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Why give up your seat on public transport for a pregnant woman?

 

 

Why give up your seat on public transport for a pregnant woman? Some views, discussion, and examples of refusal.

 

 

Here’s a little riddle for you:

Two people get on a tube train at the same stop, there is one free seat. Passenger no. 1 gets on first and so goes to the seat, he starts to sit down and his backside has only just touched the chair when the second passenger very politely says, “excuse me, do you mind if I sit down because I’m pregnant?”. Who gets the seat? The pregnant woman or the man?

  • Answer →→ → It wasn’t the pregnant woman.

  • I witnessed this today on a busy tube train.

 

To continue the story….. So as I was saying above, the woman asks the man for the seat. The man sits and then waves his hands toward the priority seat next to him and says “there’s a priority seat there why don’t you ask them” in a dismissive and harsh tone. Slightly confused and embarrassed by this, the pregnant woman looks at the woman in the priority seat and asks again, “do you mind if I sit down”. Before she can barely finish the priority seat woman says “I feel dizzy so no”. Ok, says the pregnant woman.
She now probably feels quite exposed and embarrassed, and maybe is starting to feel a bit stressed. She looks at the woman in the priority seat opposite but she has massive headphones on. The pregnant woman isn’t sure how to address her seeing as she probably wouldn’t be able to hear and the pregnant woman doesn’t want to start shouting across the carriage DO YOU MIND IF I SIT DOWN, I’M PREGNANT? Does the initial refusing man, on hearing that the priority seat cannot be vacated, then change his approach and offer his seat after all (I mean, seeing as his displacement tactic seemed to fail)? – no he does not.
Fortunately, two people who are sitting nearby witness all this and offer their seats. The pregnant woman probably just wants to get off the train after experiencing this, but gratefully accepts one of the seats and says thank you several times. She wants to give the refusing man a few words and ask why he acted like this? But, she is too upset to start getting into a conversation and embarrassed because the whole carriage has witnessed this event so keeps quiet and looks sad in her seat.

 

 

To the woman who felt dizzy, ok fair enough, maybe you did and I respect that. To the woman with the headphones on, ok, of course you can listen to music on the train, no issue, it just kind of makes it difficult for people to approach you if you’re in the priority seat and the person is already feeling self conscious and had a hard enough time from two passengers already. Maybe this is similar to the frequent observation of seeing people in the priority seats with their eyes closed (conveniently closed when we get to the next station and passengers start piling on), or paper in front of their faces so that communication with them is made extremely difficult and they don’t have to notice anyone who might be a priority.
My issue is with the original refuser. If the pregnant woman got on the train and he was already sitting there then of course, why would she ask him? She would ask those in the priority seats. But she asked him because they both got on the train, her one second behind him, it’s not like he had been sitting there for ages and she booted him out of the seat. Two people, one seat, one person explicitly says to the other I’m pregnant, do you mind if I sit – possibly a reasonable thing to ask in that situation??

 

  • oh an by the way – original refuser (i’m going to call him weasel man, because he looked like a weasel, and also acted like one but i’m going more on his looks) – do you know what every pregnant woman really REALLY wants?? Why, it’s stress, humiliation, having to justify herself in front of a carriage load of strangers and being made to feel like crap!! Of course it is. Well, congratulations because this morning, you helped her achieve that. The stress was especially welcomed, i’m sure! We all know what a good impact that has on the body, don’t we, and let’s not mention the high levels of cortisol and potential impact on the baby… Words can not describe, but I hope you are ashamed of yourself, except, i’m sure you’re not and you probably boasted about your response and complained bitterly and laughed about the “sense of entitlement” some pregnant woman displayed to you on the train, with your sad little friends down the pub (if you have any friends). 

 

Now anyway, back to the issue. I know some people disagree with pregnant women being able to safety sit down on public transport and having to give up a seat for them. Well, to those people and their comments, I have some responses, see below. The issues below are inspired by comments I have read from other people about such situations, either in on-line articles, or sometimes in the free newspaper you get on the tube…

 

  • Pregnant women have an overinflated sense of entitlement, I’m not giving up my seat to some princess just because they have a baby on board badge on:
    Pregnant women either do not ask to sit down because they are too concerned to approach someone, or they politely ask someone in the priority seat because THAT’S WHAT THE PRIORITY SEAT IS FOR. And, like every “group” of people in life, there are going to be some group members that might come across as a bit more pushy, but if you were carrying another life inside your body you might be a bit protective too.

