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to expect someone to give up a seat on a train for a pg woman?

(150 Posts)
watercress Tue 06-Oct-09 10:42:35

I'm sure this has been done to death, but I've commuted into London a couple of times in the last couple of weeks, and have never managed to get a seat. I'm only 21 weeks pg, but am quite slight so my bump is blindingly obvious (people ask to touch it!).

I know that it isn't always obvious when people need to sit down, so I really don't like asking, but at one point I was literally the only person in my carriage standing!

Am starting to think that all Londoners are mean-spirited and selfish (but then I suppose I'm being selfish in wanting to sit down). Or very unobservant.

oranges Tue 06-Oct-09 10:45:56

I think you need to ask really. People don't often look up and notice anything, but will give up a seat instantly once they realise.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 06-Oct-09 10:48:24

Londoners are selfish. I have no idea why. I live in the south east and you might expect the london attitude down here but apart from a couple of isolated idiots I have always been offered seats on buses and trains when pg, with the buggy etc, and people are always leaping up for the elderly and disabled, in a normal manner. I hate that 'look at the floor don't catch her eye then you can pretend you haven't noticed the huge pg lady/elderly man with stick/similar and can sit on your perfectly healthy arse for the duration of your trip'.

But there are people on here who think YABU for expecting to be treated differently cos after all you chose to get pg not like a person who is disabled so what can you expect. I don't understand that view, but it will appear, I warn you!

MrsBadger Tue 06-Oct-09 10:49:44


if you want a seat then ask someone who's sitting in an orange-stickered 'priority' one.

Londoners are experts in avoiding eye contact in case you are a nutter.

oranges Tue 06-Oct-09 10:50:43

I shuffle people around. So if I'm standing and an old lady gets on with a walking stick I suggest to the young man sitting down that he may want to give her the seat.

TheBatterflyEffect Tue 06-Oct-09 10:50:50

Message withdrawn

starwhores Tue 06-Oct-09 10:52:01

I would ask anyone, not just orange seat people.

Smile and ask, could anyone be so rude to refuse?

susiey Tue 06-Oct-09 10:52:15

from experience you need to ask people in london are in their own worlds

I live in London and have always found peple really helpful while pregnant or transporting a small baby it was just a case of asking

amelie2781 Tue 06-Oct-09 10:52:26

Same thing in France (Lyon).
I am due in 10 days and have a huge bump.
I have to use crutches because of my bad back (walking is very painful) and I am usually with my two-year-old son.
As soon as I get on a bus / tram / train I become invisible.

amelie2781 Tue 06-Oct-09 10:56:07

By ths way...
To those who say "just ask", on Saturday I did ask a fit, young man if he might give me his seat and he told me that "having kids is a choice, so I should accept the consequences".
But I think British people are not as rude as the French...

oranges Tue 06-Oct-09 10:57:37

but if there are priority seats, clearly marked for pregnant women and the disabled, someone HAS to get up if asked, whether its a choice to have kids or not.

watercress Tue 06-Oct-09 10:57:47

Amelie I'd forgotten about the invisible woman thing. I'm always invisible, so maybe that's what is happening. Once someone sat on me on a train (twice) because I'm so utterly see-through (I know, it was bizarre, and she got most irate when I pointed out that she was sitting on me!).

No orange-stickered seats on my line, but I think I'll just have to grit my teeth and ask. Or not complain about standing on MN!

watercress Tue 06-Oct-09 10:58:37

Not complain on MN about standing, I mean!

Firawla Tue 06-Oct-09 11:00:20

i actually find people on london transport not that bad, i get offered a seat pretty regularly grin, of course not everyyyy time but there are a fair amount of people who would give the seat to you when they notice you standing up. if they haven't and you really need to sit, its a good idea to ask for a seat although sometimes you feel too shy to ask then miss out. i always have the intention to ask if i dont get one but then i chicken out, its much nicer when someone just gives it to you without having to say anything

oranges Tue 06-Oct-09 11:01:21

The invisibility thing is annoying. I'm really short and had a lifetime of being expected to squeeze into the most uncomfortable seat or space anywhere. It was actually my 6 foot dh who pointed out that I don't need to always be uncomfortable just because I'm short. I now insist on claiming some space for me, with a very loud voice and big handbags.

