Pregnancy is a major life event and it involves many accommodations in both one’s personal and professional life. One such accommodation you might see is in parking lots, where there are designated “maternity parking,” “expectant mothers parking,” or “stork parking” spots for mothers-to-be. These can usually be found at supermarkets, baby stores, and doctors’ offices.

If your business is considering installing maternity parking, you may want to be aware of the following guidelines:

Why Are They a Good Idea?

These spaces are intended for expecting mothers who may be dealing with intensive pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, back pain, or even contractions. It is not unusual to be in labor for several hours or days before giving birth and the symptoms of pregnancy can begin within the first 4 weeks and last for the entirety of the term (which is almost one year!) It’s no surprise that pregnant mothers might be frustrated with having to walk across an entire parking lot, especially when their lungs might have less space with a growing baby.

Women who have just recently given birth may still experience contractions or suffer from blood pressure fluctuations. While it’s more ideal for a pregnant woman who is nearing birth or one who has just given birth to stay home and rest, she may be the only one in her family able to do the necessary shopping.

Another common use for these spaces is for new mothers (or parents) with young children. Not only can it be a hassle to get a child in and out of a car seat, but it can be dangerous to walk with young children through a busy parking lot, especially if there are multiple children involved.

Are They Required?

Unlike accessible parking, maternity parking spaces are not required by law. It is up to you to consider whether you’d like to have maternity parking spaces in your business parking lot. This may have to do with the kind of customers you cater to, what services you provide, or the amount of support you want to show mothers and childcare providers. For example, a doctor’s office may be more likely to provide maternity parking than a gym because their services would appeal to a recent or expecting mother who has constant check-ups and may struggle with physical activity like walking.

But because they are not required by law, designated maternity parking spaces are also not protected by law. It can be difficult to enforce who is allowed to park in these spaces, so it is important to consider whether your clientele will actually respect the implication enough to avoid parking in these spaces.

Maternity parking can be a great way to show that your business cares about expecting and new mothers and it could mean the difference between a customer choosing you or a competitor. If you are interested in having maternity parking set up at your business, Curcio Enterprises can answer any questions you have. Contact us to make sure that your parking facility has the specifications you desire.