“I need to go!” Using the Bathroom in School while Pregnant

When I was three months pregnant, I told my teacher I needed to go to the restroom, but he refused to let me go.

So I said, “I need to. I’m pregnant and I’m going to go.”

Instead of understanding and letting me leave, he said that I needed a nurse’s note. Then he laughed and said, “You’re pregnant?!”

“Yeah,” I said, and walked out of the room.

After that incident, I had  problems. I had pain and spotting. I had a bladder infection.  I went to the school nurse.  I told her about my pains. I told her, “I’m pregnant and my teacher doesn’t let me use the restroom.”  The nurse called my parents to come and pick me up. They took me to the emergency room. Finally, I got some papers to take to school from my OBGYN.

I showed the papers to the nurse, who gave me a confidential note letting me use the restroom when I needed it. When I went back to the teacher and showed him the note, he still said I couldn’t go, saying it had to be in my school file. When I got up to use the restroom during class, the teacher called the nurse, who told him I had a note.

But after all that, the teacher would also say to me “Oh, there you go again with your note,” every time I had to leave the classroom.

What’s my advice to other pregnant students? From the moment you find out that you’re pregnant, ask your OBGYN for papers to take to school, see the school nurse, and get a confidential medical note saying you can leave. That way, you can keep your information and your situation confidential, and you won’t have to risk telling teachers or other students who might be rude or not take you seriously.

“Nezlyn,” 17 years old

Prenatal Appointments and School

The biggest challenge since I got pregnant has been getting to my prenatal care.

I’m in school right now.  The school tells me that I can’t check myself out from school for my prenatal appointments.  They tell me that I need my mom  to sign me out or call in.  But I don’t live with my mom.  When I got pregnant, my mom told me,“You’re pregnant and that’s on you. Don’t get me involved.” I moved in with my boyfriend and his aunt two months ago. My mom and I don’t talk anymore and there is no one to check me out from school.

Being able to check myself out for appointments and back in to school would let me go to an appointment in the early morning and then have enough time to come back to school and only miss one period of class.  Instead, I have to reschedule my appointments at the last minute if I can’t get leave school, or I have to make an appointment in the afternoon and leave school early. If I have an afternoon appointment and miss the bus, I get there too late and have to reschedule. And some of my appointments, like blood tests, have to happen first thing in the morning,

It would be better if the school let me leave and just said bring a note or a card from your doctor to show where you were.  I just learned that the law says the school is supposed to let me check myself out, but I didn’t know that before.   Next time I am going to try that and tell the school its the law.