 

  • Pregnant women are not ill (or it’s not a disability), so why should they sit down?:
    No, pregnancy is not an illness, but yes women can feel ill. In the first trimester (and beyond for some) they can feel incredibly nauseous (and of course, be sick), dizzy, overwhelming tiredness, aches and pains. Later in pregnancy you can suffer all sorts of problems including back pain, ligament pain, jimmy legs (restless legs) and probably many more issues. No, pregnancy is not an illness or disability, but the person might need to sit down due to many of the reasons mentioned above, which are not necessarily affecting non-pregnant people. Also, try walking around with an 8lb baby inside you all day. Ok.

 

  • I have my own physical health problems or disabilities that are not noticeable (i.e., you wouldn’t be able to notice by looking at the person that they do in fact need to sit down). I can’t just go and demand a seat like the pregnant woman, why can’t I go around with this same sense of entitlement and seat taking behaviour as the pregnant woman when I also need to sit? Why should they get to sit down?:
    I’m sorry if it is difficult for you to stand on public transport and you have a valid point in wanting to sit. The priority seat is for people who are pregnant, disabled or less able to stand. As people often instruct the pregnant woman to do, maybe ask for seat and give your reasons. As mentioned, I saw a woman in the priority seat say to a pregnant woman she “felt dizzy” so couldn’t give up her seat. The pregnant woman accepted this. Maybe other passengers would listen if you asked to sit down too. I understand that you shouldn’t have to justify or give your life story in order to sit down, but unfortunately, other people can be mindless and need some prompting, as the pregnant woman will probably tell you after the 100th time she has stood in front of someone on a train, rubbing a massive bump and no one has noticed.

 

  • Pregnant women should be at home, or, if you’re that “incapacitated” you shouldn’t be travelling:
    Do I really have to provide ANY response to this in order to support a pregnant person’s position?! Well ok, just for a start, we all have things to do, places to go, jobs, appointments, lives, pregnant women do not sit at home knitting for 9 months. Many women decide to work up until a few weeks or even the week of their due date, either for financial reasons, work pressures or because the more maternity leave you take before the baby is born the less you have to use afterwards. Some women don’t want to waste a month of maternity leave sitting at home prior to baby’s arrival. They are also not incapacitated, they are growing a child inside their bodies and might not be able to stand for long due to all the reasons above about health complaints during pregnancy and also safety aspects, as I will discuss below.

 

  • Women complain about gender inequality but then say things like ohhh the age of chivalry is gone, men should give up their seats, etc etc, you can’t have it both ways!:
This is not about chivalry, this is not about gender equality, this is about safety. That woman represents two lives, and one is quite fragile. Or, she is unwell and it would be difficult to stand for a long period. Maybe she could stand in front of you and then puke all over you when the nausea finally gets too much, would that be preferable?

 

The reason I would ask for a seat (when pregnant): Because I’m tired, dizzy, feel sick, but most importantly for me, because IT’S NOT SAFE TO GET SQUASHED AND THROWN AROUND ON A CROWDED TUBE TRAIN (or, insert other transport method here) WHEN PREGNANT.

  • I have been pushed, completely squashed and wedged between other passengers, hit (accidently – but required me going to the minor injuries unit and the perpetrator didn’t even notice he’d done it even when I tried to point it out), bulldozed out the way by people trying to get off the train who don’t care about others, had people almost fall on me or fall over in my direction, and probably other incidents that I’ve forgotten about during my 10 or so years of commuting. This, fortunately, was not when I was pregnant although I did have a few people almost fall on me and a person drop their bag on the escalator in front of me when pregnant. The bag fortunately landed on my arm which I had out holding the hand rail, so everything was ok. Still a shock, though.

 

My main argument, then, is: it’s not safe to stand when pregnant, and if you are growing a life inside you then that becomes your priority and should, yes it should, give you entitlement to sit down. If you sit in the priority seat then be prepared to move. I am, and I have moved when asked (quite recently actually, by a women who wasn’t wearing a baby on board badge and didn’t “look pregnant”, but said she was, so ok, and I was in the priority seat). If you don’t want to get up then you have no empathy, awareness of others and their feelings or dignity. End

 

_________________________________________________________

 

If you want to read more about the “baby on board” badge issue, including some experiences from pregnant women, see here: http://www.ababyonboard.com/a-very-royal-baby-on-board-badge/
Unfortunately, there are worse experiences out there:
I did wear one [baby on board badge], after about 5 months people generally ignored it though – I was standing at 36 weeks. My worst two stories: the man who pushed in front of me to get the last seat realised I was heavily pregnant and then pretended to be asleep all the way and the delightful two young ladies who shouted at me and told me they hated people who thought a badge entitled them to a seat and that they wanted to sit down…I see shocking behaviour everyday of women with badges displayed and being totally ignored. (from ababyonboard.com, link above)
 

I really hope these are incredibly isolated incidents, but if not, remember, for all the inconsiderate, despicable “human beings” out there, there will be someone who does give a sh*t, and might help you out. Although, you might have to ask more than one passenger before you find them…

Baby feeding & changing facilities at UK airports, London Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Stansted, Luton


UK London airports, baby feeding & changing facilities informationBaby feeding & changing facilities at UK airports, London Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Luton, Stansted

As part of the Baby Friendly London page (currently in development) – here is some information about feeding, changing, baby facilities at UK airports.

