If you haven’t already checked out our introduction to Mama Mio’s ‘We’re Expecting’ campaign, then check it out here. This post is an etiquette guide, covering the problems faced by pregnant women on public transport, and how you can ensure you’re doing the right thing when offering up your seat.
Giving up your seat on public transport can be a tricky subject and ultimately requires a sensitive approach. In order to make the process as simple as possible, we’ve consulted with the experts at Mama Mio, who produced this simple 5-Step guide to offering up your seat.
In our introduction to the campaign, we highlighted some key statistics which showed why #ExpectingChange is such a good idea. One of the more revealing statistics from the survey was that over a thousand of those asked thought that commuters were too busy paying attention to their phones to show good manners when on public transport.
For this reason, the simplest thing you can do, and the first step in our method, is simply to pay attention to your surroundings. A quick scan of the train or bus carriage you’re in will help you to identify anyone who might need a seat more than you do.
This can be a little tricky, but in cases where there’s an obvious baby bump, if you’re able-bodied and sat down, there’s no harm in offering up your seat. Skip to Step 5 for some suggestions on how to go about it.
Women who are pregnant and know they would appreciate a seat will often wear badges to give people an obvious sign that this is the case. In situations where you aren’t entirely sure whether or not a lady is pregnant, keep your eye out for such cues.
Pregnant women who know they’ll need a seat will typically scan the area looking for a spare seat or someone able to give theirs up. Pay attention to this, and use this as an opportunity to make eye contact to initiate the conversation.
This step can often seem like a difficult one, but there isn’t much to worry about. One of the statistics unearthed by Mama Mio’s survey is that people are commonly so afraid of causing offence that they simply don’t even try to often up their seat to women who they think might be pregnant.
Be aware that in the vast majority of cases, as long as you’ve paid attention to Steps 1-4, people will interpret your actions as a nice gesture, and might even go away feeling like chivalry isn’t dead.
To start up the conversation, simply smile at them and say ‘would you like to sit down?’. If you haven’t got long left to travel, then stand up and let them know your seat is available as you’re getting off soon.
Pick something up from Mama Mio’s range of maternity products this summer to get a free ‘I’m expecting’ badge.