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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 11th May 09, 12:14 PM
    • 1,243Posts
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    MSE Jenny
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Would you give up a 50 train seat for a pregnant woman?
    • #1
    • 11th May 09, 12:14 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Would you give up a 50 train seat for a pregnant woman? 11th May 09 at 12:14 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Would you give up a 50 train seat for a pregnant woman?

    You book an advance seat on a five-hour train journey. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend, and there’s standing room only for non-reserved passengers, including a heavily pregnant woman. Normally you'd be up in a flash, but are loathe to give up your seat, as you paid 50 for it and booked early, knowing it would be crowded.

    Click reply to have your say

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    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 12-05-2009 at 8:04 PM.
Page 5
  • jwillow
    I would definitely give up my seat for someone who was pregnant, elderly, or obviously disabled. I think it is a question of good manners and how you have been brought up. It is far too easy to stand in judgement of others but as earlier posters have said you never know the circumstances and you should give people the benefit of the doubt.
  • inneedofabreak
    I totally agree with jwillow. Its all about the manners. Likewise, thanking the bus driver(even the miserable ones-to make them feel guilty) holding doors open for anyone, and saying please and thank you. I have been on a bus full of students( no offence to all students, its just who this particular bus was filled with) whilst heavily pregnant, and not one person offered me a seat on the 45 minute journey. Its a moral question, and i pity those of you who are too shallow to help.
  • blue_monkey
    So.... you can book a seat for every single train journey you take can you?? I used to do a Herts to Portsmouth train journey several times a month - an 8 hour round trip - and you cannot book seats on there as the seats do not have numbers. So how does that work?? You might be on a long journey but she might be on a short trip to the next town to go for her ante-natal appointment or something. I usually get to the station and buy a ticket when I travel. Even when I was a commuter I had a ticket but you could not 'book a seat', you got on and chanced your luck. And on many trains you do not have seat numbers, only on long distance travelling trains - not local trains, they have no seat numbers.

    I must add that MOST train guards will let pregnant ladies sit in 1st class (unless they are a jumped up jobsworth!!). I used to sit in 1st class on my standard class ticket if the train was full and the guards were happy for me to do this. I never once got asked to move by them. So I would tell her to go and sit in 1st class being pregnant and that it would be more comfortable. Failing this I would offer her my seat.

    I've commuted while being heavily pregnant and the worst offenders for hiding behind their paper when they see you standing are men. Women would give up their seats but men would quite happily elbow you out for the way for the last seat and then get their paper out to hide behind. I had this happen many a time so I would spend the entire journey on my feet and staring at them to make them feel as uncomfortable as possible. I wonder how many of those refusing to give up their seats are male. A poll on this would be very interesting!! I bet there will be no surprises though. :rolleyes:
    • uropachild
    • By uropachild 13th May 09, 9:31 AM
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    As someone mentioned, there are many reasons why it is better for a pregnant woman to sit, rather than stand. Just like people may not know why someone who is invisibly disabled cannot give up their seat, people may not also know the reasons why a pregnant woman should be sitting on a train instead of standing.

    Aside from all the rubbish about whether she should have booked for herself or not and whether she couldn't sit in her booked seat because of someone else getting there first and all of that stuff, consider...

    Being pregnant and standing for 5 hours isn't just about the weight you have to carry, although that weight can be considerable. A pregnant woman could have any number of pregnancy complications, which might make it risky for her to stand. Okay, so knowing this, she could have made sure that she didn't HAVE to stand for 5 hours, but things don't always work out that way and my point is that you don't know the situation. So aside from the risk of being pushed over, elbowed, shunted belly first into someones chair, collapsing from the heat (you're WAY hotter than usual when pregnant). She could be suffering with sciatica or other backache, a headache that she isn't allowed to take decent pain meds for, stomach cramps, round ligament pains. She might have a circlage in for an incompetent cervix, which would come under pressure when standing for a length of time. She might have had a previous c-section and the scarring could be hurting with the pressure and weight. Even if none of the above ailments are true she will certainly be worrying every time the train moves... "What if my waters break all over the floor? What if the train jogs me and i fall and kill my baby? What if someone is in a hurry and they push past me and hurt my baby?"

    Pregnancy is about more than just having a big belly. No, it is certainly not USUALLY an illness, but then not everyone is lucky enough to have a low risk pregnancy.

    My knowledge of this comes from being pregnant pretty much constantly for the past 3 years. My first pregnancy ended in the neo natal death of our son because of undiagnosed Vasa Praevia, the second resulted in the stillbirth of our daughter at 25 weeks of pregnancy and the third (after MUCH fretting, worry, pain and discomfort) resulted in the arrival of our healthy daughter. High risk pregnancy is not a walk in the park, physically or mentally.
    DD is 8 years old DS1 is 6 years old
    DS2 is 14 months old
  • flippingheckerslike
    you can afford it, you just don't want to.
  • montymontezuma
    Yes, I would like my seat back if she got off before me but otherwise her need is probably greater, ditto elderly, those with disabilities & mothers with babies or very small children, so I'd make way. This is the way I brought up, and it makes for a better, more caring world IMHO It's not always possible to book ahead, some journeys are unexpected, and living in the real word we're not all organised and perfect - the reality is, whatever the reason, she's still heavily pregnant and in need of taking the weight off.
  • blue_monkey
    Also, when heavily pregnant, I got on the train and there was no seats and no-one would give up there seat so another lady (who was also standing) looked at me, waited a few minutes, and shouted to the entire carriage - 'What is wrong with you all? Is no-one going to give up their seat for this heavily pregnant woman'. LOL, you should have seen them all squirm but someone gave up their seat in the end.
    • Doooford
    • By Doooford 13th May 09, 9:39 AM
    • 466 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    Get a grip
    Without question I would. The idea that somebody would actually take the time to judge somebody who hadn't pre-booked, and then sit there thinking of justifications for keeping their seat makes me feel quite sad about the state of our race. Pregnancy is something that should be appreciated by everyone and supported wherever possible.
    I would talk to the person in question and ask if they minded if I gave up my seat for them, and then hopefully spend the rest of my journey in conversation and then leave the train feeling like I may have made a difference. The other option is to sit there with your head down in a book and then get of the other end and moan about how people shouldn't be so rude as to stand near you when they are pregnant because it makes you feel selfish that you aren't giving your seat up. To clear this up for you (if this is you), then yes, YOU are being selfish!
  • gibsonms
    I have done exactly this. I gave the lady my seat straight away and went and found the guard.

