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Pregnancy - please come and tell us your experiences

(78 Posts)
MEDIA: KatieMumsnet Tue 06-May-14 13:29:49

Louisa Peacock from the Telegraph has approached us following this story about Victoria, a heavily pregnant woman who was forced to sit on the floor of train as nobody would give up their seat for her. We know many people thrive during pregnancy and there are, of course, tales aplenty of the kindness of strangers - but it's also clear from the boards that there are still instances when people can be a bit - how can we put this? - inconsiderate grin. When we tweeted about Victoria's experience on the train, lots of people responded with their own tales, and Louisa's keen to hear about how you got on during your pregnancies.

Here's a bit more info from Louisa

It's not just at work where prejudice and sometimes a bit of downright meanness rears its head when it comes to pregnant women. On the street, in shops, on public transport and elsewhere, it seems many pregnant women still face a tough ride. I am seven months' pregnant. I've already faced my fair share of awkward moments on public transport. But what really struck a chord with me recently was the story of Victoria Poskitt, a heavily pregnant woman who was forced to sit on the floor of a packed commuter train because nobody would give up their seat for her - even after she asked.

According to a snap poll in Time Out, this apparently happens on a regular basis - so I wondered, did it happen to you? It would be great to hear your experiences when out and about, and how it has affected you/ why it matters. Perhaps we can start to raise a bit of public consciousness' about the not-so-obvious hassles that pregnant women can face.


So please do let us know your experiences - and we'll work with Louisa to bring together the stories you share to highlight some of the issues faced by pregnant women today.

Thanks MNHQ

I live in London and am 18 weeks far everyone has been lovely. I got my Baby on Board badge from tfl at 11 weeks and have worn it every day since. I always get a seat on the train/bus.

So no complaints yet!

Andcake Tue 06-May-14 17:04:44

When I was pregnant everyone was lovely on public transport due to my 'baby on board' badge. My worst moment though was at about 35 weeks on a hot summers day at lunch time crossing a zebra crossing a cyclist (who for once had followed the highway code and stopped) shouted at me to hurry up. A passer by even stopped and shouted back at him whilst i burst into emotional pregnancy tears.
Another cyclist at another crossing actually missed the red lights and I would have been hit if it wasn't for DP grabbing me!

lentilpot Tue 06-May-14 17:09:57

I am nearly 7 months pregnant and a wonderful lady at a Budgens garage offered me the use of their staff toilet yesterday, it was much appreciated!

FatalCabbage Tue 06-May-14 17:17:49

Twice during pgy (in the very obvious 7m+ part) I fainted on to the floor of public transport and still wasn't offered a seat.

I always give my seat up now to anyone who hopefully and helpfully sticks out her bump and puts a hand in the small of her back.

Musetta Tue 06-May-14 17:25:38

I was on a very crowded bus while pregnant with my two young dcs and I gave up my seat for an elderly person when it became apparent that noone else was going too.

Netguru Tue 06-May-14 18:13:18

I asked a guard to help me get a seat when heavily pregnant and feeling faint. He refused as it 'was not his job' and stopped the train at an unscheduled station to put me off rather than let me sit in his seat or anywhere else.

Good god, some of these are shocking.

My worst wasn't while pregnant, although I probably looked it, but going to see DS in a different hospital a few days after my CS, when I took ages to cross a pedestrian crossing and got rudely tooted at by an elderly couple! confused

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 06-May-14 19:14:27

I was really lucky with my pregnancy apart from two occasions where I had to see the consultant at the ante natal clinic. It was a 2 hour wait both times and not enough seats so spent a long time standing. When I had my bp checked the nurse asked if I felt faint as it was so low hmm

AntiDistinctlyMinty Tue 06-May-14 19:20:55

I suffered with bad SPD in both of my pregnancies. With DS! I was very lucky that by and large I got seats on public transport. With DS2, 8m pregnant, on crutches and with 18m old DS1 with me, I got on a bus and nobody would give up their seat for me. The bus driver pulled over at a busstop and refused to move again until someone let me sit down...

Iwillorderthefood Tue 06-May-14 19:29:13

Every day of my second pregnancy that I commuted up to Warren Sreet, the same man gave me his seat on the Victoria line. I have experienced being crammed in with everyone else on a packed commuter train, until someone told everyone that they ought to be ashamed of themselves letting a heavily pregnant woman stand. I got a seat pretty swiftly.

Often struggled on the bus. With people just obviously spotting me, but ignoring me.

Some are of the view that pregnant women should not travel at peak times, it would seem.

IceNoSlice Tue 06-May-14 20:22:51

I had a tyre blow out when 8 months pg and pulled onto the side of the road. Only 5 mins from home so called DH to come and rescue me. In those 5 mins, three separate cars stopped and asked if I needed help. All men, 30s to 50s. Chivalry is alive and well in the midlands smile

Darksideofthemoon88 Wed 07-May-14 08:57:33

I visited London recently at 7+ months pregnant. My experience of crowded tubes was that everyone just averts their eyes in that way that only southerners on public transport can, presumably so they can then justify to their conscience that they haven't seen you. I'm relatively small in the bump department (though still extremely obvious given the size of the rest of me!), and I sometimes wonder if having a bigger bump would be 'easier' - harder for others to ignore, perhaps?

