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Uni when pregnant- deferring year?

(19 Posts)
onadietcokebreak Fri 12-Nov-10 22:55:37

DP and I are planning on TTC soon.

Currently a first year Social work student. Thought I could cope with my broodiness and have another baby after qualifying. I have also realised I dont want to put this degree above having another baby.

I have also realised that having a baby as a newly qualified social worker may be worse than taking a year or two out. Plus my DS is 3 and I dont want a huge gap between my children.

Has anyone got any experience of this.
How did you find returning. Were the Uni supportive?

Particulary interested in hearing from Social work students, nurses or anyone who has had to juggle practice placement.


EightiesChick Fri 12-Nov-10 23:00:04

can't comment from a social work perspective but do think about the fact that the new fees will come in from autumn 2012. So you would be better to get a couple of years done if possible then maybe take a break before you do the final year, to minimise your debts afterwards. How old are you?

The university will be more supportive than most jobs of a new mother, I'll say that.

onadietcokebreak Fri 12-Nov-10 23:22:06

Thanks Eightieschick.

The new fee structure is a worry. Hoping I could do second year whilst pregnant and only get clobbered for one year of fee rise. Just hope I can cope with then placement work!

Im in my early 30s. Aware it may not happen quickly too so thats a worry as well.

onadietcokebreak Sat 13-Nov-10 09:09:56

I wonder if it possible to apply for a deferred year and receive student finance under old fees.

EightiesChick Sat 13-Nov-10 09:17:12

I think it comes in from 2012, no ifs no buts. So I would push on with second year if you can, and ask about the possibility of deferring assessments if they're going to clash with baby being born etc. I would speak to your student support services - they will have seen these situations before and will have all the info there is on the new fees structure (although it still seems to be being worked out on the back of a fag packet right now angry) so can advise you better. There was another thread recently about someone who had become pregnant in the 1st year - might help to read it as had comments from people who'd had babies while doing their degree.

Wilts Sat 13-Nov-10 09:32:13

My friend had three babies during the duration of our training!

She got pregnant with twins in her first year, completed that, took a year out and joined my year( I was the year below her originally) in year two.

She was then pregnant in year three and heavily pregnant during our final placement. Our university, from what I gather supported her well. She is quite an inspiration to be honest as she already had on Dc before starting as well smile

I think you are probably right to think about deferring a year, as I would be more concerned at coming out as a NQSW and taking a whole year out, after all you will then be competing with a whole other year of NQSW's for jobs then, yet will be a year behind in experience.

TryLikingClarity Sat 13-Nov-10 09:55:25

OP - I'm a social work student. Got pregnant at end of 1st year and had DS in Feb 2010.

I did the first semester of 2nd year (finished placement at Christmas 2009) and have been off ever since on 'maternity' leave of sorts.

I'm due to start back in Jan 2011 and pick up where I left off.

Doing placement when pregnant was a bit hard tbh, I was in a rough children's unit, but got through it ok and learnt a lot... even though a lot of my brain power was taken up reading MN baby names threads!

From my pov it's been great. I've had great quality time with my child and I am looking forward to going back in Jan.

My tutor was fine about it and didn't think it'd badly effect my training.

onadietcokebreak Sat 13-Nov-10 10:06:13

Thank you everyone. It's fantastic to hear all your perspectives.

Are any if you doing the BA? I think the format of the BSc is different so may affect me differently.

Worried how we would cope financially but sure we will find a way. I could potentially go back to my old job whilst pregnant and qualify for full maternity pay for 6mths depending on when I fall pregnant and where it fits in with Uni.

Just don't know if I want to sell my soul to the devil - I hate the job.

So reassuring to hear from everyone who has done it or have friends who have.

TryLikingClarity Sat 13-Nov-10 10:16:48

OP - I'm doing the BSc, plus I'm in NI so not sure if that would make a difference to format and timetables etc.

Not having money during this past year off has been a bit of a pain, but luckily my DH earns enough to cover us both.

I think though you're getting ahead of yourself! You're not even pregnant yet, and you don't know how long it'll take you to get pregnant. It's good to plan ahead, but with conception you can't fully control when it'll happen.

Don't mean to sound cheeky, just pointing it out to you.

Wilts Sat 13-Nov-10 10:28:24

I did a Bsc as well.

I think I would look into how your university works regarding doing only one semester of a year etc.

We have a couple of people that completed semester one but not two, so are going back to do semester two. They would have had to re-take the whole year though, had they not completed semester one.

