Human Interest

Mom graduates with PhD one day after giving birth: ‘We can do anything’

graduates, PhD

One North Carolina mom is showing that women are strong and capable — and that it is possible to pursue a degree, even while pregnant.

Abby Bailiff earned her doctorate from the UNC Greensboro School of Nursing on May 4, just one day after giving birth to son Bodie. She graduated with her doctorate of nursing practice in the adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) concentration.

Bailiff said that she initially didn’t know if she would be able to attend the graduation ceremony, especially because she was unsure when Bodie would arrive.

“My original due date was April 27, so I thought I could have a baby … then a week later go to graduation and walk, if I was feeling up to it, but God had other plans. Bodie had other plans,” she said.

Nevertheless, even with her son’s late arrival, she was able to make it to the ceremony on time, capping off a week of amazing accomplishments.

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“I passed my boards on Monday, induced Tuesday, had baby Wednesday, graduated Thursday,” she said.

“I remember walking into the gymnasium for graduation, and everybody’s just cheering and standing and there’s a huge crowd,” Bailiff said. “I don’t know if it was a mix of the hormones or just how overwhelmed I was feeling, but I just started crying. It was just an overwhelming feeling of I just accomplished so much within the last couple of days. It just felt really good.”

Bailiff’s sister compiled a Tiktok video highlighting her accomplishments, and it quickly went viral. Comments on the video are overwhelmingly positive, with many viewers complimenting Bailiff for accomplishing her dreams.

@hannahpaigern and thats on girl power ✊🏼 #superwoman #dnp #newmom #doctorate ♬ FLESH. – Fnatylqrd


Bailiff said she was overwhelmed by the video’s response, but she hopes it serves as inspiration for others.

“I want other women to know, especially people that are in school and they get pregnant and they want to do this or they want to do that, we can do anything we want to do,” she said. “We just have to set our minds to it. I know that sounds cliché, but that whole video kind of just put it into perspective.”

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