Many students at BYU choose to start and grow their families while also pursuing their education. BYU has several resources available to students to support them as they balance school and family life.
Title IX covers any gender-related issues, including pregnancy, birth, and postpartum needs, and the Title IX Office can help students understand what kinds of accommodations and supports are available to them. Here are some examples of situations in which you might seek a Title IX accommodation for your pregnancy:
- Pregnancy symptoms are interfering with your schoolwork (e.g. morning sickness, fatigue, hyperemesis gravidarum)
- Planning your recovery from delivery (it is recommended you start the accommodation process in advance of your due date) or if you have a complicated delivery and need additional support
- You are suffering from a postpartum mood disorder, such as postpartum depression, anxiety, or panic
While many students are able to stay in school while pregnant, we recognize this might not be the best option for everyone. Here are some additional options for how to continue your education while pregnant:
- Work with your professors directly to arrange short term extensions to deadlines for coursework (the Title IX Office can help with this)
- Take BYU Online classes
- Enroll in Independent Study classes
- Take fewer classes per semester (but keep in mind that part-time and three-quarter-time enrollment have different tuition implications)
- Request an Incomplete Contract, which allows you to finish a class over a longer time period than the semester
- Consider taking a leave of absence if appropriate in your situation (the Title IX Office can help with this)
The Title IX Office is here to assist pregnant students in these and many other ways, so please reach out if you are in need!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I go to request pregnancy related accommodations or learn more about resources available for pregnant students?
You can contact the Title IX Office by calling (801) 422-8692, stopping by the Title IX office in Wilkinson Student Center (WSC) 1085, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What other offices or resources are available to pregnant students?
While the Title IX Office primarily handles pregnancy accommodations, there are other offices on campus where pregnant women can find support and resources. These include Women's Services and Resources, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Student Health Center.
Click here for informative one-pagers created by Women's Services:
Having a Baby While in School
Are Title IX rights granted to pregnant students?
Yes, Title IX protects all students and employees from sex-based discrimination. The Department of Education’s regulations implementing Title IX specifically prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. In June of 2013, the Office for Civil Rights issued a pamphlet entitled “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972” which details these obligations. For a copy of the pamphlet, click here.
Can someone discriminate against me based of my parenting status?
No. The Department of Education's regulation implementing Title IX specifically prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions. The Title IX regulation also prohibits a university from applying any rule related to a student’s parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently based on their sex.
If I feel I'm being discriminated against because I'm pregnant, is that against Title IX?
Yes. Title IX prohibits harassment of students based on sex, including harassment because of pregnancy or related conditions. Harassing conduct can take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, graphic and written statements, and other conduct that may be humiliating or physically threatening or harmful.
Particular actions that could constitute prohibited harassment include making sexual comments or jokes about a student’s pregnancy, calling a pregnant student sexually charged names, spreading rumors about her sexual activity, and making sexual propositions or gestures. Universities must take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end pregnancy related harassment, prevent its recurrence, and eliminate any hostile environment created by the harassment.
The university violates Title IX if sexual harassment or other pregnancy-related harassment by employees, students, or third parties is sufficiently serious that it interferes with a student’s ability to benefit from or participate in the school’s program, and the harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees.
If you feel that you are subject to harassment or discrimination due to pregnancy please contact the Title IX Office or Title IX Coordinator directly so that the university may address the issue. You may also file a report online at titleix.byu.edu.
May the university require a pregnant student to participate in a separate program for pregnant students?
No. Any such requirement would violate Title IX. The university may provide information to its students about the availability of an alternative program or course, but it may not pressure a pregnant student to attend that program. A pregnant student must be allowed to remain in her regular classes and school if she so chooses.
Do I need to inform the university of my pregnancy status?
No. You only need to inform the university of your pregnancy status if you are seeking academic accommodations related to pregnancy. If you are seeking accommodations please contact the Title IX office for more information and assistance.
What types of assistance must a school provide to a pregnant student at school?
To ensure a pregnant student’s access to its educational program, when necessary, the university must make adjustments to the regular program that are reasonable and responsive to the student’s temporary pregnancy status. Title IX requires the university to provide the same special services to a pregnant student that it provides to students with a temporary medical conditions. If deemed medically necessary, potential accommodations may include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- Excused absences
- Frequent trips to the bathroom
- Approval to leave class early to express milk
- Opportunity to make up missed work
- Temporary access to elevators
- Approval of class withdrawal after the add/drop deadline
- Audio-record classes or a provided note-taker for missed classes
Reasonable accommodations provide appropriate allowances for the student to succeed while preserving the integrity of the course. Accommodations are individualized depending on the need of the student and nature of the course. Please be aware that the Title IX office cannot request an accommodation that is a fundamental alteration to a course. Contact the Title IX office to discuss possible accommodations.
If you are a professor with a student requesting accommodations, please contact the Title IX Office or the Title IX Coordinator directly.
How does a pregnant student gain access to pregnancy related accommodations or assistance?
A student should contact the Title IX Office or Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible. The Title IX Office can help the student understand their rights under Title IX and facilitate communication between the student, professors, and other offices as needed. A student may schedule a meeting with the Title IX Office by calling (801)-422-8692, emailing email@example.com or coming to the office in WSC 1085.
What if some professors have their own policies about class attendance and make-up work?
Every university that receives federal financial assistance is bound by Title IX. Universities must ensure that the policies and practices of individual professors do not discriminate against pregnant students. For example, a professor may not refuse to allow a student to submit work after a deadline that she missed because of absences due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, if a professor’s grading is based in part on class attendance or participation, the student should be allowed to earn the credits she missed so that she can be reinstated to the status she had before the leave. The university should ensure that professors and staff are aware of and follow Title IX requirements.
What if a student feels they are being discriminated against because they are pregnant?
If a student is denied reasonable accommodations they are entitled to under Title IX, or if they feel they are being discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, they may contact file a report at titleix.byu.edu, or contact the Title IX Office by calling (801) 422-8692, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or coming to the office in WSC 1085.
Information from the Office for Civil Rights “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972”
Are there changing or nursing rooms on campus?