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AIBU to be totally baffled by this attitude?

(46 Posts)
BB2000 Tue 22-Oct-13 21:13:58

Two women at work today were talking about pregnant women wearing the baby on board badges on the tube. They were waxing lyrical about how awful they are and criticising women for wearing them. Comments included:

‘Why should a pregnant woman have any more right to sit down than me?’

‘Why should I be forced to stand up for someone else?’

I’ve been on both sides: struggling to cope on busy trains when I was pregnant and so grateful that someone offered me their seat, and wondering if someone is actually pregnant or not and worried that I’ll offend them if I stand up mistakenly for them. In both case I think baby on board badges are a great idea.

AIBU to wonder, if you are healthy and able, why on earth wouldn’t you stand up for someone who is pregnant and might want a seat? And to be amazed that someone thinks wearing one of these badges is being ‘entitled and pushy’?

Fleta Wed 23-Oct-13 16:52:57

Just basic human kindness isn't it? Something which I think is all too often sadly lacking.

If anyone asked me politely if they could have my seat I would always give it up, because you know what they might be taking me for a mug, but I'd rather be taken for a mug than be so cynical I'd deny someone who really needed a seat a chance to sit!

FrightRider Wed 23-Oct-13 16:48:45

i always thought it was a health and safety thing on transport.. a pregnant womans center of balance changes quite significantly and the stop/start of transport when standing could cause them to stumble or fall.

kali110 United States Wed 23-Oct-13 16:44:08

Our im so sorry. Its horrible isnt it! Cant even take painkillers at mo either due to another complaint.
I dont have anything to prove it though. I couldnt stand up ages on a bus etc

There definitely needs to be some sort of priority badge/card or whatever. Partly so the person with a non-visible priority need for a seat doesn't get muttered about if s/he is sitting in the priority seat when another person with a visible need for it gets on board.
It's not that likely that an entire carriage full of people will all have some sort of non-visible physical issue that means they can't stand up: if the priority seats are in use and another person needs a seat then some able bodied person should get up and give it to them.

(WHen I was PG I used to get a bit narked with friends of mine demanding a seat for me: I was actually very healthy and fit and could stand with no problems.)

Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Oct-13 16:42:08

I the women aren't showing how do they prove they qualify for a badge? What is to stop any random woman asking for one just so she can grab a seat?

I see the sense behind them, but I think I'd feel like a bit of a Wally wearing one smile

Lj8893 Wed 23-Oct-13 16:36:42

I think those badges sound a good idea.

I didn't really look obviously pregnant till about 35 weeks (I'm a curvy girl anyway so just looked extra curvy till then)
So I guess it stops any embarrassment from people not sure weather someone's pregnant or not.

I also agree that its not just about being too big to be able to stand. I would feel fine standing now at 39 weeks but for me I really suffered with exhaustion and aches and pains between 20 and 28 weeks. I wouldn't have felt able to stand on public transport in those weeks, although I looked "normal".

MrsDeVere Wed 23-Oct-13 16:13:20

Those badges seem useful if you suffer horribly in early pregnancy.

I am fit as a flea post 15 weeks or so but feel like utter hell up till then.

I don't look pregnant until I am about 24 weeks.

Bogeyface Netherlands Wed 23-Oct-13 16:09:17

Only had this issue once early on with DD. Had the most appalling MS and couldnt get a seat on the bus, I sat on the stairs and was told to move by the driver. I tried to explain but he said unless someone stood for me, I would have to stand, cue lots of people pretending they hadnt heard hmm

Anyway, 5 minutes later I threw up everywhere as he wouldnt stop the bus away from a stop either. I called a cab and went home and him and his selfish passengers had to deal with my puke, and I didnt feel a single twinge of guilt. So I would happily give up my seat for a woman with one of these badges showing or not.

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 23-Oct-13 15:57:09

There is a generalised "priority" pass available on some train lines (first capital connect do one which covers anyone, including pregnant women, who might need a priority set).

