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pregnant during PhD?

(11 Posts)
Lipgloss777 Thu 21-Mar-13 09:45:18


I'm 26 weeks pregnant with my second child during the first year of my PhD. Is anyone on here in the same situation or has been? I'd love to hear from you and compare you uni's/dept policies/reactions etc... and hear about your feelings and experiences of course.

redwellybluewelly Thu 21-Mar-13 09:55:41

There is a thread in here somewhere - I'll find it

SeriousStuff Thu 21-Mar-13 10:26:36

My mum was doing her PhD when she had me. I think she submitted it 2 months after I was born, and that was when you had to use a typewriter to set your final document! I don't know how she did it but I'm in awe of anyone who does!

WildeRumpus Thu 21-Mar-13 19:07:35

There is a thread like this on here and in student parents smile. I had ds in year two, and passed my viva this week 32 weeks pg with number two smile

Enjoy your pregnancy and your PhD! Good luck!

june2013 Sat 23-Mar-13 11:15:34

Hi Lipgloss I looked for the previous thread but I can't find it...

I'm 27+5, I started my phd in september at a UK university that has an excellent academic reputation but re: pregnancy it has and continues to be a total nightmare.

I have felt totally fine so I've been working as normal and that's not been a problem. People's reactions to me being pregnant have not always been positive. I often get a 'are you out of mind' look, but I've learnt to ignore that. I'd probably get it in a job too...

Just applied for suspension of study from mid June 2013 (my due date), but it turns out that the third term officially runs from April to October (much longer than the other 2 terms of course), although all classes / workshops / seminars (everything!!) ends by mid-June - which is why I asked to be suspended from then. Anyway - policy says if I'm due in the middle of term I have to suspend from the beginning of the term, which is basically in 2 weeks. Which is ridiculous. I also got an email from an administrator saying that I'm not allowed to do any work during my suspension otherwise I would be breaching university regulations. I can do work from home without them knowing of course and I don't care about that, but I am so upset about the idea that I have to stop in 2 weeks. I have meetings / lectures / teaching / PhD workshops and presentations in May that would just not make sense to push til next year. And I can't see any reason why I have to stop in April when clearly I am perfectly capable of working longer. It seems a purely administrative reason. Anyway I am trying to challenge this but it's a dinosaur of a university so I'm not holding out. My supervisor is supportive but not sure what she'll be able to do....

Sorry - long but I'm so upset and annoyed! It makes me regret getting pregnant at all. And it's my first so I don't like to have such negative feelings around it...

KeriRussell Sat 23-Mar-13 13:28:11

I'm in my last year of my first degree (very mature student at 39) - hoping to start my masters as soon as I can and need to talk to the course leader! Just hoping they will be cool with it all as so far I've managed my degree whilst having 3 kids, being a full time carer to my mum who had dementia and lived with us and passed away this past February. I think if I can handle that I should be able to handle anything!

Ilovestackingcups Sat 23-Mar-13 14:44:19

Hi OP, just to add my two cents:

I am a p/t MA student at one of the major unis, pregnant with DC2, fell pregnant with DC1 whilst doing my studies and this is what happened to me and how I coped:
On a one-to-one basis, everyone was very kind and supportive, as well as a little (academically) curious. I was allowed to put my studies on hold when morning sickness and a full time job got too much and I fell behind. Intending to return to my studies when DC1 was 5 months, I didn't due to PND, but again I was granted another suspension of studies (these suspensions meant I wasn't able to access the library for almost two years, which was a pain). On returning in January this year, just after getting my BFP for DC2, I am determined to complete before new arrival in September. Uni have again been as supportive as they can be.


Things to check out are not just how your uni/college/dept will be with you whilst you are pregnant, but also how they will be when you choose to return. For example, I had an uphill battle trying to find anywhere I was able to use to express breastmilk. In the end, I was given the choice of two toilet rooms, or a room full of human remains in sealed boxes. This latter option also came with the added luxury of a chair. Woop.

This link is to a document focussing on the issues surrounding pregnancy and studies, and I hope it proves helpful to you. I would really advise being as open and upfront about your requirements and hopes for your PhD as you can as soon as possible. There is nothing to stop you from doing both. As one student in my lab said to me the other week, we expectant students are an example to other women that you can be both a mother and an academic. It is so important that other students see what you are doing, and that your institution is made aware of all of your requirements and wishes.

Good luck!

Ilovestackingcups Sat 23-Mar-13 14:45:47

Oh, also lower your work expectations. I began a p/t MA in October 2009, due to complete in late 2011. I am still doing it, due to hand in Sept 2013. Regardless of delays, my lecturer is still talking about my PhD prospects, so don't think that your pregnancy puts you at a disadvantage.

redwellybluewelly Sat 23-Mar-13 19:32:05

I've bumped the other thread which was going a while for you.

I'm in my third year. Baby is due in June . I'll return in January and be part time to stretch out funding. Intention is to complete and hand in autumn 2014. I won't however have to start maternity leave at the beginning of the term (which sounds nuts) but instead will work until around 37weeks as I have been asked to present at two conferences and publish my first year work before taking a break.

I'm able to work at home and so think its possible. This is my second dc so I'm used to being pretty busy!

redwellybluewelly Sat 23-Mar-13 19:33:18

And Dr Wilde Congratulations!!!

WildeRumpus Tue 26-Mar-13 21:42:38

sorry for hijack op - thanks red smile

If I can do it (as someone who really isn't a starter-finisher) then anyone can! Keep plugging away - and enjoy your babies smile

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