Good luck, I am desperate to ttc dc3, but have to wait until August when I have completed my NQSW year sad

onadietcokebreak Sat 13-Nov-10 20:29:38

Trylikingclarity. Thats what Im worried it taking a while and falling pregnant just as I start another year would be my worse case scenario. My DP is concerned I am taking on too much by trying to juggle so i need to convince him al will be fine!

Wilts. Who could I approach at the Uni? We are actually a college campus of it so only limited contact with lectures/tutors etc.
Slightly off subject how are you finding your NQSW year in relation to the degree? What strand did you go into?

Wilts Sun 14-Nov-10 09:51:41

Is your personal tutor any good? it's worth talking to them in the first instance I suppose. We were also on a satellite campus, so never had much contact with our main uni.

NQSW year is manic, I have been well and truly thrown in at the deep end and have considered leaving many times over grin

I am on a lac team, I had no statutory Children's experience as my stat placement was adults. My case load is high and many of the cases are extremely demanding. It is not an ideal way to learn at all and I can see why retention rates are poor and burn out is high.

That said, I enjoy the work, Social work is still what I feel passionate about and I am determined to stick with it.

I was told this week that the NQSW program will finish in 2012 as it has now been deemed that the individual teams can manage the training. Sadly a sign of things to come with budget cuts, I also don't think teams will manage this as they don't have the time. I am not sure if this is a national cut or just my LA ?

I hope you can convince your DP on the baby front and that you enjoy the rest of your course, however it pans out grin

onadietcokebreak Sat 20-Nov-10 19:41:38

Hi wilts sorry for the delay in replying- lost the thread.

We are now in agreement about ttc. The thought of waiting til end if nqsw year just makes me sad as it's too long away.

Your experience of stat childrens has- quite worrying- not surprised me. I just hope that it improves for you. Do you envisage yourself staying?

onadietcokebreak Sat 20-Nov-10 19:43:25

Sorry that makes it sound like we are waiting. We aren't.

mixedmamameansbusiness Fri 03-Dec-10 11:57:54

I deferred my entry year (to History and in the evenings so very different).

I wish I hadnt as I probably would have coped (with 2 other DSs as well) but felt so awful at the beginning that I just couldnt face it. However I dont have placements etc to consider.

dietcokesholidaysarecoming Fri 10-Dec-10 22:41:36

Have spoken to my tutor. Happens all the time apparently and wouldnt be a problem.

Thanks all.

GlitteryBalls Thu 23-Dec-10 10:44:50

My advice would be to keep going as long as you can based on my experiences. I found out I was pg just as last academic year was ending so I decided to take this year out. I am a medical student. My uni were very supportive and supported my decision 100%. One tutor did suggest just carrying on and see what happens but I dismissed this as it was my 1st pg and I wasn't sure what to expect.

As it happens I wish I'd have listened to her as my pg has been a lot easier than I expected and have felt fine up until the last couple of weeks maybe, where I have felt a bit tired - I am now 37 weeks+1. Plus I have had to keep working full-time for financial reasons and I've been working crappy minimum wage temp jobs that pay so badly I'd have been better off with my student loan! Plus if you can't find work you will be entitled to limited unemployment benefits as you won't have paid NI whilst studying - if your partner works you'll probably be entitled to no help whatsoever like me. And obviously maternity allowance/pay only apply if you've been working.

I only stopped working on Tuesday so I probably could have at least finished this term with no problems. Although my exams would probably have clashed with my due date in Jan - and when the baby comes I may feel differently and be glad I took this year out.

IME I feel that I have spent this pg working crappy min wage jobs and wasting time that I could have been studying towards my degree which is already a long one for an old-timer like me (28).

I personally don't think I'll plan to have another one until I'm working as then I'll be entitled to proper maternity pay - finances have been a big issue for me. And noone can discriminate against you in your new career if you have a baby then. But I don't think this is good enough reason to delay if you feel you want another now. Having a baby whilst studying is possible and in IME my uni has been tremendously supportive. I am also trying to transfer to a uni nearer my family and they seem very open-mined about the whole thing.x Good luck! xx

GlitteryBalls Thu 23-Dec-10 10:48:31

I mean keep ttc but if you do fall pg keep on with your degree as long as possible IYSWIM? just read back my post and I realise the first line might read don't ttc!

onadietcokebreak Wed 05-Jan-11 23:16:40

Thank you for your post glitteryballs.

Spoke to uni who said it was best to do complete years at a time due to funding/ placement.

We are TTC and now would be ideal timing as I could complete first year- take a year out and rejoin following year.

The longer it takes the less time I would have with baby .

I also dont want to only been a few weeks pregnant come sept and not return only for something to go wrong.

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