The baby on board badge isn't about pregnant women trumping the needs of others to a seat, it's so that people who are considerate enough to understand that a pregnant woman may not be able to stand comfortably can offer their seat knowing the woman is actually pregnant (avoiding potential offence). Nothing obliges a pg woman to take a seat offered to her if she's happy standing so surely the polite thing to do is ask? confused

enormouse Wed 23-Oct-13 15:40:02

I like the idea of a generalised priority badge as suggested by lilicat.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Wed 23-Oct-13 15:24:26

I've never been pregnant, but I can understand that and why a pregnant woman needs a seat more than me.

I think baby on board badges are a good idea. I have been guilty of avoiding people's gazes on the tube blush because I'm terrified of offering my seat to a 'pregnant' woman who isn't...

I do slightly agree, though, that there are other conditions that might affect people's ability to stand, and I don't think pregnancy should be considered the only case in which people should expect a seat. If someone said to me 'Can I have that seat? I've got arthritis/MS/ME/back problems/whatever' then of course I'd give it up, but I think a lot of people are embarrassed to ask.

RegTheMonkey Wed 23-Oct-13 15:09:08

I was on the tube once and all the seats were taken, but there was only one man straphanging a few seats down. The doors opened at a station and an enormously pregnant young woman got on. I stood up and motioned to her to take my seat, when I turned round the man had grabbed my seat. Myself and two other female passengers told him loudly and variously 'Oy! You git! That seat was for that pregnant lady!'. He tried to butch it out but had to get up and let her take 'my' seat. He got off at the next station. We all cackled like witches.

Summerblaze Wed 23-Oct-13 13:25:54

I am not London based or a big train traveller so have never seen these badges but I think they sound great. For me, it wouldn't be so much that I would need a seat because I was ill or tired etc but that it would be hard for me to not be thrown around the carriage. I can't hold onto the straps as I am only 4 foot 10 and can't reach comfortably.

Also not being jostled about sounds good too.

Scholes34 Wed 23-Oct-13 13:16:21

Do they not still have priority seats on the tube? I used to ask the person sitting in that seat if they would mind letting me sit there instead, if it look obvious that they shouldn't be sitting there. Didn't need a badge.

I've had a baby at 27 weeks without people I saw every day realising I was pregnant.
With my first if I was wearing a coat you might not have know I was pregnant at all at any point yet I had a nearly ten pounder.
I'm glad I don't have to travel on public transport whole pregnant ever again

Twoandtwomakeschaos Wed 23-Oct-13 13:08:35

Westie, yes, I think it was.

Neunundneunzig, I've seen that happen, too!!

I desperately wanted one of those badges when pregnant but am not London based (and TfL website was rubbish!!).

weaselish Wed 23-Oct-13 13:02:42

YANBU. I am 32 weeks pregnant - without a coat, it's pretty obvious, but with a coat less so - the badges are a good idea as it lets people know. But that assumes they actually look up from their iphone/kindle/whatever to realise that there are other people around them, but that's a different story!
I will squeeze on the train, stand for a bit and if no one notices the large bump and badge (as often happens), then just politely ask the nearest person if they mind if I sit - and I do really need to sit, the things you hang on to are so high up and the pulling pain in my groin is very unpleasant, and that's if I can even balance properly!
Nothing wrong with the badges at all.

LongTailedTit Wed 23-Oct-13 12:52:59

Roshbegosh
It is the 25 year olds at 12 weeks that give me the pip. I have seen them just demand a seat from someone. I agree with haticus there are people in greater need.

If they were rude about it, then quite right, but really? How do you know they're 12wks? I didn't show much till 20wks, and in my winter coat people never offered a seat - tbf it was a toss up as to whether it was pie or baby til quite late!

