Public transport when you’re pregnant is far from fun. Pregnant women are more likely to feel nauseous or faint when travelling by busy tube or bus, which is why sitting down is best for both them and their baby. This need should be recognised and respected.
That's why we love Transport for London's Baby on Board badges - we just wish more passengers paid attention to them!
Our midwife Anna explains why it’s important for pregnant women to be given a seat:
“I think some people have taken to be a little confronted by the baby on board badges. They think women are whining and making a fuss, but actually it takes a lot of energy to grow a baby and in that first trimester there’s so much going on. Actually in early pregnancy you feel probably the worst that you’ll feel throughout the pregnancy.
All the hormonal, metabolic and structural changes that are going on are completely out of proportion to the size of the baby, who at six weeks is the size of a lentil. At that stage women obviously don’t show that they’re pregnant, but they can feel awful.
They could be feeling very nauseous, suffering from bleeding, dizziness and/or insomnia and they may be more sensitive to smells on the tube which can make you feel more unwell.
So if you’ve got this combination of things and you’ve got a long commute standing squashed under somebody’s armpit, it is likely to compound any symptoms you have. Fainting doesn’t damage the baby, but it could end up with the poor woman hitting herself on the way down, so there’s hundreds of reasons to give a woman a seat in the first trimester.”
Top tips for pregnant women travelling on public transport
- only carry the essentials, but make sure this includes a bottle of water!
- wear layers that are easy to remove when it gets hot
- don't be shy about asking for a seat
- wear your Baby on Board badge.
If you live in London or the South East, you can order your Baby on Board badge here.