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Wellness

Why Every University Should Have Pregnant Parking Spaces

The first time I saw expectant mother parking was around 2016 at a supermarket lot. We came up the entrance and saw the packed lot, which is when my mother exclaimed I had to be on the lookout for good spots. Then there it was. It was as if the sky opened up and the sun shined directly on these three empty spots closest to the store entrance with signs on it that had written “Expectant Mothers/Parents with Small Children.” I looked in awe. Why? Because it was something important I never knew society needed. 

Expectant Mother Parking isn’t a new concept. It has been around since the late 90s, often referred to as “Stork” or “Stroller” Parking. Pregnancy is usually portrayed as this wonderful time a woman endures in the media. Don’t get me wrong; it is, but I think the amount of pain and discomfort an expectant mother can go through should also be covered, like the extra 28-35 pounds a woman has to walk with everywhere she goes.

Groceries Stores and Shopping Plazas Tend to Have These Parking Spaces, but What About Universities? 

According to AffordableColleges.org, there are more than 5 million undergraduate students who are currently pregnant. Society tells these students they have ultimate support and will get through their studies, but there is no action that supports these few words. College is a time for people to gain experience and explore their interests in whatever field they intend to pursue. Universities can cultivate this by offering many different majors or extracurricular activities for their students, and the only way for students to pursue such things is through accessibility.

Pregnant women are no less in value than a student who isn’t. They should have the same access to pursue their academic and professional endeavors and Expectant Mother Parking is a mighty first step in that direction. Pregnant women can begin to feel pain and overall discomfort as early as their first trimester. Having these spaces located right by an entrance would be great so a student can safely and comfortably learn without dealing with unnecessary health issues, such as shortness of breath or sharp abdominal pain. 

What Can I Do to Have This on My Campus? 

If your university does not provide Expectant Mother Parking spaces, there are things you can do.

Any school that receives federal funding must have a Title IX coordinator. Title IX is a federal civil rights law in the United States that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1792. Pregnant women are protected by this, and schools must make reasonable accommodations for them. Research whether your school is federally funded or not. If it is, then take the further step in finding out who your Title IX coordinator is, and contact them to  file  a complaint.
If your university isn’t federally funded, then you can contact your parking and public transportation. Even if you aren’t pregnant, you can show your support for your fellow peers by taking the same actions. 

Your education is important and even more than that, your health and the baby you are carrying is important. We can all support our expectant mothers by taking action and doing our part to make sure they are welcomed and cared for while they carry out their education.  

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Brianna DeJesus

Montclair '24

Brianna DeJesus is a sophomore at Montclair State University, majoring in Fashion Studies. She is a Contributing Writer and Social Media Correspondent. Driven by faith, hope, and love. When she’s not learning or writing about fashion, she is spending time making collages.
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