exploitThe physical upsides of pregnancy are well-documented—luscious hair, clearer skin and ample cleavage, to name a few. But there are some logistical perks that many expectant mamas may not know about. Here are some things to make your life easier as you create new life:

  1. Parking spots. Some lots mark special close-in spots for pregnant ladies with signs that say “stork parking” or “expectant mothers only.” It’s a glorious thing.
  2. Pre-boarding on flights. This one is a little tricky. Airlines aren’t required to allow pregnant women to pre-board, and you certainly don’t want to take a spot in line from a passenger with a disability. That said, many gate agents allow pregnant women to board early with the families traveling with young children. I did it in my third trimester on Southwest (which doesn’t have assigned seating) so that I could get an aisle seat for easy bathroom trips.
  3. Carry-out assistance at the grocery store. Cashiers have probably asked you if you want help loading up your car dozens of times, and you probably have always reflexively said, “No thanks.” It’s time to say, “Yes, please!” Make sure to tip.
  4. Priority seating on the subway. The Washington, D.C., Metro system offers “priority seating for people with disabilities and senior citizens” on every rail car. I happily collapsed in one of those priority seats during my pregnancies once my belly got big enough. Once, I got woozy on a crowded train due to morning sickness but I wasn’t showing yet. I politely told the nearest passenger that I was pregnant and asked if I could please have her seat for a minute because I felt ill. Everyone within earshot jumped up to make room for me and then checked to make sure I was ok, which was nice (and necessary—if I didn’t sit down I was going to pass out.)

It boils down to learning how to accept assistance. People want or are willing to hold doors open for you, carry your stuff and let you go first (especially in a bathroom line). Let them! 

What perk helped your pregnancy feel a little easier?