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Who is BU? Antenatal waiting room

184 replies

waitingroomangst · 27/07/2017 12:20

NC just in case it's rather outing. I was at the antenatal clinic this morning getting a routine check up at the hospital. The waiting room was PACKED, there were hardly any seats free and we were told to expect long delays in being seen today.

2 seats are currently free so a woman with her two DSs one maybe 4, the other 7-8ish make their way to the seats. The younger child sits on mums lap, the older child takes the free seat next to her.

About 5-10 minutes pass and now there are no seats free in the waiting room and a few women now have to stand while waiting. Woman whose child is in seat doesn't ask child to vacate seat for heavily pregnant women.

AIBU to think that the child should have got off the seat to let a pregnant woman sit down? There was a "kids corner" full of toys and books he could have distracted himself with and played with his brother, additionally I don't know why the mother didn't bring them any books or an iPad or something for her sons while waiting.

This is my first child so please feel free to tell me "I don't understand because I don't yet have kids" or something to that effect.

OP posts:
MargotLovedTom1 · 28/07/2017 10:08

All these people saying "I'd just ask". How would you feel if you did ask a man for his seat and he said no?

AccrualIntentions · 28/07/2017 10:16

I'd be fucking pissed off standing heavily pregnant while blokes and children were sitting. I also hate people bringing an entourage to appointments.

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 10:28

The man may already have explained to another patient that he is also genuinely unable to stand for long. I found myself in that position after a fall some years ago and was very embarrassed to be sitting on the Tube while a pg woman was standing - it having me hit the deck in agony if the train braked sharply wasn't going to help anybody's journey.

The same applies to the seated child.

Failing that hecand the mother were human slime.

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 10:29

*but having me

MargotLovedTom1 · 28/07/2017 10:33

Meanwhile the pregnant woman hitting the deck wouldn't be a problem! I hope someone else offered her a seat.

ElizabethShaw · 28/07/2017 10:37

Man and child should have given up their seats.

Pregnant women are capable of asking for a seat if they need it.

If a man was asked and refused then at least everyone would know he was selfish scum.

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 10:41

Yes Margot somebody did. Otherwise I would have got out at the next stop and leaned on the wall while waiting for the next train.

The somebody was a lad of about 15 who gave me a filthy look and I don't blame him.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 10:44

margot I would ask another one?

dione don't be a donut...the humiliation I was referring to is caused by people offering seats to women who look pregnant and aren't. Its slightly embarrassing to the person offering, but far more so to the person offered.

cherry I don't think people would have offered me a seat while I was in labour...I couldn't have used it anyway - too much writhing in agony and screaming. Anyway, there are now several other people agreeing that it is better for people who need to sit to ask for a seat then to leave everyone guessing whether they should offer a seat to someone who may or may not even be pregnant let alone need a how about spreading your outrage around a little?

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 10:58

I have springs in my hips which operate when I see a pregnant woman standing while I am sitting; that's how I was brought up. I had to put them out of commission when my knee was damaged.

But pg or fat can be a dilemma! Please, please use a BoB badge it there is one available and if not, ask politely. It will usually work and if it doesn't you have lost nothing.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 11:06

I sympathise with the springs...and the knee!

I know people at work who can't walk through a door I'm holding open for them because having a woman hold a door for you feels so utterly wrong.

To me, trying to feel at home in a male dominated work place, this is very well as frustrating and a little humiliating. But I know it comes from a place of having been drilled in it being 'the right thing to do' so I try not to let it colour my feeling about people.

The guy who comes over all flustered and apologises for swearing in front of a lady is going to get it in the neck next time though....I only have so much patience for sexism.

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 11:10

There is nothing sexist about standing for a woman who you know is pregnant - her needs are usually greater than yours!

ChardonnaysPrettySister · 28/07/2017 11:15

BoB badges are very helpful, I agree.

I do think it's safe to assume that a pregnant looking woman in a antenatal waiting area is in fact pregnant, especially when she arrives clutching her hospital notes and reporting to reception.

There's a big difference with any other situation, antenatal waiting areas are for pregnant women attending the clinic, not for partners and children.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 11:42

andrew so Serena Williams won a grand slam while pregnant...are you saying it wouldn't be a bit patronising to automatically assume you should give her your seat as she strolls past, trophy under her arm?

You know she is pregnant...and apparently all pregnant women should be assumed to require a seat more than all non-pregnant adults and children...but don't you think that would be patronising in that case?

I think all the media furore about her winning WHILE PREGNANT SHOCK HORROR was extremely sexist, patronising and humiliating tbh.

Pregnancy illnesses can be debilitating (I was off work for about 6 months in total!) but pregnancy in itself should stop being treated as a disease...or something that renders people either physically or mentally incompetent by default.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 11:46

Oh I dunno about that chardonnay, I saw a woman asked how long she'd been waiting at a clinic and she started up complaining at high volume about staff assuming people are pregnant and insulting their weight.....

I didn't have a lot of sympathy as she was clearly guilty of the crime of cluttering up the antenatal clinic unnecessarily.