 

I was emailed a link to a really useful site, “Airport Parking Shop Blog”. They contacted 28 UK and Irish airports during January 2015 and collected responses about facilities at each location. They asked the airports via Twitter:

“Do you have dedicated mother and baby rooms for nursing mums?”

See here for a really helpful chart of each airport and the answers they gave about their facilities.

The page also writes about how they collected the data, the response rates, and more about their survey.

 

There was varying responses from each airport, so unfortunately there isn’t complete information for all of the 28 airports. But in summary:
  • London Gatwick said that rooms for feeding and changing are highlighted by signs (either a bottle or “babycare” sign, whatever that is).
  • London Heathrow said they have dedicated family areas, and more information about family facilities can be found here.
  • Luton said they don’t have dedicated mother and baby rooms for nursing mothers, but you can contact a member of their passenger services team for help in finding somewhere quiet.
  • City has changing facilities but no dedicated nursing room.
  • Stansted has a mother and baby room in the departure lounge.

 

Information based on research reported by Airport Parking Shop Blog, as of January 2015. Please collect updated information if this seems out of date for you.

 

 

We have a walking baby!

Today we had some definite walking! Several steps, a series of steps, walking from one point to another, although in a bit of a robotesque style (not quite fluid yet). We’re nearly 13 months old.

We had a about 2-3 steps occur the other week and over the past 3-4 weeks we thought we saw one small, independent step without holding onto anything.
Very exciting. Except, maybe now this means he’s going to be running about soon and bashing into everything. Oh dear!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Baby-Brain.co.uk and thank you

 

Happy New Year everyone! And, thank you so much for taking an interest in my blog and site. It’s not been going long but i’ve very much enjoyed the reading and learning that goes on “behind the scenes” of it all. That includes reading and research for my own articles but also all the wonderful blogs, Pinterest Pins, facebook pages, activities and play ideas i’ve come across.

This will be the first year that I haven’t actually “done anything” on new year’s eve for a long time. Probably since I was a teenager. Even last year, when baby was a few weeks old we went out to see friends for dinner because he wasn’t on a schedule yet and could sleep more flexibly. Not so this year, but I don’t think I mind.

In a year, the Little Lovely has: Grown 16 teeth, can walk if you hold his hand (we think he’s taken 1 little step unsupported, on a few occasions, but no more). Can say a few words including “bus”, “fish”, “bath”, “splash”, “quack”, “moo”, “bear” (I think he thinks that dogs are bears), “book”, “mama”, and “dada” (and others). If you ask him what the duck says he will say quack, the cow – moo, the sheep – baba. He can touch his head if you ask him to, make actions like he’s brushing his hair, bring you a ball and probably a few other requests.


Here’s to another year!

Psychological Research: Does having children make you any happier?

Research on: does having children make us any happier? 

 

See the full article from the London School of Economics, here

 

In summary:
The birth of a first and a second child briefly increases the level of their parents’ happiness, but a third does not, according to new research from LSE and Western University, Canada

 

“According to the research, published in the journal Demography, parents’ happiness increases in the year before and after the birth of a first child, it then quickly decreases and returns to their ‘pre-child’ level of happiness”

 

“Those who become parents between the ages of 23 -34 have increasing happiness before a first birth, however one to two years after the birth, happiness decreases to baseline or below.”

 

“The arrival of a third child is not associated with an increase in the parents’ happiness, but this is not to suggest they are any less loved than their older siblings. Instead, this may reflect that the experience of parenthood is less novel and exciting by the time the third child is born or that a larger family puts extra pressure on the parents’ resources. Also, the likelihood of a pregnancy being unplanned may increase with the number of children a woman already has – and this brings its own stresses.”
  • So – they’re not saying there’s any link between no increase in happiness and not loving or looking after the child! (phew). I like the idea of it being less novel though, kind of makes sense, or other social/economic factors that could affect the “third child” (or later children in general) such as pressure on resources.

