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London folk- baby on board badges rant

(85 Posts)
GirlFromMars1 Mon 22-Feb-16 08:45:29

Is it just me or do you find most people will pretend not to see your badge? Seriously I wish I could time my morning sickness so I could do a fabulous projectile vomit over all the buggers who see it and then quickly look away to avoid giving up their seat! I'm sure people are much more gracious elsewhere. I've always offered up my seat in the past when I've seen pregnant women. It just makes me really angry.angry

WordGetsAround Mon 22-Feb-16 08:48:59

I always thought those badges were silly. If you want a seat, ask for a seat. You don't get to duck out of human courtesy just because you are pregnant. I commuted every day throughout pregnancy on the tube and never had a problem.

Swollenankles83 Mon 22-Feb-16 08:56:17

I have to agree - a firm 'please could anyone spare their seat' is a lot more polite than expecting people to respond to a badge. I think it's a little passive agressive to be angry about people not giving up their seat otherwise. Sorry OP.

Unicorncatsack Mon 22-Feb-16 09:01:42

Op this always causes a bunfight on MN. But i totally agree with you. I do not feel comfortable asking for a seat. Here is why. I have a hidden disability which even before I was Pregnant meant I sometimes needed a seat but didn't look like I did. I would therefore not want to assume that all those sitting down don't actually need to be sat. So I prefer to wait to be offered and assume if people don't offer it's because they aren't able to stand. Unfortunately this is obviously not always the case - you get many selfish people.

The badges aren't just to get a seat either - they are useful on escalators or in general rush hour madness as people are way more careful about not banging in if they see a badge. I am now 37 weeks and forgot my badge the other day when I went out in rush hour. There was a noticeable difference in how I was treated despite my massive bump. The badges are really obvious from a distance - bumps aren't always depending on what you're wearing etc.

Unicorncatsack Mon 22-Feb-16 09:03:01

Also love posters saying "we'll I did x and it was never a problem for me".

Clearly if it was never a problem for you it won't be a problem for anyone else, as you represent the entire pregnant population of London hmm

Swollenankles83 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:05:47

Unicorn I also have a chronic illness that meant I needed a seat before pregnancy also - I am comfortable doing so because I learnt I had to advocate for myself, especially when it's not clear anything is visibly wrong.

Nottodaythankyouorever Mon 22-Feb-16 09:06:02

I have to agree - a firm 'please could anyone spare their seat' is a lot more polite than expecting people to respond to a badge. I think it's a little passive agressive to be angry about people not giving up their seat otherwise. Sorry OP.

I agree.

swquestion Mon 22-Feb-16 09:06:03

I found people went out of their way to give me a seat (musthave looked knackered!). If no one saw me usually a kind stranger- often a woman - standing up would say very loudly 'can I help you get a seat' and that would prompt people to get up. I tended to give people the benefit of the doubt about not seeing and certainly there have been times when I'm not pregnant and I'm mortified to find someone standing near me with the badge on while I have my nose buried in the paper. Sometimes if there are a lot of people and bags between you and the sitting down people...they just cannot see. Otherwise, as you say you could vom on them or stand there rubbing your big belly in their face smile

Unicorncatsack Mon 22-Feb-16 09:07:11

Well my particular illness means I often lose the ability to speak so that wouldnt work for me.

Frank85 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:10:52

Im 35 weeks pregnant and huge, im commute into London every day and some people are absolute arses!
Fed up of people staring at my belly and badge and ignoring it so now i just ask them to get up
Tend to go for the person who ignored it first

Younger men are the worst! Older men and women tend to get up

There is a good link on the evening standard website where a journalist filmed people ignoring her!

fairgroundsnack Mon 22-Feb-16 09:11:11

I find that the badges are usually pretty effective - I'm only 6 weeks but feeling rubbish so have got my badge out (to be stuffed back in my bag before I get to the office...) and have been given a seat every time. I think people are often preoccupied/sleepy so genuinely don't always notice but if you stand prominently enough someone will generally notice. I agree that it stops you being shoved around so much too.

EmpressOfTheVulvaCupcakes Mon 22-Feb-16 09:12:46

I appreciate the badges because then I know whether to offer my seat. I have done the loud "Can I help you get a seat" before, or better yet the "Look, there's a seat, let's just make some room" at which point the three people sprawled over the whole of a four- or even six-seater usually look guilty & shift their stuff.

KnitsBakesAndReads Mon 22-Feb-16 09:13:54

I find that happens quite a lot too OP. People often see the badge then look away quickly and pretend they haven't seen me so don't offer their seat (I appreciate there will be cases where the person isn't able stand, but that's definitely not the case every time).

I hate asking for a seat too, especially as I've encountered some really rude people while commuting. However, last week I almost fell over because nobody offered me a seat on a really busy train and it scared me so much that now I'm trying to make myself ask for a seat if nobody offers just because I feel unsafe standing. I usually try to ask the person in the priority seat and phrase it like "do you need to use the priority seat, or would you mind if I sat down, please?" I always think that way if the person isn't able to stand then it's easier for them to say so, and hopefully in that case the person in the next seat along would be kind enough to offer their seat instead.

Also, totally agree with unicorn about the badges being useful as a way of asking people not to bump into you. I often change trains at a really busy station in rush hour and I do find that most people will at least give you a little more space to get off a train, or be slightly less likely to barge into you if they see the badge.