AccrualIntentions · 28/07/2017 11:46

I don't think it's treating it as a disease to offer your seat to a pregnant woman (IF you are otherwise fit and healthy). She can just turn it down if she doesn't want to take it.

I give up my seat for pregnant women, elderly people, people carrying small children - basically those who look like they might need it more than me. I've never had a negative response, if they've been mortally offended by me making assumptions about their capabilities then they've kept it to themselves.

Now I'm pregnant I'd still give up my seat for someone who looked like they might need it more, but I'll also gratefully accept one if offered to me because while I'm still perfectly capable, sometimes my feet or back hurt and it's just nice to sit down.

All this angst is so unnecessary. I can't believe people getting offended by being offered a seat is really so widespread that it outweighs the fact it's polite to offer.

TieGrr · 28/07/2017 11:47

All these people saying "I'd just ask". How would you feel if you did ask a man for his seat and he said no?

That actually happened to me when I was eight months pregnant. There was an empty window seat on the train and the guy on the outside refused to let me have it because he was saving it for his girlfriend who was getting on at the next stop.

There were no other seats and this isn't a train you can buy a reserved seat on. Other passengers who were standing were telling him you couldn't save seats and when his girlfriend did get on, she wouldn't take the seat and told him to let me have it.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 11:48

well...people used to offer seats to women by default (because we are such fragile creatures emotionally and physically) and I am very VERY glad they don't any more.

I think women may indeed struggle during pregnancy, but that assuming we all do is just a diluted form of misogyny.

ChardonnaysPrettySister · 28/07/2017 11:55

Someone, a young man, offered me a seat recently, I'm not pregnant, I dont look pregnant, or frail and old.

I said thank you and took it.

Now it seems I've set back feminism by decades.

Andrewofgg · 28/07/2017 11:58

Morphene If I see Serena Williams carrying her trophy on the Central Line I promise not to offer her my seat Grin

I give up my seat for pregnant women, elderly people, people carrying small children - basically those who look like they might need it more than me. Exactly. It's needs based.

TieGrr You met an arsehole on a train. They get everywhere; male and female, young and old, sometimes even pg or disabled. That's life.

Babywearinggeek · 28/07/2017 12:12

I wouldn't be annoyed about any primary school aged child taking up a seat. Think it's a bit weird that you would have expected the mum to bring an iPad to the hospital to amuse her kids though Hmm what would be your cut off age for a child being allowed a seat OP? 2 year old? 5 year old?

DioneTheDiabolist · 28/07/2017 12:15

Reasons a Pregnant Woman May in An Antenatal Waiting Room:
Routine scan
Brixton Hicks
Pelvic Arthropathy
Suspected/confirmed miscarriage
Gestational diabetes
Waters have broken
And this is not an exhaustive list.
A man so entitled that he would sit in an antenatal waiting room while pregnant women stand is a misogynistic cunt. I get that you don't understand that Morphene but that'should most likely due to your own internalised misogyny. SadThanks

Morphene · 28/07/2017 12:17

I give up my seat for pregnant women, elderly people, people carrying small children - basically those who look like they might need it more than me. Exactly. It's needs based.

That's not needs based, its assumption of needs based.

The assumption that women need special treatment is damaging. The assumption that pregnant women all need special treatment is damaging.

char well you've set it back a bit....just like I do every time I ignore people making comments about how hard it must be for me to come back to work after a baby, when they don't say the same thing about any of my male colleagues who have kids. If you aren't fighting the problem you are part of it.


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VestalVirgin · 28/07/2017 12:19

In total there were 3 men. One was sitting down (he should have also given up his seat!) and 2 were standing

The sitting man should have stood up and offer his seat to a pregnant woman.

Perhaps his good example would have prompted the child to follow.

The woman should have made her son stand, yes, but the adult man is worse.

demirose87 · 28/07/2017 12:20

I think it depends on the waiting time. My last antenatal appointment in a hospital I had to wait 2 hours to be seen as they were running behind. There were no seats left and my back was killing being stood up the 20 mins til there was an available seat. People had their partners and friends with them and I feel they should have offered a seat for an obviously pregnant woman, but no one did. If it was my older son I would ask him to let a pregnant lady sit down.

Morphene · 28/07/2017 12:22

dione I am glad you think I'm misogynistic. I am. Just like everyone else raised in this patriarchal society.

I also think it misogynistic to assume or approve of the assumption that all women or indeed pregnant women need special treatment. So between me and everyone else on the thread, we have proved the case for universal misogyny.


As I have pointed out repeatedly, if a man refuses to give up a seat when asked, they are indeed a misogynistic cunt. If they spring up to offer any woman who they think might be pregnant their seat (even while physically incapacitated themselves, then they are also being misogynistic....less so clearly...but definitely not pro the independence and capacity of women to make decisions for themselves.

I believe sitting on your seat, then moving rapidly the moment you are requested to, is the optimum in terms of giving people the support they actually need while respecting their autonomy and independence.

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