Travel

Your extraordinary tales of what it’s really like being pregnant on public transport

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Anna Pollitt
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Turns out the experience of a heavily pregnant woman who was ignored by her fellow passengers this week really wasn't an isolated incident.

At eight months pregnant, the 31-year-old was forced to stand for two hours on a packed journey to work in London and told of how her plea for a seat was met with complete resistance by the entire carriage.

Her experience has provoked both outrage and empathy from readers, whose eye-opening tales of their own pregnancy woes on public transport show it's not uncommon to fall victim to what stylist.co.uk has previously identified as LLLD, or low-level London dickheadedness

pregnant on tube

While many readers tell of a reassuringly humane response to their pregnancy bumps, a worrying number of women encounter an almost scary level of apathy from their fellow travellers - both men and women.

Reader Ann-Marie Wallace recalls on Facebook: "When I was about 8 months pregnant I was asked by one male commuter where my badge was, 'you should be wearing a badge' he said in quite an accusing tone. He then stropped as he gathered his stuff together and stood up to give me his seat.

"All I did was get on the train and have a quick glance round to see if there was an empty seat. Any one would have thought I chose that carriage to inconvenience him. Perhaps I should asked him where his 'dickhead' badge was."

The justifications of pregnancy-deniers who refuse to give up their seats include comparing the condition to a man carrying heavy golf clubs - a sentiment not unfamiliar to one of our readers, who was a month from her due date when she was turfed out of her seat to make way for a cello.

Eleanor Eiserman says that while most of her experiences have been positive, the worst came when she was around eight months pregnant. "A cellist asked me to stand up from the priority seat in a tube carriage so that she could take my seat and hold onto her cello case. 

cello

Well, cellos are precious cargo too

"I did as she demanded but I internally questioned why she didn't ask the other person opposite me to get up instead! I now actively look out those less able to stand and help them."

Faye Coles says: "I am nearly 8 months pregnant and have been offered a seat only 4 times so far in my commute on Southern Rail. I'm constantly baffled at people's attitude e.g. Pushing / racing ahead to get seats. It's awful, I've been so surprised by people's rudeness!"

Djamilla-Kelly Millns writes: "When people pretend to be asleep as soon as they see a pregnant lady...that's a common one. Disgusting really and unfortunately the main culprits that I have witnessed were women!!!"

sleeping commuters

'We can't see you - honest'

Ali Davies is 21 weeks pregnant and suffering with pelvic pain. She commutes from Sussex to London and says she has "no qualms about asking" for a seat. "The point is we shouldn't have to," she says. "It also really annoys me that people say it's a choice. It may be but it's hardly selfish is it? - without pregnancy none of the idiots making those comments would be here..!"

Miranda Osborne adds: "8 months pregnant and on crutches with severe SPD. The carriage was looking anywhere but me. In the end I ask a man directly if he'd mind letting me sit down and he said "no, I need it". What this did do was spark outrage in the carriage and people were then falling over themselves to give me a seat."

Jo Glover suggests pregnant commuters resort to rather drastic action against bump-deniers. "Should have vomited on them," she says.

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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