Resources On and Off Campus That Aid in the Motherhood Journey

Being pregnant while in college can be scary – especially when you’re not in the most financially-stable place and are deep into your studies. From saving for diapers to chronic back pain and leg cramps at night, the journey of motherhood can be exhausting. Being away from home doesn’t make it any easier. Luckily, FSU offers resources that aid in relieving some of the physical pressures and emotions you may be feeling throughout your journey. Along with that, the State of Florida offers programs that can help you financially as a pregnant woman.

In 2014, FSU launched “kNOw MORE” – a campaign created to bring awareness and provide support to sexual assault victims, along with offering basic education on proper sexual-etiquette. As of today, “kNOw MORE” has grown into an entire office that continues to provide support to FSU students. Many know this office as “Title IX.” However, what many students don’t know is that they also offer resources to pregnant women on campus.

Title IX is able to pair you with Accessible Transportation Services to help you maneuver around campus with ease. ATS is the extended golf cars that you see cruising around campus. If you’re further along in your pregnancy, this service comes in handy as your feet might swell and the extra weight of the baby causes you constant back pain.

Some women face the worst of side effects during pregnancy, to the point where it temporarily impairs their ability to function. Depending on the severity of your pregnancy and how far along you are, Title IX is also able to help you retrieve a Handicap Parking Permit that can be used in any disabled parking space on campus.

As for absences, Title IX can help you with that too. Especially in the first trimester, going to OB checkup appointments are crucial. A lot of times, these appointments are scheduled during class hours. No need to worry. If you explain to Title IX your situation, they’ll provide you with a temporary excuse note that lasts throughout your entire pregnancy. The note itself is vague in context, but Professors have to accept it and you’re able to show them that same note every time you have an appointment.

FSU offers a daycare, known as the FSU Childcare and Early Learning Program. They accept children from six weeks up until four years old. They also offer a student rate for FSU college students that is lower than the average cost of attendance. If you qualify for Pell Grant, you can get an even further discount on your child’s tuition.

Courtesy: Valene Jones

Health insurance is definitely important during your motherhood journey as well. If you don’t have any, the State of Florida offers “free” healthcare to pregnant women through the Medicaid health insurance program. In order to qualify, your income has to meet their required threshold. However, you can qualify for other ways. If you’re a Work-Study student currently employed by FSU, then you can apply for Medicaid health insurance on the Florida Department of Children and Families homepage.

Courtesy: Jakub Kapusnak from FoodiesFeed

A healthy, well-balanced diet while pregnant is crucial in the well-being of you and the baby. If your food cabinet doesn’t reflect that, don’t worry. Another program that the State of Florida offers is WIC (Women, Infant, and Children). It is a Supplemental Nutrition Program that provides mothers and moms-to-be with supplemental grants, on a card, that can be used to purchase specific nutrient-rich foods and drinks. During your application, you’ll meet with a nutritionist who shares a list of nutritional-filled foods you should be eating. Those who qualify for WIC are women who are currently pregnant and women with children under the age of five years old who have a medium or low income. In order to apply, you have to go directly to your local WIC office. If you’re in Tallahassee, there are multiple WIC offices in town.

While this journey can be overwhelming, the outcome will negate the temporary pain you’ll feel. It’s always important to find a support group, especially if you’re away from home. Go on Facebook, GroupMe, or even Instagram to see if there are any college-mama group chats in your local school area. If you’d prefer to speak to a more authoritative figure, the Title XI office also offers you with someone to talk out your feelings with.

Don’t lose your focus, surround yourself with positivity, and stay strong.

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