Student Support offers moral and therapeutic support to pregnant students while the expert staff provide information that enables her to make an informed decision about her pregnancy. They also provide information about healthcare options and postnatal counselling.
Dr Madeleine Nolte, head of Student Support, told Perdeby that students will be well cared for academically, provided that they make arrangements with their lecturers regarding assignments, tests and exams. “Pregnancy is not an illness but a natural condition,” said Dr Nolte.
A pregnant final-year BCom Economics student, who wishes to remain anonymous said, “I spoke to a nurse who was very nice and not judgemental. She gave advice as both a nurse and a mother. I told her I was considering terminating the pregnancy, again she didn’t judge. She told me about places I can go where they will do it safely.” The student added that, “Being pregnant on campus is not easy, you feel judged by other students and the fact that you cannot participate in other activities with friends makes you feel left out. In terms of academic work, it can be very distracting, walking to campus has become a mission and I am always tired.”
Student Support and the Student Health Clinic urge students who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy situation to visit their facilities for help.
The Student Health Clinic provides free pregnancy and HIV testing as well as family planning. Once the pregnancy has been confirmed the doctor or nurse will recommend external health centres depending on the student’s financial situation.
All students will receive confidential and appropriate advice as well as assistance at no cost. These services are also free of charge to the father of the child, provided that he is a registered UP student.
The Student Health Services can be contacted at 012 420 2500