From Bump to Classroom: Navigating the Challenges of Pregnancy as a Teacher

Managing Pregnancy as a Teacher: I remember finding out I was pregnant, and all I could think of was how I would cope with the pregnancy’s stress. I remember having to make jokes about the choice of names and even coming up with names from Marvel and DC superheroes. I had difficulty picking a name but finally arrived at a name- Diana. 

I started teaching three years earlier and had the opportunity to teach senior high Spanish classes. A year later, I had my second pregnancy, and this time around, it came with much more stress than the first.

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Being a pregnant teacher can come with lots of stress or not. The nauseous feelings, mood swings, uncomfortable situations, morning sickness, tiredness, and every baggage that comes with pregnancy have a lot of stress, adding to the workload waiting for you to deal with as a teacher.

My first pregnancy as a teacher made me realize all the stress my pregnant teachers in high school and college went through trying to teach the students. Now I truly understand the pains they went through during those times.

So you’re a teacher and have a baby on the way, but you’re having pregnancy scares because you’ve heard teachers talk about what they went through when they were pregnant, especially in the classroom. Here are a few tips I mastered while I was pregnant that helped me handle pregnancy and teaching.

A pregnant teacher in front of a board - Managing Pregnancy as a Teacher

Source: Google

How Do You Cope With The Physical Stress Of Pregnancy As A Teacher?

Note that as women and teachers in different classrooms, coping with the physical stress of pregnancy is never the same.

Dealing with pregnancy and school work can be frustrating, but if you know how to soak in the pressure during this time, it wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Fortunately, I had a friend who gave me the strength to cope with the pregnancy and steps to handle the physical stress, which I am about to share with you.

Stay Hydrated 

During my pregnancy, one of the essential things I did to ease my physical stress was always to stay hydrated. I ensured I had water regularly because dehydration usually leads to fatigue. So the more you stay hydrated, the less likely you’ll get tired. Without getting hydrated, I always felt weak, which can lead to some discomforts like back pains. 

A pregnant lady drinking water to stay hydrated - Managing Pregnancy as a Teacher

Source: First time parenting

Take Breaks

Taking breaks during pregnancy works well. I remember I was five months old and had a class by 10 am. I got into the class, and it was only 5 minutes that I began feeling dizzy and tired. My students noticed it and decided I needed to take a break- it’s why I enjoy teaching senior high.

I sat down for a while, but it wasn’t enough, and my students told me it was okay to return to the staff room. I returned to the staff room and took a break for the rest of the day.

Taking breaks during pregnancy can help you. You can take short breaks or breaks in between your schedules. You can also take a break for a full day because pregnancy can be physically demanding.

Well, it depends on whichever way you want it, but make sure you take breaks during these periods, whether a short break or a full day. It helps reduce fatigue and gives you the strength to continue for the rest of the day or the next day. 

Practice Regular Sleeping Time 

Taking breaks is different from having enough sleep during pregnancy, and it was one thing I never skipped. I slept at least 5-6 hours every night, and the next day, I always woke up refreshed.

Well, nighttime wasn’t the only period I had some good rest. I also took some short naps during the day. Sleeping well at night refreshes you and gives you strength for the day’s work.

Make it a habit of having a good sleep for 6-8 hours every night. Regular sleep helps to reduce the common fatigue that pregnancy comes with.

Yoga Exercises 

As a teacher, I learned or practiced some stress management techniques during my pregnancy. I went through some prenatal yoga exercises, which helped improve my mood and sleep.

It also helped my body’s flexibility and gave me strength. This exercise helped reduce the back pain I always had and other common pregnancy symptoms.

I visited my doctor, who recommended the yoga exercise, and it worked well for me. It would be best to visit your Health Practitioner, who’d recommend exercises for you, and yoga might be one of them too. You can also explore other stress management techniques to help reduce physical and emotional stress.

A picture of a pregnant woman doing yoga - Managing Pregnancy as a Teacher

Source: HealthifymeI want you to remember that every pregnancy is unique, and the best way to understand that is to have an idea of how your body works.

Listen to your body every day. Your first and second pregnancies may not be the same, which is a good reason for you to pay close attention to each pregnancy and your body.

Physical stress cannot be dealt with, but it can be reduced, and these things listed above will help reduce the stress that comes with pregnancy.

