It is important that you let the School know that you are pregnant as soon as you can. You are advised to speak to your Academic Adviser, Programme Director or Supervisor. This is so that we can ensure that any necessary adjustments or provisions are made for you, as far as possible.
If you feel uncomfortable talking to someone within your department, you can contact one of the School support services instead. St Philips Medical Centre, the Faith Centre and LSE Student Counselling Service are good avenues for support.
We also advise that if you haven’t registered and/or made contact with a doctor that you do so as soon as possible. St Philips Medical Centre will allow you to register with them if you live in the local catchment area. Otherwise you must register with a doctor local to where you live. You will find full details here.
We understand that in some cases the pregnancy may not be planned or may progress with difficulty. Again you can avail of the various support services within the School. You can also use a number of other organisations outside of the School, most of which will be free to access. Some details are listed below or you can talk to your doctor for further guidance.
Brook: provides free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people, including advice on pregnancy.
Marie Stopes Foundation: the UK's leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare services provides confidential counselling on unplanned pregnancies.
Miscarriage Association: provides support and information to anyone affected by pregnancy loss.
Child Bereavement UK: supports families when a baby or child of any age dies.
If you are going to be away from the School for some time you must inform your department that you are taking medical leave. You may be required to submit evidence in support of this, though you will not have to declare the exact nature of the issue if you would prefer not to.
Managing your studies
There will be a number of options available to you in relation to your studies. The advice you are given will largely depend on your individual circumstances and the timing of the academic year in relation to your pregnancy and due date. You are advised to speak to your department for advice on the best options for you.
Options may include:
If you are an MPhil or PhD student and are planning to take part in fieldwork during your pregnancy you must inform your supervisor. It may be possible for you to organise your fieldwork to take place following your pregnancy. This is something that you can discuss with your supervisor.
If you wish to undertake the fieldwork during your pregnancy you will be expected to seek appropriate medical advice (particularly if you plan on travelling); and complete the Fieldwork Request Form, which includes a risk assessment section.
Risk assessments are not carried out as a standard for pregnant women, in line with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. However, from the School’s point of view, the Health and Safety Team would wish to be contacted if you:
1. May be unable to evacuate a building without assistance, in the event of an emergency.
2. Will be carrying out or planning to carry out fieldwork during your pregnancy.
The Health and Safety Team have posted some helpful tips about how to ease common problems experienced in pregnancy. These are aimed at staff members, but are easily transferable to students.
Accommodation, Finance and Visas
Depending on the circumstances, your pregnancy may mean you will have to make some changes to your student lifestyle. For example, if you interrupt your studies any funding you are in receipt off will pause for the period of interruption. Similarly your visa sponsorship (as applicable) will be curtailed. Or if you live in an LSE Hall of Residence you will find it is no longer suitable. These may be things you will want to consider and will likely need to discuss with the relevant teams.
Students holding sponsored visas are strongly recommended to get in touch with ISIS as there may be implications on your immigration status depending on if and when you need to take a break from your studies.
It is a legal requirement to take a minimum of two weeks off work/study following childbirth. You are advised to build this into your planned break from and return to your studies.
Rest and breastfeeding facilities
The School has a room on the first floor of Tower 3, where expectant mothers can rest and where new mothers can breastfeed or express and store milk. This facility is available for both staff and students to use. Students who would like to access the room should ask at Reception in the Tower.
This will need advanced planning. It is advisable to begin to make arrangements at the beginning of your pregnancy. The School operates a day nursery but places are limited, so if you're interested in place, make sure to apply well in advance.
You will also be able to find a list of nurseries local to you through your Borough’s website.
The London Early Years Foundation also has a number of nurseries across London.
Staff Parent Network
The School offers a network to support new parents and parents-to-be. The aim of the network is to offer support over an 18 month period from before parenthood begins to managing a return to work after the birth or adoption of a child. Full details can be found here. Currently this only extends to staff members.
If you require any advice before, during or after your pregnancy you are encouraged to get in touch with the School support services. You can find a full list of what is available, and how they can help you, here.
You can also speak to any of the following individuals for confidential advice:
Dean of Undergraduate Studies – Peter Howlett
Contact details: Room OLD 1.07, 020 7955 7058, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean of Postgraduate Studies – Sunil Kumar
Contact details: Room OLD 1.07, 020 7955 7574, email@example.com
Dean of the General Course – Mark Hoffman
Contact details: Room OLD 1.08, 020 7955 5197, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adviser to female students – Wendy Sigle-Rushton
Contact details: 020 7955 7358, email@example.com
Adviser to male students – Jonathan Hopkin
Contact details: Room CON 5.18, 020 7955 6535, firstname.lastname@example.org
You are also welcome to speak to your department or contact the Student Services Centre who will be able to advise you or signpost you to the appropriate professionals.