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To think that if you're pregnant and want a seat, just ask?

(110 Posts)
yummycake123 Thu 16-Mar-17 08:36:02

I was on the train this morning; I had a seat by the door, I was reading the news on my phone. After a few stations I looked up and noticed a lady standing in front of me. She was wearing a belted coat and had a bit of a "bloat". I was wondering if she was pregnant or not, we made eye contact, I didn't see a Baby on board badge. A minute later another woman asks loudly in my direction "Can any of you guys give your seat to this lady?!?". I stood up and offered my seat and said "Sorry I didn't realise...". As I stood up I saw her baby on board badge on the side of her chest...which wasn't visible from where I was sitting.
I was a bit mortified because I probably ended up looking like a selfish cow to everyone around me. These are strangers so I shouldn't really care as I won't see them again, but it annoyed me.
AIBU to think that if you're pregnant and want a seat, just ask?!
I've been pregnant, I've commuted, I've always just asked when I needed a seat. (sometimes I didn't mind standing up...)

redexpat Thu 16-Mar-17 08:43:05


Macsmurray Thu 16-Mar-17 08:44:10

What stopped the other woman offering her seat?

johendy Thu 16-Mar-17 08:45:39

Yep I agree, just ask. I've commuted into central London through 3 pregnancies and asked if I needed a seat - I'd always ask those in priority seats (if there were any). I think wearing the baby on board badge clearly makes it easier and less awkward for all.

sonyaya Thu 16-Mar-17 08:46:27

I know what you mean - I'm embarrassed to offer unless it's obvious. But I'm also too shy to ask for a seat when I've needed one (not through pregnancy but a leg injury).

KoalaDownUnder Thu 16-Mar-17 08:46:31

Were you sitting in a designated 'priority seat'?

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 16-Mar-17 08:46:57

I'm guessing the other woman was already standing.


Tiredbutfuckingfine Thu 16-Mar-17 08:47:43

Maybe she didn't want a seat and the other person just made the announcement after seeing the badge?
Also I don't really understand why the pregnancy/seat debate is always about "needing a seat/feeling tired" when commuting is such a bear pit, the train can break suddenly, surely sitting down is safer for you and the baby?

Stuck16 Thu 16-Mar-17 08:48:30

I had terrible sickness when pregnant with DS so preferred to stand by the door- 1 so I could make a quick exit and 2 for a bit of air at stations.
However, if I ever felt like I needed a seat and there wasn't one I would just ask, everyone's heads are always buried in phones/kindles/papers I wouldn't have thought anyone would even notice me just standing there silently! I don't understand why they wouldn't have just asked

LickingTheButterKnife Thu 16-Mar-17 08:49:41

If I was ok to stand I didn't bother asking, although I was grateful if someone gave me a seat. When the bump became bigger and I was a clumsy melon I would ask for a seat. Never had any issues!
Mind you, I'm very social and blunt but I understand others can be more shy.

witwootoodleoo Thu 16-Mar-17 08:50:48

My friend has a guest big guide dog clad in high viz and still has to ask for a seat most days as commuters tend to be in the own little worlds so I don't get how people think a teeny little badge means people will know they need a seat

witwootoodleoo Thu 16-Mar-17 08:51:41

Guest = great

WombattingFree Thu 16-Mar-17 08:52:37

Not all pregnant women want a seat - one told me once to stay where I was because she wouldn't get back up in time for her stop grinI held her bag on my lap for her instead.

I've also not offered my seat previously because I've felt so poorly that I genuinely thought I was more in need than someone else.

There's this common train (ha see what i did there) of thought that we must all act immediately in this situation without questioning. Last I checked pregnant people could speak - they should ask if they feel the need to, rather than feel they should automatically be given.

The sign says "for people less able to stand" - some pregnant people are perfectly fine standing.

yummycake123 Thu 16-Mar-17 08:56:35

The other woman was standing, next to the pregnant lady

mmgirish Thu 16-Mar-17 09:00:11

I didn't ask anyone for a seat when I was pregnant. When I was very obviously pregnant and on the tube in London people used to avoid my gaze so (I presume) they wouldn't have to give up their seat. Maybe they were disabled in a way I couldn't see. I didn't want to ask in case I was refused or put someone in a position where they stood up but didn't want to.

yummycake123 Thu 16-Mar-17 09:06:47

Koala Not that I'm aware of. It was a normal (and packed) suburban train in greater London (zone 5). I was on one of the seats next to the door...

