Teaching is a challenging job as it is, but add pregnancy on top of it and you’ve got a perfect storm! It can be hard to teach and take care of 25+ kids needs when you aren’t feeling well nearly every day. I’m currently pregnant with my second child (I’ll be in the third trimester next week!) and while I am not currently in the classroom, it has brought back many memories of teaching while I was pregnant with my son during the 2013-2014 school year. I found out I was pregnant with him on the second day of school, so I was pregnant for basically the entire school year!
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What would have been valuable to me during this school year was having advice from someone who had recently been through what I was going through- teaching while pregnant. I had many friends and family members who gave me pregnancy advice, but none of them were teachers, and teachers have their own set of struggles. And most of the teachers I knew who were moms had older kids, so it wasn’t fresh on their mind. For that reason, I put this blog post together so those of you out there who are feeling like I were can have this as a resource. Here are some tips that I learned from my experience, as well as tips from other teacher moms who have been there!
Always have a Water Bottle and Snacks on hand!
Growing a baby makes you HUNGRY! Keep healthy snacks around that you can quickly eat while the students are working. Normally, I wouldn’t do this, but during pregnancy it was necessary. I just told my students that the baby was hungry! 😉 I also always had a water bottle on me (a BIG one like this) because it is important to stay hydrated to keep up with your energy and growing baby! (Just try to drink most of your water close to a bathroom break!)
“One of the best things I did was bring three 32oz bottles of water each day so that I didn’t have to worry about not drinking enough or getting to the water fountain to fill one up. Also, trail mix was a great go-to snack, and easily customizable if I was in the mood for different flavors.” -Stephanie’s History Store
“Drink TONS of water even if you need to take frequent restroom breaks! It’s important to stay hydrated. It helps your skin and makes you feel great!” -The Little Ladybug Shop
“For snacks I ate salted almonds by the truckload. I had morning sickness all day, and the salt really helped me push through. Everyone kept telling me to eat ginger, but that just made it worse for me! ” -Malimo Mode
Bathroom Breaks- Not a Luxury, a Necessity
Let’s be clear- bathroom breaks are NOT a luxury while you are pregnant. They are a MUST! Find a “buddy” to give you a couple minutes to go to the bathroom when you need to and when you have recess duty. I can honestly say one of my biggest challenges was not having enough bathroom breaks! It’s already hard enough to not get enough bathroom breaks as it is when you AREN’T pregnant, let alone when you feel like you need to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes!
Here’s what some other teacher moms had to say about this:
“Get a system in place for when you need to leave your room depending on where the bathroom is so that the closest teacher near you knows that they need to watch your kids while you run out of the room. Also have a student that you can leave sort of in charge to grab that other teacher asap if needed or report back to you when you get back.” -Literacy Spark
“Bathroom breaks were a nightmare! I quickly realized that I just had to go whenever I had the chance, regardless if I needed it at the time. I also avoided ALL beverages at the beginning of the day.” -Malimo Mode
“Have a classroom across from the bathroom…I was lucky enough that way. Or unlucky because it was the student bathroom, but by 7 months in, I didn’t care” -Teresa Kwant
Here’s what some other teacher moms did:
“Dressing comfortably was mostly skirts that were loose around the belly – but also yoga pants! I started incorporating more outside time into my lessons so I could get more fresh air (helped with the sickness) and to justify wearing gym clothes all the time – ha!” -Malimo Mode
“You can find stylish cute maternity clothes at Target and Old Navy! I wore lots of black so I could mix match! “- The Little Ladybug Shop
“Invest in a comfy pair of nice flats that go with everything! You’re on your feet all day and every day your poor little feet are going to feel it more and more. I spent a week going to shoe stores after school trying on different pairs and I ended up spending more than I ever have before on a pair of black flats. It was so worth it! Especially because I even taught summer school that year!”-Elementary Antics
“Maxi skirts saved me. They were light, still dressy enough for work, and stretchy. By 6 months pregnant skinny jeans were a distant memory, but my maxi skirts were my best friends.” -Teresa Kwant
Get prepared for Maternity Leave Ahead of Time!
As discussed in my blog post Maternity Leave Planning for Teachers, planning ahead of time is essential. You never know if you may go into labor early or if complications may arise. Plus, it will come quicker than you know it, so you don’t want to leave it all until last minute!
I’ve got you covered, though! My Long Term Sub Binder and Maternity Leave Sub Plans will do some of the heavy lifting for you. The Editable Maternity Leave Sub Binder includes EVERYTHING that your sub needs to know for your maternity leave. All that’s left to do is fill it in. It’s helped countless teachers prepare for their maternity leave, and it’s the #2 all-time best seller at the time of writing. You can grab it in my shop below!
I also have Maternity Leave Sub Plans available in my shop! They include lesson plans and activities are included for all core subjects: English, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. In addition, art activities, brain breaks, “just for fun” activities, and educational games are included as well. EVERYTHING in this packet includes a baby theme, which will keep your students excited about the baby!
Check out the Maternity Leave Sub Plans in our shop below! All of these resources are available on TPT, as well.
Be Prepared for Unexpected Absences DURING pregnancy, too!
Speaking of being prepared for unexpected absences, several teachers also recommended preparing for your maternity leave sub ahead of time:
Give Yourself Grace
“I felt like I was constantly tense and on-the-go with an ever-growing to-do list (both personally and professionally). Taking time throughout the busy day to regroup is key! Kid-friendly yoga and/or brain breaks are a great way to step back from the daily stresses of teaching and pregnancy for a few minutes. And they’re good for the students, too!”-Alyssa Teaches
Save Time & Money: Create Your Baby Registry Online
I’m all about working smarter and not harder! While it was a lot of fun to create registries at Target and the local baby store, my favorite baby registry was my AMAZON BABY REGISTRY! There were two main reasons why I loved it so much. First off, you can browse online anytime and anywhere and add items to your registry from the click of a button. Seriously, so easy. You can do it on your phone during your lunch at school, or while lying in bed at home. And it’s universal- so you can add baby items that you find on ANY website to your Amazon baby registry. This makes it so easy to share with family members and friends who don’t live close by.
One of the biggest reasons I loved my Amazon baby registry, though, is the discounts! You’ll get a 10% off (for non-Prime members) or 15% off coupon if you are a Prime member to use for a single purchase for any items on your baby registry when it gets closer to your due date. You can add as many things as you want- up to some ridiculous amount of money I knew I wouldn’t spend. And it can all be shipped right to your door so you can rest easy and take care of your new bundle of joy. So even if you don’t give the registry info out to anyone, you can still take advantage of this deal! I did it with both kids and it was amazing. START YOUR AMAZON BABY REGISTRY!
Be Open with your Students
I hope these tips will help you on your journey to becoming a mother while you are teaching! I promise that while it can be a very stressful time, it is SO worth it! And even though it may not feel like it, your baby will be here before you know it!
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Need to prepare a Maternity Sub Binder? Check out my Maternity Sub Binder & Maternity Leave Sub Plans below!
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