Three Ways Pregnancy and the Online Doctorate Are a Perfect Match

by Dr. Punita Rice Academia

Pregnancy and the Online Doctorate - Punita Learning - We have a little Rice on the way! Punita Rice

Pregnancy and the online doctorate program format can be a pretty good match! I’m pregnant now. (Just entered the second trimester)! Here are three ways that pregnancy and my online doctorate program have worked well together so far, and have been a nearly perfect match…

(1) I was able to work on my coursework when it fit with my pregnancy symptoms.

With online coursework, you have your deadlines. But you can adjust your study schedule. This can help make pregnancy and the online doctorate fit together well.

I still had the same (heavy) workload, but when I was hit with nausea or exhaustion, I could just put my research and readings away until I felt better. When I felt better, it was there waiting for me! I was also having a lot of trouble staying asleep (waking up every half hour to pee does that) so when I’d find myself wide awake early in the morning, I’d capitalize on my alertness and get some work done.

(2) Pregnancy made me want to do coursework (which automatically made pregnancy and the online doctorate a better match).

I’m slightly reclusive by nature, but being pregnant and tired has really made me enjoy my quiet time. Quiet time I can spend on readings, discussion posts, papers, or my blog.

Plus, since we weren’t telling people during my first trimester, being home and working actually felt easier than being out and socializing! Home working, I didn’t have to explain whywasn’t drinking. (Or why I looked exhausted by 9 pm).

Hiding Pregnancy First Trimester - Pregnancy & the Online Doctorate |

Hiding my pregnancy at a wedding

Although even after people knew, I still liked to be home with my computer! This made pregnancy and the online doctorate work well together.

Hiding my pregnancy at (another) wedding - Pregnancy and the Online Doctorate

Hiding my pregnancy at (another) wedding

There was one other thing that made it work out for me, but I realize not everyone would have this luxury:

(3) During my first trimester of pregnancy, I was able to work less (which meant I could focus more on my doctorate program).

I taught summer school this year. While teaching summer school, I was in my first trimester. Since our AC at school wasn’t always working, this was terrible! And to make it worse, my summer class weeks coincided with some of my worst pregnancy symptom days. (Yikes!) It was also hard because nobody else at work knew yet. (Telling people “early” is its own complex and personal decision).

But in other ways, it was great; I had a shorter work day for summer school. Plus, having a couple of weeks off of teaching before and after summer school was in session was great. Still, that time allowed me to temporarily treat my online doctorate program like a full time job for a couple of weeks. This was very helpful. I found that by having slightly fewer other responsibilities, pregnancy and the online doctorate can really work well together.

To the Moms out there – how did you handle your work and/or school responsibilities when you were expecting? What helped?

P.S. – More on pregnancy, and pregnant teacher problems.

About the Author

Dr. Punita Rice

Facebook Twitter

Dr. Punita Rice is a wife and mama, an education researcher, a writer, the founder and director of ISAASE, and an advisor with Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Doctor of Education program. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here. Punita also writes about life, culture, education, and motherhood here on her blog. She works from home in Maryland, and drinks a great deal of coffee.