I was mortified by the fact the other woman asked very loudly instead of the pregnant lady herself..
And also, that I had made eye contact with the pregnant lady and she didn't ask me directly. Maybe some of you are right, maybe the loud woman just assumed the pregnant lady wanted a seat and made it weird for all of us!

I know some people feel awkward about asking, but when I'm on the train I tend to zone out completely...(and most people are the same), I'm not looking for badges.

IamFriedSpam Thu 16-Mar-17 09:07:48

YANBU when I was very heavily pregnant I sometimes preferred to just stay standing especially as I usually made a short journey so it wasn't worth the effort of lowering myself down and manoeuvring myself back up again.

I do remember one journey though on the bus 9 months pregnant no one offered a seat which was fine as I was happier standing and could have asked if I was desperate. A woman who was sitting down dropped her bag of shopping and it spilled all over the floor. I automatically bent down to help her pick it up (instantly regretting it) but instead of actually saying "no don't worry I'll get it" or at least "thank you" she started just pointing out things I'd missed as if I was going to crawl under seats to pick up her stray apple.

TinyTear Thu 16-Mar-17 09:08:48


I wore my badge on my bump so it would be visible for people sitting down

And if no one offered I asked as well

ComtesseDeSpair Thu 16-Mar-17 09:17:00

YANBU. Most people just aren't looking, they're reading or playing on their phone or staring into space. Just a cheery "excuse me, can I have a seat, please" has always been met with several seats being volunteered, in my experience.

Quite recently I was on a packed tube and a woman loudly announced to the carriage in an angry voice "well, I'll just stand here with my eight-month-pregnant belly, shall I?!" Reality was that she was by the doors so nobody sitting down could see her even if they were looking, which commuters generally aren't; plus between her bulky winter coat and general solid build it wasn't immediately obvious she was pregnant (and I've made the mistake before of offering my seat to a woman who turned out not to be pregnant and the result wasn't pleasant.)

diddl Thu 16-Mar-17 09:19:41

I would imagine she wears the badge so thatshe will get offered a seat.

Surely you'll be thought of as the kind one who did offer a seat when asked.

It's the ones who didn't offer who'll be thought of as selfish.

Or not as I'm sure no one gives a damn!

TinyTear Thu 16-Mar-17 09:20:16

* I've made the mistake before of offering my seat to a woman who turned out not to be pregnant and the result wasn't pleasant*

Who are these rude women?

I am not pregnant, my youngest is 2yo and I know I am overweight...
If someone offers me a seat I either say thanks, I'm only going one more stop or I accept gracefully thinking I look shattered from another night with only 4 hours broken sleep

DappledThings Thu 16-Mar-17 09:22:42

YANBU. Never understood what was so hard about just asking. I am usually buried in a book and don't think it's my responsibility to stop reading and check for people who need seats at every stop.

Personally I think the Baby on Board badges are insufferably twee and I refused to wear one.

I also don't know if priority seats are a good idea as they allow people in other seats to abdicate responsibility for giving it up if asked. As far as I'm concerned every person who has a need for a seat should get it regardless of which seat it is and designating some seats as specifically for them means their needs are actually being downgraded.

Strygil Thu 16-Mar-17 09:24:33

Because of back and knee problems I need to use a walking stick and find that the sight of this often leads people to offer me their seats on buses and trains, particularly if they are sitting in the "less mobile passengers" seat. But if I am struggling I don't mind asking politely if someone can give me a seat - shy bairns get nowt, after all.

MontePulciana Thu 16-Mar-17 09:27:05

I'm clearly very pregnant. Never had to ask for a seat (I'm up North). When I commuted into London 3 years ago again very pregnant, it was another story. Had to wear a baby on board badge and I once gave up my own seat for an even more pregnant lady.

toomuchtooold Thu 16-Mar-17 09:32:52

YANBU. I also wish they had a "I'm pregnant but I don't need a seat, ta" badge to save people offering when you don't want one. I had twins and it was really uncomfortable to sit down on the train (too folded up) from about 6 months on, but you still get people insisting. It's like, chaps, I am also a commuter, please let me remain in my bubble for the next 10 minutes...

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