Teaching While Pregnant: How to Survive the Daily Struggle

12 Tips For Teaching When Pregnant

As if teaching wasn’t demanding enough, teaching while growing a tiny human may possibly be the most exhausting job in the world.

Teachers work long hours, rarely get a restroom break and often eat on the go–not exactly the ideal scenario for being pregnant at work. However, there are some things you can do to make the experience easier. 

1. Delegate

Let students carry things for you. Ask for time off from leading committees or clubs. Assign packing lunches to your partner. Practicing this skill now will come in handy when you’re a working mom, too! You can do it all but you’re going to need some help. 

2. Hydrate

Drink lots of water. Not only does good hydration ward off early labor, it also eases swelling from long days on your feet and helps boost that pregnant mama glow. Invest in a cute water bottle and carry it everywhere. Find a trustworthy student to help facilitate refills! 

3. Communicate

Once you’re comfortable sharing the news, let your students and parents know you’re expecting. This helps them to prepare for your impending absence but also (hopefully) allows you some grace if you’re out for a doctor’s appointment or a little late inputting grades. Talk to your administration and your team about your plans. People get anxious about long term absences because you’re a valuable part of the team but knowing you have a plan helps put everyone at ease.

4. Re-calibrate

It’s time to adjust your expectations. If you’ve always been a unit ahead in planning, the chair of the school improvement team, or any other version of “overachiever” as many teachers tend to be, now is the time to take a step back. Pregnancy is hard work and you’ll need that energy for growing baby!

5. Anticipate

Maternity leave sneaks up you on! While nine months may seem a long way off, it can really fly by. Slowly assemble lesson plans and things for your sub so that when you are largely pregnant and very tired you are not scrambling to get it done. 

6. Procrastinate

I know this is in direct contradiction to #5. But sometimes you just have to leave the work at school and go home empty-handed to rest. It’s okay to put off until tomorrow what didn’t get done today–it will be there and you’ll be better prepared to tackle it after you take the evening off. 

7. Alleviate

Get off your feet and alleviate the stress on your body as much as possible. Get a stool to sit on when you’re lecturing, call students to your desk, and rope in admin from the hallway for an extra bathroom break whenever possible. Pencil in time at home for a long bath, a pedicure or a prenatal massage–whatever helps relieve the tension.

8. Advocate

Stand up for yourself. If you need time off, ask for it. If you plan to pump when you return, communicate that clearly and start asking your administration for a plan. Most people are happy to accommodate you but you have to ask. 

9. Collaborate

Not you, the students. Lean into group work. Let them work through problems together as much as possible. This will take some of the stress off of you to be as hands-on when you’re feeling tired. 

10. Commemorate

This is such a fun time and a unique way to bond with your students. Ask them to tell you how to take care of a baby or make a list of baby names they like. Save these things! It’s so fun to reflect on the shared excitement and to share with baby as they grow.  

11. Educate

This time, you need the education! Read up on your insurance, FMLA benefits and start researching daycares early if that is your plan. Unfortunately, the teaching profession does not offer much in the way of maternity leave but knowing your rights can help make the most of what little you do get.

12. Celebrate!

When the time comes, enjoy that new baby! As teachers, we often worry or feel guilty about being away from our students. Know that they will be JUST FINE. If you plan to return to the classroom, it will still be standing when you return. You earned this time–don’t grade a paper, answer an email or bat an eye at Google Classroom. 


Teaching While Pregnant: How to Survive the Daily Struggle

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I am a Southern gal, mama to two kids (8 years and 6 months) and I have been teaching middle school for over 7 years. I love to go hiking or read a book in my free time. My favorite part of teaching is connecting with kids over things beyond just academics--teenagers are awesome!

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