Whether or not you tell your college professor about your pregnancy is a personal decision that depends on various factors. There are many reasons you might tell your professor, especially if you expect your pregnancy to impact your attendance, participation, or ability to complete your assignments. Having a quick conversation with your professor could also help you worry less about your class during an already stressful time. If you decide to tell your college professor that you’re pregnant, factor in your due date, the specific course requirements, and your overall health when planning what you want to say. Consider these pros and cons when deciding whether to tell your professor you’re pregnant.
Pros of telling your college professor you’re pregnant:
Cons of telling your college professor you’re pregnant:
How should I tell my professor I’m pregnant?
Here are some tips for talking to your professor and planning a successful semester.
Consider talking to your college advisor, a disability coordinator, or a guidance counselor before talking to your professor. They will be familiar with your institution’s maternity leave policies as well as Title IX law, which protects people from discrimination in educational programs. Your college may also have support services, such as counseling, academic advisors, or a student affairs office. Consider reaching out to these, and other resources for additional guidance and support (our team at The Avi Project is available 24/7 at 720-386-6009!)
If you’re in the early stages of pregnancy and don’t anticipate immediate academic challenges, you might choose to wait to speak to your professor. If you’re concerned about privacy, ask your professor about how they handle sensitive information and whether they can keep this matter confidential.
When you do talk to your professor, plan ahead and prepare what you want to say and any questions you may have. Think about your academic needs, potential adjustments, and any concerns you want to address. Choose the right time and place, like during the professor’s office hours or after class, to ensure you have enough time for a private conversation without interruptions.
Discuss potential adjustments or accommodations you might need, ask for flexibility, and also ask for your professor’s guidance on how to manage your academic responsibilities during this time. Inquire about any options for extensions, makeup work, or alternative arrangements. Approach the conversation with respect and professionalism. Remember that your professor is there to help you succeed academically!
During the conversation, take notes on any agreements or arrangements you both discussed, to help ensure you both have a clear understanding. Keep documentation of any arrangements you made verbally with your professor as well, and consider sending them a quick email confirming those arrangements. If any action items arise from the conversation, make sure to follow up with your professor in a timely manner. This demonstrates your commitment to managing your responsibilities. Touch base again closer to your due date to put your mind at ease.
If you’re thinking about emailing your professor, we’ve provided a template you might use as a guideline to get you started. Be sure to tweak it depending on your circumstances.
Hello Professor [Last Name],
I’m [Name], a student in your [Course Name] class. I wanted to let you know that I am currently pregnant and am expecting to deliver in [Month/Year].
I’m excited for your class, and wanted to work with you to find the best way to manage my assignments and coursework while maintaining flexibility to make my prenatal appointments. What is the best way to get in touch with you if I expect to miss a class due to a doctor appointment? There are also certain coursework details I would like to receive early, if possible, so I can work ahead and make sure I meet all of the due dates.
If it’s possible, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss any potential modifications, as well as how I might make up course work if I have to miss a class.
Thank you for your understanding and guidance, I appreciate it! Please let me know a convenient time for you to meet, or if you prefer, we can communicate via email.
You’ve got this.
You might feel anxious about telling your professor you’re pregnant, but it’s important to give yourself the tools you need to achieve success, and to give your professor the chance to help you be the best student you can be! If you’re nervous about talking to your advisor or professor about your pregnancy, call or text our compassionate and understanding team any time of night or day (we’re available 24/7!) at 720-386-6009. The Avi Project is dedicated to helping expectant students, so you can get the support and encouragement you need for academic success.