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Shocking Number Of Brits Refuse To Give Their Seat Up For Pregnant Women

Shocking Number Of Brits Refuse To Give Their Seat Up For Pregnant Women

One woman conducted a social experiment to see how many commuters would offer up their seat

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A social experiment has shown just how many commuters would refuse to offer up their seat to a 'heavily pregnant' woman.

Anna Whitehouse, who blogs under the name Mother_Pukka, took a trip on the London Underground last month, while wearing a fake pregnancy bump. Despite the tube being packed, only four passengers offered up their seats, with one more letting her sit when she asked him directly.

A study of 2,000 conducted alongside the experiment found that 60 percent of people will give up their seat if they spot an expectant mother.

The experiment, which was commissioned by Mama Mio skincare, aimed to find out how Brits treated pregnant passengers as part of its #ExpectingChange and the results are great really, are they?

Anna, who is an ambassador for the campaign, said: "I felt like I had to make a big deal out of being pregnant - really rub the bump."

And what was her solution if that strategy failed? "Actually asking," she explained, "which makes you feel very uncomfortable.


"People are just not connected to what's going on around them."

Anna added: "Pregnancy is not a weakness, but it is a vulnerability and I felt this during my first trimester in particular.

"Busy, hot and cramped commuting conditions can be incredibly stressful, both physically and mentally, and being able to sit down can make a difference.

"However, from my own experience, I find that people are either too engrossed in their phones to be aware of their surroundings or won't offer their seat unless prompted.

"I'd encourage anyone who needs a seat on public transport to wear a badge and make eye contact. If that fails, don't suffer in silence - ask for one!"

But it seems that some people are refusing to give their seat up with the best possible intentions, with one in four commuters saying they wouldn't offer their seat in case the woman wasn't actually pregnant. In fact, seven percent of the women asked said they had been offered a seat while they weren't with child. Awkward.


The study also found three in 10 adults believe you don't need to offer a mother-to-be a seat until she is visibly showing. A fifth agreed you should offer a seat during a woman's third trimester, with 11 percent saying you should during the second.

Just two percent said you should offer up your seat when a woman is within her first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Natalie Cowley of Mama Mio said: "We were surprised at the findings, as we'd expected everyone would offer up their seat to a pregnant woman.

"We were particularly shocked that only two per cent said you should offer a seat to a woman in her first trimester, considering how many suffer from severe symptoms during this time, including sickness and fatigue."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Trains, UK