Ineedmorechocolatenow Tue 06-Oct-09 11:02:18

Amelie - in future say, 'yes, your parents chose to have you... and look at the dire consequences of their actions'....hmm

What a wanker!

mummygirl Tue 06-Oct-09 11:03:18

Well, YANBU to ask, but don't demand it. As you say, you can't always see who needs to sit down and for what reason. I had a terrible experience when 2 months pg, very ill, sitting on the bus and this hugely pg woman started yelling at me because apparently I had seen her standing there and didn't offer her my seat!!! Surprisingly (!) she didn't start yelling at the big bloke on the other side of the bus.

I just stared at her and then she started mumbling, but I felt it was my right to not have to explain to her that I'm not feeling well. It could be many "invisible" health conditions that make it difficult/impossible for people to stand up on PT, but yes, I think you are fully entitled to KINDLY asking

daisy71 Tue 06-Oct-09 11:03:24

I have started to ask people to stand up. The other day I got on the bus with DD (just3) and I was 35 weeks pregnant (big obvious bump). It was full, DD fell over as bus lurched and no one did a thing. I picked her up and thought sod this and asked someone in a priority seat to stand up (did it nicely). I can't be arsed to wait around for manners these days. I would always stand up for someone with a small child/preg/disabled.
Most times though I do find people are quite helpful- apart from on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). When DD was very small, I took her to Canary Wharf to meet a friend and mistimed return journey ending up in rush hour. I stood on the train with DD (3 weeks old) in a sling with a pram. She was screaming her head off and I was trying to breastfeed. Not one fucker got up. My friend who commutes to work via DLR has to drop her two DC's at nursery at Canary Wharf on the way. The other day, someone actually turned around to her and said "How stupid of you to travel at this time with kids and a pram. It should be banned!"
Another friend was heavily pregnant and on the tube. She asked a man to get up for her very nicely stating that she was pregnant to which he replied "I'm not getting up, I've got piles" Luckily other people on the carriage ridiculed the rude arsehole and she got a seat.

stillfrazzled Tue 06-Oct-09 11:03:49

YANBU, but it's not nec that people are selfish.

I blame ipods. When I was pg and travelling on the Tube, I noticed that people listening to music just don't look up. The ones that noticed were quick to offer seats.

Tips that worked for me (and I got offered a seat every day, sometimes two at once!):
1. Wear something relatively clingy over the bump so it's really obvious
2. When possible, stand between banks of seats
3. Hang on to the overhead rails and stick your stomach out
4. When all else fails, the seats for those less able to stand are now specifically for pg women too - so ask!
5. TfL do free badges for pg women - check their website.

EldonAve Tue 06-Oct-09 11:08:56

If you are commuting in on a train the people are not Londoners

you can call and get a badge from TFL

mummygirl Tue 06-Oct-09 11:09:18

daisy, maybe noone picked up your daughter because they were scared that if they touch someone else's child they will be accused of being paedophiles [cheeky emoticon]

alana39 Tue 06-Oct-09 11:10:43

YANBU to be annoyed, but you should definitely ask. The odd person might refuse but on the few occasions I haven't been offered a seat on the tube I've asked and more than one person has jumped up. Just do it where they have the priority seats stickers and if they refuse you can point out the picture basically entitles you to a seat grin

I don't think we're that unfriendly here, but people are very bored commuting and get absorbed in what they're reading / listening to.

roulade Tue 06-Oct-09 11:11:36

I now look everyone in the eye as i get on the tube carrying my 3 year old ( he is too little to stand on the train without falling or being trampled on)and if no one offers me a seat i ask whoever is sitting in the priority seat (if they have no visible disability) if i can please sit there (on London Underground the priority stickers have pictures of heavily pregnant woman,man with a walking stick and person carrying a child)
It pays to be proactive otherwise you will be ignored!

CornishKK Tue 06-Oct-09 11:11:53


I was 8.5 months pregnant, a suited middle-aged man literally raced me to a seat on the Jubilee Line and got there first (not as nimble as I usually am on the tube at this point).

I looked him straight in the face and said "nice behaviour" - he just shrugged his shoulders at me and said "what", then got out his Daily Telegraph.

He noticed me, he just didn't give a feck.

I commuted five days a week until 3 weeks before my PFB and got given a seat very, very rarely.

daisy71 Tue 06-Oct-09 11:13:21

Ha ha mummygirl, either that or because she was probably covered in chocolate! I am pretty fierce at the moment too. Perhaps I just looked fat and scary? Maybe they thought I was a nutter? On reflection at the mo I think I probably am.

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