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Signs such as this that designate certain parking spaces for expectant moms started popping up years ago. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Several mothers in Halifax who are outraged by what they say is a lack of respect in parking lots are calling for reserved parking spaces for up to two years.

Jacqueline Potvin Boucher says too many drivers are using the parking spots at shopping malls that are designated for mothers.

"It's often men, just lazy men, or lazy other people who just say they're in a hurry and they need those spots more than we do," she told CBC on Thursday.

"Many of us have approached those people and asked them why they're in the spots, but they just disregard any comments we say and shove us by."

The courtesy spots are usually marked with pink lettering. They're at the entrance to stores, next to the spaces for accessible parking.

The problem, Potvin Boucher said, is there are no penalties for drivers who snag the courtesy spots. While some U.S. cities give pregnant women and new mothers accessible parking privileges, that's not the case in Nova Scotia.

Potvin Boucher said new mothers could receive passes when they leave the hospital.

"It would be ideal if the IWK [Health Centre in Halifax] would automatically give out these permits, which would be valid for maybe two years," she said.

Potvin Boucher and several other moms have launched a campaign on Facebook, as well as an online petition, to win the same parking privileges as drivers with physical disabilities.

They say it's difficult when they're forced to park far away.

"What society doesn't realize is that many of us are at high risk of premature labour, falling and injuring ourselves or our babies, suffering from blood loss after labour, risk of tearing stitches, risk of fainting during early pregnancy, let alone risking our other children's safety and the public's as our kids escape our hand while we carry the newborn infant and get caught up in traffic," the group says on its Facebook page.

Potvin Boucher said there is some support for their parking plight, but she has also received a number of emails from people condemning the idea of special spaces for mothers.