GeraldineFangedVagine Wed 07-May-14 09:09:23

I was on a 24 bus recently, really crowded, and 35ish weeks pregnant, obvious gigantic bump and crutches for spd. Another lady got on with a 'baby on board' badge and asked if she could have my seat and pointed at the badge. I was a bit shocked if I'm honest and said I'd rather keep it as I'm a) gigantic and b) can't walk. I think she thought another pregnant person might be sympathetic to her, and usually I would always offer my seat to someone who needed it. Luckily a youngish guy got up and gave her his seat but only after laughing at our pregnant off.

ToysRLuv Wed 07-May-14 09:21:08

I don't remember people ever giving me a seat on public transport if there wasn't one, but I had an easy peasy pregnancy, so didn't mind standing (I only did relatively short journeys of up to 20 mins anyway).

NotMrsTumble Wed 07-May-14 11:30:32

blatantly reading pregnancy books while sticking out my belly on the local train usually worked in the later months, but not always.

BeatrixRotter Wed 07-May-14 11:46:06

I was getting off a packed tube train heavily pregnant when a couple got on blocking me in. I tried to squeeze past and the young guy pushed me off the train. I was so shocked and when I said 'you've just pushed a pregnant woman' he had a go at me. I was so upset especially as no one else stuck up for me. I'll admit I probably was pushing into them, but he left me very little choice getting on before I could get off!

violetlights Wed 07-May-14 13:11:54

I was at a horrible crowded Eurostar terminal (7 months pregnant, huge bump) no one offered me a seat. I made my way over to where a man was sitting with his bag on the chair beside him. I asked if he could move his bag so I could sit down. He said no as he was saving it for his friend (who as far as I could see didn't turn up at all...)

When I was 9 months pregnant I had a delivery of some huge baby product. The delivery man put it down just out side the front door while I signed for it. After I signed I asked whether he would mind popping it just inside the door (it was a metre high or something) because I was 9 months pregnant. He said no. So I had to do it myself.

squizita Wed 07-May-14 14:35:25

Over protectiveness that has nothing to do with being kind and everything to do with judgement:
-you can't eat/do that (I can, I know the NHS rules backwards)
-OOhh no don't do that... (followed by moaning about me not doing it).
I blame the daily mail for everything.

squizita Wed 07-May-14 14:40:18

Once a bus wanted to go over the zebra crossing I was on, and the driver screamed "you fucking idiot!" at me as if I was jaywalking!

FarToGo Wed 07-May-14 14:59:08

A rather humiliating incident happened to me whilst 37 weeks pregnant. I live in London and was waiting for a bus to take me the 4 stops to hospital for an antenatal appt. I spied said bus in the distance, put my arm out in good time only for the bus to sail past me, braking at the last minute when he realised I was at the stop. I waddled to where he had stopped, about 20 or 30 feet from the stop.
As I reached the doors he pulled off!! Only to be stopped by a red traffic light another 20 feet down! I was furious, I shuffled to the door and banged on it and he still wouldn't let me on! Just shrugged and stated I'll have to get the next one. No one on the bus said anything either.
I was left in tears standing at the junction of a busy road. I felt utterly humiliated at such a belittling and public incident.
As I said, I was 37 weeks pregnant, very emotional due to baby being breech and the prospect of having a c section.
I complained to TFL and the bus company, but I've never received a decent apology.
And shame on the people who sat on the bus and bowed their heads.

Greenstone Wed 07-May-14 15:05:32

I had no problems with my last pregnancy in terms of rude behaviour but I wasn't using public transport.

Generally speaking, I think that SPD should be more of a public awareness issue, in that I don't think many non-pregnant people understand/believe it exists, especially if the bump is small or not yet visible. There is a book called Making Babies by the writer Anne Enright where she refers to the almost perverse pleasure some men people took in scoffing off the pain she felt from SPD. I suffered with sciatica during my last pregnancy and really it shed a whole new light on pain for me. Occasionally now I'll see a woman doing the 'SPD walk' and it almost makes me well up. Definitely needs more attention.

squizita Wed 07-May-14 15:07:09

FartoGo shameful indeed, those people. I must say I have seen a number of Londoners, not posh commuters but youths etc', stick up for the pregnant and elderly on buses. It's always good to see that happen but it doesn't always.

Fruli Wed 07-May-14 15:19:20

In contrast, on the tube at 6m (and only just getting a bump) I was offered a seat for every leg of my journey.

I did have a pair of terrible delivery guys though, dumping a flat-pack cotbed and chest of drawers in my hallway (filling my hallway) at 8m and clearly pregnant. Asked if they could take them upstairs, as the company had specified they would be 'delivered to the desired room', they refused, citing they were late for their lunch because of traffic shock

EatsCakeForNoReasonWhatsoever Wed 07-May-14 16:36:01

Tesco delivery drivers were always lovely and went the extra mile for me every time.

The prats on London transport not so much. I got hideous dizzy spells and had SPD and, like others, was just blanked, even when I asked outright. The only person who gave up a seat for me was another woman in her 30s. Not a commuter.

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