Do you know how most people when seeing a pregnant woman start smiling right away? And that warm feeling which you might sense… Maybe it’s because of the beauty of the pregnancy as a process, or because of the beauty of the pregnant woman that is creating life, or because of the thought of the small human being that will come to this world and will become an artist, an engineer, a lawyer, a writer or maybe even a president.
Well, I can’t say that I often see those reactions. Being pregnant in Bulgaria is even harder than I’ve expected or you can imagine. Have you ever had any difficulties while being pregnant? I have some of them every day. And I still haven’t found a way to deal with them.
My first example is waiting in queues. I wait for my turn in a queue in the store, in the supermarket, in the fast food restaurant, even in the doctor’s office. On the door of my doctor’s office there is a sign saying “Pregnant women and women with children first!”. Do I go first? Do people allow me to go first? Of course not! I wait in the queue. It’s the same when I visit my gynecologist as well. The last time someone even went in before me, although every time I reserve an hour in advance for the visits. Do you think that in Bulgaria people have manners to respect and help pregnant women? I definitely don’t think so.
Next similar problem is related to public transport. When you take the bus and it is full of people, is there someone who will stand up and give their seat to you? Some cute illustrations appeared in the Internet recently, reminding why pregnant women need to sit and why it is important to make place for them. You can check them out in my other article “Твоята нова професия: Да бъдеш бременна. Неволи” – Stand up for the pregnant.
In general, I also think that it is kind and nice to help when you see someone is struggling with carrying a luggage or opening a door. It goes not only for pregnant women, but also for older people. But again – that’s manners. Ever since I lived in Portugal 5 years ago, I guess I have different “standards” for what being kind means, and my opinion is not suitable for living in Bulgaria (in Portugal people always smile and help with whatever they can).
There is now a new subject that I am interested in as well: discrimination at the workplace and attitude towards pregnant women. I am not talking about employer’s obligations or workplace conditions and workplace nature. I am talking about the attitude of colleagues. At my current workplace I am working only with women and I have never supposed that a woman can’t put herself in another woman’s shoes when pregnancy involved. Again, there is a “but”- But, I am wrong again obviously. This statement is a result of the problems I am having with one colleague of mine (a woman who is a mother, if I have to be exact). A few months ago a talk was given that I am not doing my job as I used to, and she has to do it instead (the problem comes from the fact that I do not want to lift heavy things for understandable reasons).
There is a new problem now: a scandal was made because I insist for fresh air in a room where 4 women are working all together, when the temperature outside is 13 degrees by Celsius. I mean, “how come am I going to open a window in the room” when “it is so cold that her hands are freezing”? When being pregnant fresh air and walks outside are recommended. Of course, I can’t go outside for a walk during working hours (I work in an office). “A breath of fresh air = good mood”. What would you do if you were in my place? I am trying to understand why this colleague of mine is convinced that I (the pregnant woman) must comprise because of her. Do you have any ideas? Because I don’t.
So, dear girls, if you are pregnant in Bulgaria:
I sincerely hope that you are not going to experience the difficulties I am going through, and you will never feel discriminated! If not – I hope you will find a way to deal with them!