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UP-STAND Featured on NY1

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An Astoria woman is standing up to make public transportation safer and more comfortable for pregnant women. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.

Astoria “momtrepreneur” Christine Serdjenian Yearwood is taking a stand -- to make public transportation safer for pregnant women.

"Being pregnant and being a parent in New York City can be really challenging. Navigating the subway, navigating public spaces; it's crowded," said Serdjenian Yearwood, the found of UP-STAND.

And often, there's nowhere to sit. To change that, Serdjenian Yearwood decided it would take a movement. So, she started UP-STAND last year. It's a mission to take the guesswork out of giving up a seat. Serdjenian Yearwood created t-shirts and these "I Stand for Expecting Moms" pins to let women know the wearer is willing to stand up.

"It takes away the uncomfortable or awkward situation where you offer somebody a seat and they're not actually pregnant. It can be tough in New York with coats, with crowded subway cars, to know whether somebody is actually pregnant," said Serdjenian Yearwood.

Serdjenian Yearwood was inspired to launch the campaign after her daughter Ani was born. She connected with local moms, who shared the perils of commuting while pregnant.

"I really heard a lot of people speak about some of the challenges with being pregnant, especially for people with complications," said Serdjenian Yearwood.

She hopes to expand her movement to other public spaces too. These UP-STAND signs can be found in cafes in Astoria, reminding visitors to be considerate and give up their seat -- not just to pregnant women, but to mothers, the elderly and people with disabilities, too.

"Businesses who are supportive of accessibility and want to make a positive social impact have been displaying those signs and we've gotten really positive feedback so far," said Serdjenian Yearwood.

Her long term goal is to partner up with the MTA to distribute her pins and shirts on a wider-scale, with the hopes of it becoming a national trend. If you're on board and want more information, head to​

- As reported by NY1's Clodagh McGowan

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