Student Parents and Pregnancy

The University of Bedfordshire believe that being pregnant, having children or other caring responsibilities should not be a barrier to success.

Students who are pregnant are encouraged to inform the University so that they receive the most appropriate support.

Please see below some information on how the University and external charities can support you.


We will be hosting drop-in sessions online for students who are pregnant. The drop-in will allow students to speak with a Student Engagement Advisor to discuss how the University can support them during and after their pregnancy. It will also be an opportunity to feedback to the University on how we can better support pregnant students.

Online

For more information, please contact Katie Ross at katie.ross@beds.ac.uk



Studying at Home with Children

Student Support recognises that many of our students have busy lives outside of their studies and often times do independent study at home. This can be more challenging if you are a parent to young children so we have put together some top tips for making sure you and your family can get the most out of your time.

TOP TIPS

When do you work best? If you’re a morning person, use this time to do the most ‘important’ work e.g. reading difficult and complex journals, planning and writing essays, telephone calls to tutors or professional support before you get interrupted by the children waking up and demanding breakfast and attention.

  • Set some boundaries: this is vital for important phone calls or teams calls that you may need to conduct with your academics, lecturers or peers. Put up a ‘Do not disturb’ sign (maybe your children can make one for you!).
  • Have a separate space for phone calls: you may need to find another room or go into the garden or your car to get some uninterrupted time for important phone calls.
  • Create a ‘work’ space: find a space where you can set up a workstation for your computer and books. It may be the dining room table or a small desk or table in your bedroom.
  • Children as educators: get your children to help each other and use other resources to solve their problems so they’re not constantly disturbing you with questions.
  • Reading time: when you have important reading to do, use the time to get your children to read to themselves. They are more likely to do this if they also see you read.
  • Breaks: sometimes when you’re studying at home you can forget to take breaks if you’re immersed in your work. Your children can provide a healthy distraction e.g. snack times and lunchtimes for you to get up and stretch your legs and have a break from study.
  • Meditation: play relaxing music or meditation tunes whilst you’re studying. The children can also listen to this when they’re studying and may help to calm them, too.
  • Physical activity: make sure you take some time out to move and have a break from sitting in front of the computer. If you also have children studying at the same time, get them to join you!
  • De-clutter: with so many people in the house the space around you can easily get clogged up with toys, books, chargers and electronic devices! Ask the children to help with tidying up at least once a day.
  • Don’t feel guilty: parents often feel guilty that they’re not doing what they’re should be regarding parenting. We’re in a unique situation now and practising self-compassion will help you get through this period. Don’t feel that you need to entertain your children 24/7…let them get bored. Research shows that it’s good for them!
  • Put away your things at the end of the day: it’s important to distinguish between your ‘studies’ and your family life otherwise it becomes difficult to switch off from ‘work’ mode. Physically putting away your computer and books at the end of your study session will help to establish a separation between home and work/study life.
  • Self-care: this is a challenging time for parents who are having to study, work and look after their children at the same time. Don’t forget to find a few minutes for yourself during the day whether it’s doing a breathing exercise, having a cup of tea or watching some Netflix whilst the kids are watching a movie on their tablets or are having a nap (wishful thinking!)

Stay well!


University Contacts

If you are pregnant and would like to know about the support available to you please contact Katie Ross at katie.ross@beds.ac.uk

If you are a student with parenting responsibilities and would like to discuss support with studies please contact Student.Engagement@beds.ac.uk.


Luton Based

Total Wellbeing supports people living in Luton who want to improve their physical and emotional health.

Total Wellbeing - Luton

Bedford Based

FACES (Family and Children's Early-help Services) supports local children and families faced with difficult issues such as mental and physical health, domestic abuse, poverty, child sexual exploitation and behavioural issues via a range of quality-tested services and family support groups, many led by the team of dedicated volunteers

Other

The Grove Pregnancy Advice They offer support to those for whom a pregnancy and the first year of parenting
presents financial difficulties. We do this by providing good quality baby clothing (from birth to 1 year) and by loaning out items of equipment free of charge such as buggies, Moses baskets, cots etc.

Home Start (Central Bedfordshire & Luton)

Our family and children’s charity helps families with at least one child under the age of five who are going through a difficult time in their lives. Our charity’s impact is both well recognised and measurable. Of the families supported by Home-Start studies showed that.

www.home-startcentralbeds.org.uk/childrens-charity-bedfordshire


Childcare

Childcare Link was a government site providing information on local and national childcare.

www.childcare.co.uk/information/childcare-link

Family Planning Association

Aims to establish a society in which everyone can make informed choices about sex, relationships and reproduction. Its website contains impartial advice on pregnancy, abortion and adoption, and also contains a list of useful organisations.

www.fpa.org.uk

National Health Service

Provides information relating to pregnancy, abortion, health in pregnancy and maternity, and services provided by the NHS.

www.nhs.uk/pregnancy

Start 4 Life

Sign up to receive weekly emails from the NHS scheme which provides expert advice, videos, information and tips on pregnancy, birth and beyond.

www.nhs.uk/start4life/signups/new

Antenatal Classes from the NHS

Antenatal classes can help you to prepare for your baby’s birth and give you confidence and information. They're usually informative and fun, and they're free on the NHS.

www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and-birth/preparing-for-the-birth/antenatalclasses

National Union of Students

Provides information and advice to students and students’ unions about student finance, rights and welfare. Information for student parents is available on its website, along with research and publications about students with dependent children.

www.nus.org.uk

Adoption UK

A national charity run by and for adopters, providing self-help information, advice, support and training on all aspects of adoption and adoptive parenting.

www.adoptionuk.org.uk

Antenatal Results and Choices

The only national charity that provides non-directive support and information to expectant and bereaved parents throughout and after the antenatal screening and testing process.

www.arc-uk.org

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Supports reproductive choice and health by advocating and providing high-quality, affordable services to prevent or end unwanted pregnancies with contraception or by abortion. Also offers a range of other reproductive health services.

www.bpas.org

Family and Parenting Institute

Provides support to parents in bringing up their children, and has a range of resources for parents.

www.familyandparenting.org

The Miscarriage Association

Offers support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy.

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

SANDS

The still birth and neonatal death charity – provides support to anyone affected by the loss of a baby and conducts research into the causes of still and neonatal death.

www.uk-sands.org

Marie Stopes UK

They specialise in treatment, advice & support for women considering abortion. Call for a consultation appointment, available in 48 hours.

www.msichoices.org.uk

Bounty

Articles and advice for pregnancy.

www.bounty.com

Mumsnet

Where you can meet other parents online.

www.mumsnet.com

Breastfeeding support

Get off to a good start with this NHS guide offering help and support for breastfeeding.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding/helpand-support

UCAS - Student Parents

National level support for student parents while they study in Higher Education.

www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/individual-needs/students-parenting-responsibilities

address

Luton campus & other campuses
Level 2, Campus Centre
Luton campus
LU1 3JU

24/7 SiD Online (student login)

email

Student Information Desk
sid@beds.ac.uk

telephone

Student Information Desk (SiD)

0300 300 0042

Our phone lines are open:

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  • Friday
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