Pregnant Mom 'Stork Parking' Is for the Birds


Do you think being pregnant means you should have more convenient access to the places you need to go? Does having a baby on board give you the right to cut in line?

I wouldn't say that the world is exactly brimming over with opportunities for pregnant women to receive preferential treatment. Pregnancy is a normal physiological process, after all, and most of us are expected to carry out our usual duties when we're expecting a child. But the idea of a "pregnant ladies don't have to stand in line" policy made me think of a teeny, tiny pet peeve of mine.

Stork parking. You know, the parking spots—usually at Babies 'R' Us—that are reserved for pregnant moms. Nothing against pregnant women, but ... I kind of hate that stupid freaking sign.

I know, I know, I sound like a bitter old crank who's just jealous she isn't pregnant right this very instant. Oh, you got me there—I SO wish I were lumbering around with itchy hemorrhoids and missile-sized boobs just for the thrill of parking next to the handicapped spaces. Not.

It's just that if any able-bodied person on this earth could use a closer parking spot, it's the mother who has one or more children on the OUTSIDE of her body. I mean, come on, a fetus might be uncomfortable, but at least the child is self-contained. Pregnancy is a cake walk compared to the logistical ass-painery of ferrying children through parking lots once they're born. If you're not chasing them down to make sure they don't blindly run out in front of a moving vehicle, you're wrestling them into strollers or hefting them in arm-cracking carseats. Even now that my kids are 6 and 3, I feel like a bug-eyed Border collie whenever we navigate a parking lot, because children can be—well, there's no nice way to say this: CHILDREN CAN BE STUPID AS HELL.

In comparison, a pregnant woman typically only has to worry about whether her ever-increasing ass will fit between the parking spaces as she waddles in to survey the burp cloths. I'm just saying: I may have been Michelin-sized when I was pregnant, but it was a damn sight easier to get around than it is now that I have two kids in tow.

I realize some pregnant women have health issues that affect their mobility, but ... well, is that not what a temporary handicap placard is for?

It's pretty obvious that when Babies 'R' Us puts up a stork parking sign, it's just a customer appreciation effort—something that markets to their target demographic. It makes sense there, even if it does irritate me a bit. But when stork parking shows up at grocery stores and other places, it seems a little ridiculous to give preferential parking to someone who isn't handicapped.

I'd rather see a store focus on making the aisles wide enough and the carts safe enough. Or better yet, if our society would like to provide a more convenient situation for pregnant women, how about more flexible work situations, better maternity leave, and health insurance that actually covers our medical expenses?

What do you think about stork parking? Have you used it?

Image via Flickr/Zcopley

pregnancy health


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MomoJL MomoJL

I've always been of the opinion that those with toddlers should have a reserved space.  They're hard to corral, those little buggers!


I used it when I was pregnant, but you know what? With 2 kids 4 and under, I'm a rebel and use it now too! I dare someone to call me on it.

Kritika Kritika

Call me old school in that women used to walk around pregnant ALL THE TIME before cars were even invented. That said, I think it's a kind gesture and maybe there actually are women with complicated pregnancies that actually need shorter walking distances.

bills... billsfan1104

Lazy lazy lazy lazy women. And even more lazy if you use it, because you have two or three kids that you cannot control. Are you really telling me that you cannot control your kids from the parking lot to the store???? Or carry them in?? I get the pregnant women with medical issues also, but DMV issues temporary handicapped cards for that. And if you dont have one, then its your fault for not taking it up with the doctor and DMV.

nonmember avatar Michelle

Umm, sorry but I disagree. When I was pregnant, I had very little "standing" time I could handle without seriously cramping or a crippling backache. Even though I didn't really utilize those parking spots all the time (only a few places have them), they can be necessary for the expectant mother. I also have a two year-old now, and while chasing after a little one is very difficult, I can manage to walk more than 100 feet without needing a break. I'm sorry you have such a strong aversion to those parking spots, not everyone has a peaches and cream pregnancy and can manage as easily as you did. You shouldn't compare your pregnancy to others. I think the safety of a woman's unborn baby is a little more important than your ability to wrestle two children through a parking lot. But you are entitled to an opinion, so I'm giving you mine.

Kristina Lawler Funk

I had a friend in college who went to Kmart with her mom and made her park in the Expectant Mother spot. Her reasoning was, "I'm just running in for one thing and you're expecting me to come back out." Hysterical.

nonmember avatar Michele

I absolutely use these spots whenever possible, but not because I'm pregnant. Because I'm pregnant AND chasing two small kids through the parking lot. A "parent and child" spot at the grocery store would be much more appreciated, especially in a few weeks when I'm trying to wrestle a 4 yr old, 21 month old, and newborn through the grocery store.

cassi... cassie_kellison

On an Army post those little Stork Placards are Everywhere!!! I never used one when I was pregnant because I felt like some days that long walk into the clinic was the only excersize I was planning on doing that day. Being pregnant in the middle of a Texas summer doesn't inspire much movement of any kind.

Kritika Kritika

billsfan1104, Bloom grocery stores actually have parking for "parents with children" THAT drives me crazy. It's called disciplining/spanking/whatevering your kids so they stay by your side. As a Greek kid we always knew better than to smart mouth in the passenger seat of the car for fear of a back hand - we wear wedding bands on the right side and my sister has a filling to attest to it! We are all well adjusted...LOL

nonmember avatar twinmom

those spots drive me nuts! having had a tough pregnancy with twins i can understand the need to not walk too far, HOWEVER, if i wasn't on bedrest and needed to drive myself, i'm sure my dr would have gotten me a temporary handicap sticker. they also have the new mom parking, which i never used. i think it's just weird, i always assume someone has it harder than me so why do i get to use it? it should really just be another handicap spot if they have all these extra spaces to designate. i don't think anyone who doesn't have a handicap sticker should get preferrential treatment...if you're at the BRU parking lot though, that doesn't bother me, it's at the mall, grocery store that it's annoying. especially at the mall, you can't walk the extra 100 feet to the door but you can walk all over the mall? haha!

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