When I was pregnant with No 1 Son I had a fairly arduous commute to work, involving a train, tube and bus. One day I got on the train to find it rammed, with no seats available. I was obviously, visibly pregnant, but not one person offered me their seat. Two stops later, I fainted. I think maybe one person came to my aid.
After that I got into the habit of asking people to shift out of the priority seats if I needed to sit down. Would it have made any difference if I’d also been wearing a ‘Baby on Board’ badge? Doubtful.
I was having this conversation with my (female) colleagues at work the other day because one of them had got on a tube and seen two women, both with Baby on Board badges, forced to stand because no one would give them their seat. I probably would have said something but my point is that some commuters simply treat pregnant women as though they’re invisible, regardless of badges. The only way to force them to give up their seats is to embarrass them in to doing it.
(Conversely I’ve also had the Total Humiliation of being offered a seat when I wasn’t pregnant. Guaranteed to make you diet.)
One thing I’ve also never understood is the ‘Baby on Board’ sign for car windows, and yes we had one. Of course your offspring is extremely precious cargo but are reckless drivers really any less likely to crash into the back of you because you have a ‘Baby on Board’ or ‘Child on Board’ sign? And shouldn’t other drivers just be careful of all cars, anyway?
So what do you think – are Baby on Board signs and badges really necessary? Do they just give us a false sense of security, or do they actually work? I’d love to know your thoughts.