing some of the following may help:
- Visit your GP
- Try and eat healthily, for more information on this visit the NHS website
- Try to avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise
- Set yourself goals that are achievable
- Be positive.
N.B. The National Union of Students (NUS) interviewed 2167 students in higher and further education with children, and found that 29 per cent became pregnant during their studies (NUS 2009).
You can always speak to your academic advisers
Pregnancy may impact on your academic work and, depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to an extension or postponement. Talk to your Academic Advisor, Programme Leader (PL) or Programme Support Officer (PSO) to find out more about Exceptional Circumstances.
There is also more online help and support available on the A-Z Resources page.
Based on resources:
NHS Choices, 2013. Your pregnancy and baby guide [online] London:National Health Service.[Accessed 2 February 2014].
National Union of Students, 2009. Meet the Parents. The experience of students with children in further and higher education [online]. London: National Union of Students.