Hannah Daly, 23, is pregnant; her baby is due on 14th Feb 2015! Hannah is currently studying events management at Liverpool John Moore's university and longs for a career in event planning. A few months back Hannah and her boyfriend found out they were going to be having a baby – we chatted to Hannah about how she feels, how she is preparing for the bundle of joy and her ambitions to be a great mother and return to her studies:
Was this a planned pregnancy, or a brilliant surprise?
It was a surprise and at first it could not be described as a brilliant one. On reflection I think that this was due to being a young university student. As a student my focus was on building my career and living an independent life. Soon after I found out I started to look for advice on the internet only to be greeted with a lot of negative opinions and views. I found very little helpful advice online if any at all.
Once I had a chance to gather my thoughts and consult my family and friends I realised that pregnancy wasn’t a hindrance to my life, just an unexpected challenge. In fact, both I and my boyfriend have found the prospect of having a child to be an exciting and fulfilling part of our lives. Right now it would be fair to say we are really happy!!
Have your university been supportive during pregnancy and they have helped with your planning for when baby arrives?
Shortly after finding out that I was pregnant I went to speak to my tutor, she was very understanding and supportive. The university have suggested plans to allow me to differ some assignments until August as my baby will be born in the middle of the second semester.
University also have financial advisors that you can speak to about extra funding and grants for when the baby is born. This department has been very helpful in keeping me informed and also in helping me to fill out the relevant forms.
I understand you wish to breastfeeding, why is this? Have you always known you would, decided since you found out you were pregnant, or have you learnt about it through research?
I suppose subconsciously I have always known that I would choose to breastfeed as it was never really a question. However, I did have the worry of wondering whether it would be possible as I want to return to university to finish my second year. After conducting some research I realised that it would be possible, this has brought me great comfort and confidence for me to go back early and continue my studies.
What are you most excited about?
Meeting my baby and starting our family.
Is there anything you are anxious about?
I am anxious about being anxious (ha ha)! I know a new born baby and my studies won’t be easy but the calmer I stay the easier it will be. Keeping focused and organised is also key to make my plan a success. I am lucky I have a supportive family and an amazing boyfriend.
I asked Hannah if she could ask one question to other mums what it would be. She said
“As I am only able to speculate on motherhood I suppose I would like to ask mothers what advice they could give to me as I would be returning to my studies so soon (6 – 8 weeks) after the baby is born.”
So mums who can help her - do we have others in the same situation?
Finally I chatted to Hannah about her advice to others in a similar situation. Hannah talked to me about the overwhelming reaction about being pregnant at University was a negative one, but she felt this was not only untrue but was detrimental in a time when she longed for support and positivity. She said her advice would be:
If you are young and feel as though there are no options I would speak to your family and university to make informed decisions. It is possible to have a child whilst studying, don’t let what you read on the internet or other peoples uninformed reactions put you off.
Be confident and happy in your decisions and make sure that they are YOUR decisions.