Having a baby

Whatever you decide to do after the birth, it is important to take advantage of the ante–natal (before birth) care on offer. This is usually through your GP in conjunction with the local maternity hospital and your health visitor who can give advice on diet, dental care, relaxation classes and post–natal care.

Throughout your pregnancy, it’s important to remember that support is available, even if it doesn’t come from your partner. A friend of either sex who is concerned for your all–round well–being can be invaluable and would, incidentally, be welcomed at the birth should you wish them to be present.

Keeping the baby

Deciding to look after a child on your own or within a couple is a massive commitment for at least 18 years and it is important to seriously consider the implications in all areas of your life. Two major obstacles are housing and childcare. There is an acute shortage of accommodation suitable for families in Cambridge, and many landlords are unwilling to let to people with children. There may be support from the University Accommodation Syndicate, or a students’ Tutor. Alternatively, you can contact the University’s Childcare Co–ordinator, or, as always, the JCR Welfare Officers and the CUSU Women’s or Welfare and Graduates Officers.


Fostering, when a child is handed over to foster parents for a short period, can be arranged privately or through Social Services. It is, however, often difficult to begin caring for a child already a few months old, and foster parents can be given the option to adopt if a child is fostered immediately after birth.


Adoption is the complete transferral of legal rights and duties towards a child by its natural parent(s) to another family. Adoption Societies will counsel pregnant women considering adoption. The biological parent(s) may specify certain reasonable requirements for the adopting family to attempt to meet. They will match, as far as possible, the characteristics of the baby and the adopting family. Students can always contact the University Counselling Service to talk through options.