Should a pregnant woman be given a seat on a crowded train?

I’m visibly pregnant with twins, and despite the cheerful assertions of my friends and co-workers, it doesn’t mean that I always get to sit down on the train. I have to hunt through the cars just like I always have.

The thing that confuses me about this is that when I was in my first trimester–not showing in the belly, but obviously exhausted, men would often automatically give up their seats for me (a kindness I gratefully accepted). Now that I’m big, tired, and unwieldy, no one gives up a seat.

So, I’m wondering–should I ask? Am I temporarily entitled to the handicapped/elderly seats, if no one worse off than me needs them? I’m very tired–much more tired than I used to be at the end of a work day–and standing for half an hour is uncomfortable, but I don’t want to inconvenience people if it’s wrong for me to do so.

Well, I think so; I remember well those awful days when walking hurt, and with twins it can’t be any better. So I would say, yes, take the handicapped seat if there aren’t any people who need it.

People are such buffoons! Of COURSE you should get a seat on the train. I’m sure there are seats for people with “reduced mobility” which would be you. I would go to those seats, and assuming that the people in them are able, I would absolutely ask for a seat.

Thanks for the input. This gets to the really uncomfortable part: If I see healthy-looking people sitting there, is it okay to ask, “Could anybody spare a seat for a pregnant woman?” Sometimes folks sitting there may have invisible disabilities, and I wouldn’t want to displace them, but sometimes folks seem to sit there just to sit.

If a pregnant woman asked me to give up my seat, I would basically feel embarrassed that I hadn’t noticed her and offered. So, yeah, I think you should ask. A decent person will have no problem with it.

People aren’t offering you their seats?!? Whose raised these apes?

Hell yes, you should be offered a seat by every man under 60 and most women! I know I would! I once gave up a seat while pregnant to a gal who looked like she was having triplets AND a really bad day.

I’d give you my seat, but pregnancy is not usually a disability, so I don’t think you can force anyone to give one up for you.

I’m also annoyed by those “reserved for pregnant women” signs at Walmart. They don’t say how pregnant you have to be, for one. Plus, I’d much rather reserve them for women who have two or three little kids and a cart to wrestle with. They’re the ones who need it most.

Congrats on the babies!

Our hospital has parking spaces close to the doors reserved for moms with strollers. It’s kind of nice.

Anyone who doesn’t give up their seat to a pregnant woman deserves the full brunt of her hormonal fury.

The signs on the buses and metros here have little pictures showing who you should give a seat to. A guy with a cast on his leg, and old person, and a pregnant woman. So yeah, I see nothing wrong with you asking for a seat, if you want to sit. I really don’t think very many people would dare risk the bad karma of letting a very pregnant, very tired woman stand beside them for a half hour while they sat comfortably reading a magazine.

I can’t imagine not giving up my seat to an obvious 3rd trimester waddler. :slight_smile:


I can only imagine the glares one would get if he didn’t offer the pregnant lady his seat.

What would probably happen is that a little blue-haired old lady would give up her seat and then stand by the boorish lout and laser-eye him until he exited the train/bus.

But if you find that you have to ask, then ask! Maybe the dolts are too absorbed in their newspapers to notice you. (Let’s hope that’s the case.) Then, if you’d like to maybe ease the discomfort from their foolish behavior, say, “May I ask your first name?” When they answer (let’s say, “Sheldon”) say, "Hmm. Sheldon. That’s a nice name, " and look as if you’re considering it for future use, as it were.

You’d never have to ask Sheldon to give up his seat again. Or any other guy with a modicum of class that heard the exchange.

i would never allow a pregnant woman to stand while i sat.

There oughta be a law!

The same people who raised the people who wouldn’t give up a seat for me when I was on crutches. People can really be jerks.

I wouldn’t hesitate to make my need for a seat known, if I were you; the number of apparently able-bodied 20-somethings who would sneak a peek at me and my cast, and then glare down at their newspapers and try to pretend they hadn’t seen me was really astonishing. Even after I’d graduated to a cane, more than once I ended up giving up a seat for a gimpier person than myself, and plenty of people watched and didn’t offer their own seats instead.

I witnessed a lot of rude behavior when I used to ride the Midtown Direct NJ Transit train in the mornings.

The train would always be packed to the rafters. If you were boarding the train on any of the inner-city stops (like Brick Church or East Orange), you were SOL as far as seats go. Didn’t matter if you were elderly or handicapped or pregnant. No, the seats always went to those lucky enough to live on the “nice” side of town (and this included me).

One morning, a very pregnant woman got on the crowded train. Not only was she very pregnant, but she was also carrying a small baby. She was literally pressed against the door, that was how packed it was. Did any of those $500-business-suit-wearing, Starbucks-coffee-drinking, Wall-Street-Journal-reading, PDA-punching passengers offer up their seats? No. I had to shout from the other end of the car that I had a seat for the woman…who then had to press her way (baby and all!) down the aisle to get it. At any fucking time someone sitting closer could have given up their seat, but they didn’t. I was so pissed that I’m STILL PISSED, three years later.

Stuff like this reminds me of the subway scene in the film Brazil where (IIRC) a one-legged pregnant woman was left standing while healthy men in suits sat in all of the seats, oblivious.

Maybe not by law, but the Port Authority busing in Pittsburgh all has signs on the seats up front that when the bus gets crowded, they have to be yielded for the elderly, the handicapped, AND pregnant women, IIRC.

I apologize if this is chauvinistic, but I seethe with irritation whenever I’m in a major city on their transit system and healthy young or middle-aged men sit while ladies (of any age or physical condition) stand. Not only would my father’s dead corpse reanimate, tunnel its way from rural Alabama into the subterranean train tracks of D.C. or Atlanta or wherever and kick the ass I sat upon while ladies stood, but I would lose respect if it didn’t. For a pregnant woman not to be given a seat damned near makes me embarassed to be male.

YES, you deserve a seat. Gore Vidal once said something to the effect of “if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” and it’s true because the best thing you can say about being visibly pregnant is that there are times when it doesn’t make you noticable more uncomfortable, and add to this that it’s a baby you’re carrying and… ddafa adf :mad:

I would personally pardon you for taking a low wattage cattle prod with you onto trains and using it on healthy men who retain their seats. Even able-bodied non-pregnant women should at least make the offer.

If you need a seat, just ask. Most people would be happy to give it up - or at least be happy to help, even if they’re not happy to surrender their seat.

When I used to ride transit, I would often give up my seat for anyone who looked like they needed it.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was on jury duty. I was pregnant enough for it to be noticable if you were observant, but I made sure to mention it when I was questioned (thought it would help me get out of a drunk driving case…and it did!!!) Anyway, when we were all crowded in the courtroom, one man was about to sit down, noticed me standing and jumped up to give me his seat…he was about my dad’s age (70, maybe). I felt bad taking his seat, but I knew if I didn’t, he would feel bad, so I did. I was so outraged that all these young men stood there while a senior citizen stood to give a pregnant woman a chair! What a bunch of jerks.

I would say…definitely ask a teenage or 20-something guy…they should offer without being asked!