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Regarding commuting and giving up seat for pregnant women

(103 Posts)
Cherryontop99 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:52

If someone is clearly elderly / pregnant / on crutches or something then of course I will offer them my seat.

This morning there was a woman who I am not sure if she was pregnant or just a little chubby round the middle. Hard to tell as she was wearing lots of layers with it being winter. She wasn't wearing a 'baby onboard' badge or anything which a lot of people do in London.

In this situation AIBU to just not offer seat and assume that if they need a seat they will ask? Just don't want to risk offending anyone by suggesting they are pregnant when actually just a bit chubby.

HoratiaWinwood Tue 20-Nov-12 11:47:16

So think of what you're doing as giving people an opportunity to connect with their Britishness by being gallant...

Love it! Shame am no longer commuting nor pregnant. Where were you two years ago...?

MrsMelon Tue 20-Nov-12 11:47:41

YANBU, I only had 2 stops when travelling pregnant on the tube so standing was no ordeal, I was happy to actually get on the jubilee line in morning rush hour!

I do tend to faint though every now and then so if I needed a seat on the tube, bus or waiting room I would have no problem asking someone to get up and would also ask on behalf of a stranger if I saw someone else elderly or pregnant as many have done for me.

McKayz Tue 20-Nov-12 11:53:23

Slightly different but I recently went to London and had DD in a sling. I wasn't bothered about a seat as we only really went 2-3 stops each time but the only person who offered me a seat was a pregnant woman. I told her to keep it. But no one else ever bothered at all.

honeytea Tue 20-Nov-12 11:55:16

I have taken to asking the person sitting in the seat for elderly people (so long as that person is not old, that would be unreasonable) I say "excuse me, would it be ok if I sat there, I am struggling with pain/weight from my pregnancy."

Persoally I found I was ok to stand in my 2nd trimester and by the 3rd trimester I looked obviously pregnant even though I had some pre pregnancy padding.

suburbandream Tue 20-Nov-12 11:57:07

When I was commuting and pregnant, I made sure I had my coat undone so that people could clearly see I was pregnant not fat grin.

SamSmalaidh Tue 20-Nov-12 11:57:22

I generally think people will ask for a seat if they need it. McKayz, if I saw you I would assume you were happy to stand as you hadn't asked.

McKayz Tue 20-Nov-12 12:01:25

Yes but the seats are quite clearly marked with pictures of pregnant women, people with sticks and people carrying children. So to me it's obvious you should at least offer.

But then I live in North Yorkshire where people seem to argue about who is giving up their seat. Which is just as annoying.

littleshamrock Tue 20-Nov-12 12:02:05

A nurse that came out to shame all the non pregnant women out of their seats?

Men waiting with their partners/ wives I can understand but presumably the other woman would be there for gyn/ medical/ pregnancy loss issues, quite possibly in a great deal of discomfort.

Having been in both situations, being asked to leave a seat while miscarrying and grieving a loss all so that someone who to me seemed like they had won the lottery in terms of luck would show a total lack of compassion.

Gigondas Tue 20-Nov-12 12:13:21

Couldn't agree more little shamrock- one of the worst things I had to endure when had mc and losing my son was sitting in a room full of pregnant women. I dread to think how I would have reacted if some well meaning person had come to shove me off a seat as I wasn't actually pregnant hmm.

But agree should ask if need a seat - why the fucking hell you need a badge if you can't ask beats me. That Isn't to say that people will give up a seat- I remember giving up a seat to someone else who was pregnant as she looked in greater need than me to the usual oblivious stares. Also I reckon I needed a seat more when wasn't showing and felt sick and tired than later on.

hatsybatsy Tue 20-Nov-12 12:16:14

would never wear a 'baby on board' badge - if I needed a seat I asked for one.

Had one v embarrassing instance when an older woman forced a school boy to give his seat up for me and berated him very loudly for not having done so already.. I did sit down as such a fuss had been made but actually only had one more stop to go!!

slug Tue 20-Nov-12 13:01:19

I found I was almost always offered seats by young men. Definitely not conforming to the stereotype there. As I got more and more pregnant my SPD meant I actually found standing up after sitting was painful if not impossible. It was actually easier not to sit.

The only real time I had difficulty was in the early, not showing stages. I had vile and constant morning sickness that could devastate me. Travelling into work on the DLR one morning I was sweating and obviously unwell. There was a youngish city boy, legs apart, obviously avoiding eye contact so he wouldn't feel shamed into giving me his seat. I leaned over, possibly dropped a drip of sweat on him and hissed "I'm pregnant and about to throw up" He was out of that seat quicker than you could say 'dry cleaning bill' wink

mmmnoodlesoup Tue 20-Nov-12 13:19:32

I hate the badges too. Just ask if you need a priority seat.

shamrock I can see your pov but the most in pain/discomfort should have the seat, being heavily pregnant can = fainting, lots of pain, maybe she is bleeding too etc. but if someone is miscarrying and in physical and emotional pain, are too entitled to a seat and should stand for themselves.
Compassion goes both ways. It's not about who is luckier.

