Only 6 In 10 Commuters Would Give Up Seat On Train For Pregnant Woman

LONDON — Standing up and offering your seat to a pregnant woman on a crowded subway may seem like the right and obvious thing to do, but many commuters are surprisingly not so considerate.

A survey of 2,000 regular commuters in the United Kingdom found that just 60% of them would give up their seat on public transit for an expecting mother. The survey, sponsored by the skincare company Mama Mio, also found that just 3 in 10 think the gesture is only necessary — if a woman’s “baby bump” was showing.

Pregnant woman
Standing up and offering your seat to a pregnant woman on a crowded subway may seem like the right and obvious thing to do, but many commuters are surprisingly not so considerate.

Perhaps even more stunning was that nearly all participants agreed it wasn’t necessary at all to offer up a seat to a woman who was in her first trimester of pregnancy.

“We were surprised at the findings, as we’d expected everyone would offer up their seat to a pregnant woman,” says Natalie Cowley of Mama Mio in a statement. “We were particularly shocked that only two percent said you should offer a seat to a woman in her first trimester, considering how many suffer from severe symptoms during this time, including sickness and fatigue.”

When asked why they don’t give up their seats, a quarter of respondents reasoned they didn’t want to offer a woman their seat in case she wasn’t actually pregnant. Admittedly, 7% of women said they’d been mistaken for pregnant by another commuter when they weren’t.

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The findings have led Mama Mio to launch an “#ExpectingChange” campaign in which they encourage pregnant women to be more vocal and ask people to give up their seats for them.

“Busy, hot, and cramped commuting conditions can be incredibly stressful both physically and mentally, and being able to sit down can make a difference. However, from my own experience, I find that people are either too engrossed in their phones to be aware of their surroundings, or won’t offer their seat unless prompted,” says Anna Whitehouse, founder of parenting blog Mother Pukka and ambassador for the #ExpectingChange campaign. “I’d encourage anyone who needs a seat on public transport to wear a badge and make eye contact. If that fails, don’t suffer in silence – ask for one!”

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