I'm looking forward to finishing work and not having to contend with London commuters in rush hour anymore!

GirlFromMars1 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:14:35

I've always felt like its rude to ask. Plus if I was someone that had to be asked to give up my seat I'd feel embarrassed. Could just be me but I was brought up thinking that it was common courtesy to offer up a seat to anyone that was pregnant/elderly or any other reason that may make standing for a long time uncomfortable. If it was just a short hop on the tube I wouldn't mind but it's a longish journey especially if you're unlucky enough to still be suffering bad sickness well into the pregnancy.

LittleMouseontheDairy Mon 22-Feb-16 09:17:43

I never wore one because during the first trimester I was so used to keeping it to myself until we were sure everything was ok it felt a bit weird proclaiming it to everyone on the tube. I also disliked the whole slightly precious 'look at me, I'm pregnant' vibe it gave off. There are plenty of people travelling on the tube who might need a seat for various hidden reasons and they have to get on with it...

Then I when I started showing it seemed a bit weird to wear a badge saying I was pregnant when it was quite obvious! I may have just been lucky but most of the time someone did indeed get up without me asking just by looking at me. (I only commuted one day a week though - perhaps this wouldn't have happened every day! My train into London was a different story btw).

I agree with pp - if you feel really unwell then a polite request for a seat is probably more effective than just standing there with a badge. By all means wear one - if you feel it backs up your request - but just wearing the badge by itself doesn't mean people should or would magically get up IMO.

However - I have suffered pregnancy rage for many things so I can understand why you are getting angry even if perhaps it is a teensy bit unreasonable in this case!! Sorry...


Stillunexpected Mon 22-Feb-16 09:26:06

If it's rush hour it's possible that people don't even see that you are wearing the badge? I commute from a mainline train station on the tube and often have to wait for a tube, maybe even two, before I can get on board - so you get an idea of how busy it is! I only go a few stops and don't get a seat but unless you were standing right in front of me I wouldn't even see your Baby badge. People are their own little world on the tube, trying to read, watch something on their phones, sleep and are often actively zoning out everyone around them. If I am ever sitting in a priority seat I do make sure to look around to see if anyone needs it but I think they are often sat in by people who are tourists or not familiar with the tube who don't even think to check for others who need the seat.

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:28:38

I too would feel uncomfortable singling out a specific individual and asking them to move.

The argument from some people on the last thread about BOB badges was that, essentially, a pregnant woman shouldn't be asking anyone to move in case they have a hidden disability and need the seat more.

Therefore by that logic what's "ruder" - wearing the badge in the hope someone able-bodied will volunteer, or asking someone (who may have a disability) to move?

As usual, (pregnant) women can't win. Whatever we do we're awful. We're either rude or passive-aggressive. Best to just hide your pregnancy, OP, and if you faint on the tube, let everyone step over you.

Unicorncatsack Mon 22-Feb-16 09:33:20

fully agree with darth.

Whatdoidohelp Mon 22-Feb-16 09:34:36

The badge is tiny. With people carrying bags, laptops etc and wearing coats it's entirely possible no one notices.

Just ask for a seat ffs.

ToffeeForEveryone Mon 22-Feb-16 09:35:13

If you want a seat just ask someone to move confused. People on the Tube are in their own little world most of the time, and it's not generally a pleasant experience for anyone!

The only time I have actually struggled for a seat is on London buses, where the priority seats have been occupied by older people (not always clear if they actually need the seat) or mums with young children. Sometimes the bus is so crowded I can't actually push through to get to the back of the bus to ask someone else to move, but felt awkward about asking them to swap.

gooseberryroolz Mon 22-Feb-16 09:38:00

The tube has always been a nightmare when pregnant.

Quite honestly anyone who will ignore a bump will ignore a badge. The scheme is confusing to me.

Dolly80 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:38:17

I tried to use the badge when commuting in my first pregnancy but didn't find it very useful. I was quite lucky as I'd always get a seat on my mainline train. Unsurprisingly, on the Northern Line this was impossible. I could have been wearing a dozen badges and shouting 'I'm pregnant' and no one would have moved!

Once in the third trimester I used to get the bus instead. I negotiated with my boss to arrive a bit later in the mornings, due to the extra 10mins it added to my journey. It was so much easier that way, especially as the bus in question was not on a particularly popular route.

PastaLaFeasta Mon 22-Feb-16 09:40:12

I was commuting in my first pregnancy six years ago and generally it was fine, people were helpful. DH commutes and is very aware of offering seats but also of not offending people who are just heavier round the tummy - it's happened before to him. So the badges are useful.

Pregnancy has left me with long term mobility and pain, youngest is now four and surgery has only helped a little. I look young and healthy but I'm not, I'm more in need of a seat now than during that first pregnancy. I'd be wary of asking individuals for their seat but wouldn't think anything of someone asking if anyone nearby would be able to offer theirs. It would be embarrassing to ask an individual who turns out to have a greater need and is quite confrontational - forcing a disabled person to share private details about their health or look like a selfish arse if they don't explain why they can't stand. I have a folding walking stick just in case, a friend suggested I should use it all the time to make it obvious but I don't want to do that and would much prefer a badge like the baby on board ones.

Alasalas Mon 22-Feb-16 09:49:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alasalas Mon 22-Feb-16 09:54:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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