 

  • Baby-Brain thinks: Of course, “happiness”, will depend on what you want it to mean and there are going to be many other “changes” that come with children – positive, not so positive (?!) or just differences to one’s life that come with such a significant thing as having a child!

baby-brain.co.uk is on facebook – psychology resource, perspective, blog on motherhood and babies

baby-brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective and blog on motherhood and babies, now on facebook!

My face is on a book?

baby-brain.co.uk (psychology resource, perspective, blog on motherhood and babies) is coming to facebook!!

 ◊♦    Here’s the facebook page   ♦◊

Ok, so i’ve finally set up a facebook page – or at least attempted to do so.
If you would like:
  • frequent updates,
  • mini links,
  • posts of interesting baby and parenthood related activities, crafts, psychological research
  • and more stuff that I haven’t thought of yet!
Then please like the page! I will probably post quick little things on there more frequently than on this site 

 

comments off

We are back! I’ll be back to the posting soon. I’m just posting this to say that I’ve turned off comments because I keep getting spam and highly irritating comments advertising about 20 links and pointless products.

Dear spammers………..do you see any spammy, advertising, link saturated comments on my posts? NO?! REALLY?! so then why do you post and think that I am going to approve such comments?

If anyone has a genuine comment to make I would be really really interested in reading and posting it. So in the meantime, to prevent me wading through all the spam, please email me at emm@baby-brain.co.uk if you would like to comment or ask a question in relation to any posts, or even just in general. I will get round to turning comments back on in the future i’m sure, when I am in a better mood to deal with all the spam

 

holiday

Sorry for lack of recent updates and posts but Baby Brain is away! The little lovely and I will get back to it very soon. Have a good summer everyone

Don’t play with your food! Spaghetti food sensory play

spaghetti food sensory play infant/baby. baby-brain.co.uk psychology perspective, resource, blog, motherhood and babies

Spaghetti food sensory play

Don’t play with you food! Or in this case, do. Taking inspiration from all the sensory play ideas on Pinterest, including some that utilize interesting materials such as gelatin for sensory play, I decided to try out some food related sensory play ideas. The Little Lovely (LL) was 6 months 3 weeks when we did this.

 

 

spaghetti food sensory play infant/baby. baby-brain.co.uk psychology perspective, resource, blog, motherhood and babies

Long spaghetti and pasta shells for sensory play

I had some wholemeal spaghetti and large pasta shells on the shelf that were going to waste, so I cooked them up, added a bit of olive oil so that the spaghetti didn’t stick together, and then used it for some sensory play. LL sat in a large plastic box which was placed on top of a plastic sheet, to contain the mess. He was covered in food and a bit of oil afterwards and so the box did well in containing everything. We put him in the bath straight after!
safety first: This play was supervised and involved large pieces of food and long strings of pasta. LL did try to eat a lot of it and he succeeded in doing so. Therefore please be mindful of any choking risks and giving your child any food that you don’t want them to actually eat or that they may have an allergy to.

 

So here’s what we did and some pictures of LL enjoying his new sensory play idea:

I showed the noodles to LL and introduced a bit at a time. He didn’t seem to mind the food being placed on him and started to touch and poke at it inquisitively, and then pick it up and touch it.

 

spaghetti food sensory play infant/baby. baby-brain.co.uk psychology perspective, resource, blog, motherhood and babies

Introducing the sensory play pasta to baby

Baby was very interested in tasting the pasta and discovering it through use of his mouth! Then, as you can see in the 4th picture below, he started grabbing handfuls of it and just shoving it in his mouth! He ate quite a lot of pasta and I was slightly unsure about this to start with because he hadn’t actually had any before now! He was fine though, we supervised the activity and didn’t appear any worse off from his new food tasting experience (i.e. no allergies, no bad after-effects, no massive explosive poo or constipation).

He didn’t seem too interested in eating the massive shells but did pick them up and touch them. I think they were a bit too large and difficult for him to handle, he didn’t have the necessary motor skills and they were a bit oily which made them difficult to hold. The long pasta however was much easier for him to grab. Please be mindful of choking hazards when choosing your food sensory materials.

 

spaghetti food sensory play infant/baby. baby-brain.co.uk psychology perspective, resource, blog, motherhood and babies

yum yum, what does this taste like?

…. and so, after all the “tasting” experience, I helped out a bit and showed him how the pasta felt on his tummy and feet for a different sensory experience. Then it was straight into the bath!

 

spaghetti food sensory play infant/baby. baby-brain.co.uk psychology perspective, resource, blog, motherhood and babies

What can we do with this other than eat it? How does it feel?

 

 

 

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