Where in a hospital would heavily pregnant women be queuing with miscarrying women anyway? Seems terrible to bung them all together.

honeytea Tue 20-Nov-12 13:39:41

I think in hospitals where they deal with pregnant and miscarrying women there are very often partners with the woman and they should stand up for a pregnant woman. There is no need for a man who's DP is miscarrying to sit down or a man who has a pregnant DP.

WingDefence Tue 20-Nov-12 13:54:07

I'm 20 weeks and have been showing for a few weeks now and I shoved my belly out when it was only showing a bit!

I commute to London every other week or so and use the tubes. It's been about 50/50 as to whether I've been offered a seat or not. I tend to stand right by the priority seats and people often don't get up.

I really do want to ask the normally young and fit-looking person sitting in those seats to let me sit down but I would be devastated if they turned out to be like one of the above poster's friends who does not outwardly appear to need the seat but really does. blush

Should I swallow my discomfort and ask anyway? I am normally very forthright etc but on this point I just find it embarrassing...

WingDefence Tue 20-Nov-12 13:54:30

Oh and I do have a baby on board badge.

ijustwant8hours Tue 20-Nov-12 14:09:32

I commuted in London through two pregnancies, was offered a seat once I think.

Was in London with my 4 year old son, we had had a long day and he was very tired. We got on to a fullish tube and he just wailed "i REALLY need to sit down!" And cried a bit, a lot of people offered thier seat, so if you ask I am sure people will offer...

SamSmalaidh Tue 20-Nov-12 14:10:04

You don't have to say "give me a seat" just "do you mind if I sit down/would it be possible for me to have a seat?". If they reply "actually I'm disabled" then smile and say no problem, turn to someone else and ask if they can swap.

Moominsarescary Tue 20-Nov-12 14:17:36

Might be like the hospital I go to, they don't put people who are having a mc or have gynaecological problems in the waiting room with pg women. The only non pg women you see there are family members.

ChuffMuffin Tue 20-Nov-12 14:17:42

I always offer people a seat if I think they need it. No other fucker on my bus/train ever does though.

Also not really related to the story but today I saw a man with two metal hospital crutches hobbling down the pavement, the bus came, he was about 20 feet away so he picked up his crutches and proper sprinted! What the actual fuck?!

Woozley Tue 20-Nov-12 14:22:51

The worst people for offering seats were the middle aged suited men on the earlier trains - bankers, lawyers and stockbrokers basically. Reading their massive Telegraph or "working" on their laptop. Far, far too important to give up their seat for anyone doncha know. Or generally oblivious to anything outside their own bubble.

On such trains I used to give up my seat when in early stages of pregnancy to women who looked more pregnant.

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 20-Nov-12 14:23:23

I am now working from home because i had to stand six times in one weeks, 50mins each way and not one bugger would move. I have spd as well and 25 weeks pregnant.

FreeButtonBee Tue 20-Nov-12 14:24:34

I wear my baby on board every (work) day. I don't (now) need a seat the instant that I get on the tube and generally wait until the next inter-change station to position myself for a seat. But if someone offers, I accept (unless I am only travelling a couple of stops). Now that I am 28 weeks with twins, people offer very quickly!

Younger men and women generally offer seats generously. Older men (over 45) are pretty rubbish and the older they are, the worse they seem!

I must admit that in the early days asking for a seat was too much for me. But then I had to get off the tube (repeatedly and sometimes more than once on the same journey to the office) to puke so having a badge was actually really nice because it meant that I didn't have to ask. when I was already feeling v vulnerable. Asking made me cry - I couldn't face the potential rejection! Getting a seat was the difference between being able to just about function at work all day or having to get off half way to work and sit for 30 mins recovering and then having to try again and arriving at the office like a dishrag. Although getting offered a seat also used to make me cry and even travelling up an escalator once!

SamSmalaidh Tue 20-Nov-12 14:28:17

Did you ask for a seat and people refused Fergus?

WingDefence Tue 20-Nov-12 14:48:24

Thanks Sam, when I'm in London next week I shall ask with all politeness (I wouldn't have just demanded a seat anyway grin) and then even if someone declines, hopefully someone else may have heard me and then would offer.

Havingkittens Tue 20-Nov-12 14:56:57

It's a bit of a dilemma as often you need a seat more in the first trimester when you don't really look pregnant, due to feeling sick or wiped out. Personally though, I wouldn't dream of wearing a Baby on Board sticker as I wasn't ready to tell anyone I was pregnant until about 16 weeks and wouldn't want to run the risk of anyone I know seeing it.

I am now looking a bit more pregnant but wear a big furry swing coat that disguises the fact (not on purpose) so I'd probably have to demand a seat. I fell down the wet stairs going down into Oxford Circus tube the other week and all but one person continued to just walk around me to get into the station as it wasn't obvious at all that I was pregnant. Although you'd hope people would show more concern regardless of the fact!

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