What Actions Should You Take First As A Pregnant Teacher

Pregnancy comes with excitement, and it triggers anxiety too. When I found out I was pregnant, it was a mixture of excitement and anxiety because I was a teacher and didn’t know how to cope. 

I immediately informed my administration and colleagues about the pregnancy when I confirmed my pregnancy. From then on, they knew I’d begin prenatal care in the next few months, prompting them to start making arrangements for the coming months.

They reduced my workload and had a colleague fill in some hours for me,  making me feel less tired and overly stressed. I also had a teacher buddy cover up for me when I took bathroom breaks.

After I informed my school and colleagues, I consulted my healthcare provider, who fixed appointments with me. Fixing appointments with my doctor helped in my regular check up should there be any form of complications or irregularities, and she also advised me on how to handle the pregnancy with care since I was a teacher. She knew the stress it came with. She also helped recommend some health tips for me during the pregnancy, which I’ll still share with you.

Paying attention to your physical and mental well-being should be one of the necessary actions that you should take. I was able to help scale through my pregnancy because I was able to manage the stress.

Sometimes Brian, my husband, would come back and I’d want to make dinner but he’d opt for me to rest. Brian would make the dinner; after we were done, he’d clear the dishes and even help keep the house in order.

I understood how my body works and that trying to do everything all at once would break me down and I complained about this to Brian during my first pregnancy.

So ever since then, Brian has been helping me manage the stress by doing most of the chores and taking me to the hospital to avoid complications.

A picture of a teacher writing while looking at her laptop - Managing Pregnancy as a Teacher

Source: Google

Your doctor should check your health, especially your mental health, every time during your pregnancy. Pay good attention to your health every time.

Most times during pregnancy, we forget to take care of ourselves. However, if you teach while pregnant, taking care of yourself should be your top priority.

During my pregnancy as a teacher, I took some actions to help me understand my body and pregnancy. I won’t exclude the fact that I also communicated with my students about my pregnancy, who were also very helpful.

I also educated myself on pregnancy, as you’re doing now. I stayed informed with prenatal care, exercise, diet and potential complications.

I even sought help and support by connecting with other pregnant women who were teachers and non-teachers. All of these actions helped pull me through during my pregnancy. 

What Final Advice Should Pregnant Teachers Take?

Pregnancy is sometimes a smooth and rough journey; yours can be that way too. All you have to do is, take it easy on yourself.

Do not fret; you can scale through the moment just like I did and many others. And once you scale through the first time, the second may not be as scary as the first one may have been to you. 

During the first two months of my pregnancy, I could wear whatever I wanted, but my doctor told me to fit in on more comfortable dresses when the belly became more obvious.

I wore clothes like flowing skirts and tops, soft and stretchy dresses, cardigans and sweaters, oversized button-down shirts and other oversized clothes.

I felt comfortable in those clothes, which didn’t hurt the pregnancy. Those dresses will make you walk and move freely.

Comfortable clothes give space to the pregnancy. Avoid putting on tight clothes. They’d make you uncomfortable and may probably cause harm to the pregnancy.

When my baby was three months due, I asked for permission from the school to begin my maternity leave- this also depends on your body and your doctor.

I informed the school authority two months before the day I planned to begin my leave so they could plan for someone to fill in my space temporarily.

It would help if you took your leave early to avoid going into labor at work or the grocery store. This is when you should take all the rest you can while meeting your prenatal appointments.

This helps in the smooth transition of delivery and helps in safe delivery as long as there are no complications before the maternity leave.

As the pregnancy due date gets closer, your doctor should always be on your speed dial. I was always in communication with my doctor whether we had an appointment or not; I’d always reach out to him whenever I felt a slight pain in any part of my body.

She’d frequently ask for a Facetime to explain correctly or show her the pregnancy situation if I couldn’t reach the hospital. Sometimes, she drove to the house to examine me mostly during my leave.

During this period, she told me I’d be due in four days, and I should be ready to have my second child. Communication is vital, and doing that with your doctor is necessary. Stay connected with your doctor.

In Summary

As a pregnant teacher, your priority should be your health and well-being. You should always reach out to your doctor if you notice a slight pain in your body.

Avoid everything your doctor tells you to and do the necessary things he tells you. Being a pregnant teacher isn’t as difficult as you may think. Just go through the process and ensure every bit of it is interesting because it’ll lead to a beautiful moment of having a child—cheers to successful delivery and congratulations.

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