Kicked out of school for being pregnant!?

  1. Help!
    I am currently a nursing student in an entry-to-practice midwifery program and, after meeting with my program director last week, was told that we would, essentially, be kicked out of the midwifery program if we become pregnant while we are in school!!!
    Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Is this even remotely legal?! Why would a midwifery program (of all things!) have such an antiquated and biased policy? Shouldn't we, as midwives, be fighting AGAINST the image of pregnancy as an illness or a fragile state in which women need to be treated like delicately-ticking time-bombs?
    I am not currently pregnant, but I do have one child and I'm in my early 30's, so I do not feel like I can put off childbearing indefinitely. I was (before last week!) planning on trying to get pregnant towards the middle-end of my program so that I could deliver after graduation (and be home with the baby while I look for work!) - The program I am in is very intense, fast-paced and competitive (I know, doesn't really seem to jive well with the whole idea of midwifery!) but I am anxious to get through it and be done with school - it has taken me 10 years to get here and I can't imagine losing my chance or having to choose between pursuing my life's goals and expanding my family.
    Please, if anyone has any ideas or just feedback, I'm really in a mess over this!
    Thank you
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   cardsRN
    i'm not in ob or legal, but i can't imagine how that could be remotely legal. how is it reasonable for the school to believe they have the right to control your reproductive freedom? granted, being pregnant/having a small child can be very stressful and limiting to your time... but if you feel you'll be able to handle it and choose to become pregnant- more power to you! i wish you a healthy pregnancy and a happy healthy baby. and a CNM degree.
  4. by   adrienurse
    I know that this was common practice in nursing schools in the 60's but.....
  5. by   RN BSN 2009
    Wow! I've never heard anything like that before! Awful... Ask them to show you the fine print that says they CAN do that!
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    I can't believe no one asked "why?" when it was said....that would have been the first question out of my mouth!
  7. by   nurseangel47
    Don't think that could be legal...consult with an attorney pronto via telephone. Their staff who field calls could probably answer directly as they are knowledgeable about basics of law. Good grief if it is legal...sounds a bit too harsh to me, too....
  8. by   LargoLPN
    I never heard of this in NS, but There were CNAs going through the CNA class ran by my employer that were kicked out because they were pregnant, there were others that were in there early months of pregnancy that hid there pregnancy's until after the class. I didn't see how they could do that either but it occurred
  9. by   live_crow
    Ask to see the written policy. If they have one, it's probably illegal -seek advice if it's something you want to do. If they don't, they're just trying to scare y'all into not getting pregnant.
  10. by   beckinben
    I had my second baby during my midwifery program - I even missed a final because I was giving birth I had no problems whatsoever finishing. The school helped as much as possible - I even pumped during clinicals.

    Does your school have an ombuds office? My school had one - they act as neutral mediators in disputes and make sure the school policies are being followed. I would doubt an official policy about pregnancy exists because of the legal liability, it's probably just someone's preference. An ombudsman might be able to help you find out what your rights really are.

    Becki
  11. by   CHATSDALE
    i don't know if this is legal or not
    did you sign an agreement to this when you signed up for schooll..if you do become pregnant will they enter you into the next class at the level that they deemed that you had to leave??
    i have heard of women in non-nursing fields that were doing things that could harm baby . like being exposed to chemicals etc where they only hired men or women who had had hysterectomy but it wouldn't seem that the rigors of class would approach harm
    don't know, check with a legal advisor,
  12. by   birthmamaew
    Sorry to be blunt but that is the most ridiculous thing I may have ever heard. There are many people who have gone through my CNM program and had babies while there. The profs were known to rock the students' babies to sleep as she lectured. Something about that smacks of discrimination. I hardly believe it could be legal. It is illegal to fire people from their job for being pregnant. This right now, is essentially your job.
    Do not put up wth this. Also, I don't know how invested you are inthis particular program at this point, but I would ask myself if I wanted to be a part of a program with this mind set. However, you may be pretty farin already, which I know makes things a lot stickier.
    Good luck. Whew..
  13. by   mercyteapot
    I would be stunned if this was legal... I don't think that they could make you sign a paper promising not to get pregnant, because the reality is that we don't always have control of that. Birth control is highly effective, but I believe we all know of situations where it wasn't 100% so. Think of it this way- if a student did find out she was pregnant, the school would essentially be forcing her to choose termination or leaving school. I just can't see it.... I have to wonder if this program director isn't just FOS.
  14. by   muffie
    for gosh sakes, it's 2006 !

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