I displaced a rib by strap hanging on the tube around that time - pg hormones had loosened me up a bit too much. After that I asked for a seat whether I felt I needed it or not, as I clearly was a crap judge!

ouryve Wed 23-Oct-13 12:50:39

It's not fair to universally suggest that all 25yos at 12 weeks are doing just fine. I spent much of the first 3 months or so of my first pregnancy frequently blacking out. There were several mornings that I did make it into work, only to end up sat with my head between my knees until I was steady enough to catch the bus home again.

Turns out that the likely cause was an as yet undiagnosed condition that now puts me in the same boat as kali. I even struggle with moving along to the window on some buses, as the shuffling required is often painful and if the floor of the bus is contoured, not being able to sit with my feet straight in front and flat on the ground is crippling.

mrsjay Wed 23-Oct-13 12:49:44

I always think the badges are just about giving up a seat I can imagine London transport can get pretty packed and a pregnant woman could be squashed etc, anyway these women are being unreasonable

offeingr a pregnant woman a seat isn't difficult to be kind to somebody who is carrying another human around with them al day,

Lilicat1013 Wed 23-Oct-13 12:48:41

I like the idea of some sort of scheme for people who have a priority need for a seat as a lot of people don't feel comfortable asking or having to explain private medical issues.

I didn't look pregnant when I was pregnant, I remember being on holiday when 20 weeks pregnant and walking up all these stairs because I thought I would get glares for using the busy lifts (I am overweight so people would have assumed I am just too lazy to walk upstairs).

When I was far enough along to attend the anti-natal classes I walked in behind two obviously pregnant women. Without even asking them what they were there for she pointed them in the right direction for room. When I walked passed she stopped me and asked me which section I was looking for.

Most of them time I was pregnant though I was able to stand without a problem (I am aware this isn't always the case) and would have been happy to give up my seat for someone who needed it more.

kali110 United States Wed 23-Oct-13 12:42:07

I actually worry about having to move seats when on public transport. I have spinal damage and severely painful knees . I worry about what people think of me for not getting up and giving my seat up for others as generally couldnt stand for the hour it takes me to get home.

Inertia Wed 23-Oct-13 12:28:35

Following on from the 'whataboutery' (good word Lisianthus!)- is there not some opening here for a nationwide 'priority pass' type scheme which gives priority on all public transport anywhere? It could be perhaps a simple badge which is issued annually (so a different colour each year) by a health professional, to minimise the amount of admin.

It could then be issued to anyone with a medical need- so not just pregnant women , but anyone with mobility problems or any medical need; every badge would be the same so nobody need know what the issues were, and it would also cover people with 'hidden disabilities'.

Summergarden Wed 23-Oct-13 12:19:21

I think it's a sensible idea, the tube can get dangerously crowded and at times extremely hot. Particularly at busy times when people are crammed in people might not be as observant if a lady has a baby bump.

Also, a serious point is that it is sometimes difficult to tell if a woman is pregnant or just has a bit of a belly, and lots of people don't want to offend by saying anything so the badge spells it out clearly. Someone once asked me when my baby was due when I wasn't pregnant, very embarrassing for both of us, I was only a size 12 but didn't have a very toned tum must admit!

Of course some pregnant women feel fine and may prefer to stand which is fine, no one if forcing them to sit. But at least the option of the badge let them be in a safer place less likely to be elbowed or injured on her bump and if she has a pregnancy related condition eg pre eclampsia, sore joints, gives her relief.

Also, if another passenger had a medical condition and politely said they weren't feeling well of course I would happily give up my seat for them too.

lisianthus Tue 22-Oct-13 23:03:06

I agree with midwifeandmum. For those who are doing the "whataboutery" regarding other people who feel ill for other reasons, it's not a game of top trumps! The badges just encourage good manners and thinking about others on the tube. I've never seen a stand-off between a pregnant woman and an old person over a seat, but I HAVE seen or heard people saying things like "I didn't know if you were pregnant or just fat<sneer>" or "it was your choice to get pregnant, why should I give up my seat?"

Besides, making the tube a place where it is more the culture to give up your seat for another is going to benefit everyone who needs a seat. It certainly isn't that way now.

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