    I then pointed out section 39 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, and said that this is clearly an occasion where it is more than correct for the lady to be given the seat in 1st class for nothing.

    The guard was impressed that I knew my stuff, and the lady bought me a sandwich! Result!
    • aless02
    • By aless02 13th May 09, 9:42 AM
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    I thought that some train companies had policies that if there are no seats in standard class, pregnant women could sit in 1st with no penality? I remember reading about it in the newspaper several months ago.

    Anyway, as a pregnant woman (not heavily), I find the selfishness on this thread astounding. I would simply go sit in a 1st if I was not offered a seat, as standing 5 hours would be impossible.
    top 2013 wins: iPad, 50 dental care, 50 sportswear, 50 Nectar GC, 300 B&Q GC; jewellery, Bumbo, 12xPringles, 2xDiesel EDT, 25 Morrisons, 50 Loch Fyne

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  • Caroline73
    Yes, without a doubt.

    I believe there is a an old law that means pregnant women can urinate wherever they want. Be nice to them.

    If I was the pregnant woman I would start to have twinges - I bet I got a seat then.
    Last edited by Caroline73; 13-05-2009 at 9:45 AM.
    Don't look at me, I'm irrelevant.
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 13th May 09, 9:43 AM
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    Flickering Ember
    I wouldn't give my seat up; as others have said, it's common sense to pre-book. Besides which, I know from a friend who is a train driver, if you're pregnant and cannot get a seat, you ARE allowed to go and sit in First Class at no extra charge. I have pins and plates in my leg from an accident and if I was to fall, standing on a train, then I'd need massive surgery to reset every pin and plate in that leg so it's just not worth the risk for me.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 13th May 09, 9:44 AM
    • 11,701 Posts
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    Flickering Ember
    Anyway, as a pregnant woman (not heavily), I find the selfishness on this thread astounding. I would simply go sit in a 1st if I was not offered a seat, as standing 5 hours would be impossible.
    Originally posted by aless02
    Not being funny, but it was your choice to become pregnant. Why should others make concessions for your decision? When I was pregnant, I never expected others to do this for me.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
  • janey_uk
    I wouldn't because there are other options available, and pregnant women can find a member of staff for assistance. Some train companies allow passengers who are heavily pregnant to upgrade to sit in first class for free, some even allowing you to upgrade season tickets for free for a couple of months. Southern Railways allowed me to do this several times when their services were busy (because you can't book seats). Their staff on the West London line deserve a MASSIVE big-up for kindness and being pregnant women friendly.

    Having had a baby last year and being a regular London commuter I know that most people wouldn't offer a seat on a crowded train for a non-reserved 20 minute journey, let alone a five hour one. Fellow passengers at Euston would push by me for the last seat or make me climb over them because they wouldn't even get up from the aisle seat to let me sit in a vacant window one.
    For everything else, there's MSE
    • jackie1969uk
    • By jackie1969uk 13th May 09, 9:49 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    I would 100% give her the seat if anyone was pregnant, disabled or elderly, I couldn't live with myself watching her stand for 5 hours. I done a 7 hour journey sitting on a bag on an overbooked train so I know my butt can handle it. I have also argued with a ticket collector over a family with mouthy teenagers sitting in my booked seats for myself and a 10, 5 and 4 years old. Was told I had no legal right to the seat and only got the seats back when passengers in surrounding seats made a scene. Thank god for passing my driving test and don't need the train now.

    Can't believe how many people wouldn't even consider giving up the seat. After all we were all children being carried by pregnant mothers.
    Last edited by jackie1969uk; 13-05-2009 at 10:00 AM.
    Officially a self proclaimed GEEK
    • uropachild
    • By uropachild 13th May 09, 9:51 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,396 Thanks
    Just because it's a choice, doesn't make it any more comfortable to stand for 5 hours (my aforementioned factors not withstanding). I can't believe this is even being cited as a reasonable excuse for not giving up your seat.

    If everyone decided not to have children based on the fact that they might eventually need to take an unforeseen 5 hour train journey where they would have to stand because a carriage full of rude people won't stand for them the human race would not last very long!
    DD is 8 years old DS1 is 6 years old
    DS2 is 14 months old
  • the_beast
    I ABSOLUTELY WOULD give up my seat!

    I have two young children (3 and 5) and if they were with me I'd give it up also - and hopefully teach them a bit about human decency (something that many of the posters above obviously know nothing about!!!) If I did have my kids with me I'd probably make a big 'huff and puff' about it while loudly commenting to them "Yes, mummy does think it's very rude that someone doesn't offer this nice lady a seat....but don't worry, we're nice people and will give her our seat, even though that big strong man over there trying to ignore her while pretending to fiddle with his phone could stand SO much more easily than either of us!!!"
    Originally posted by hislan
    Have you ever thought that there might be a reason for the 'big strong man' not giving up his seat? As a 'big strong man' I would offer my seat to a pregnant lady in a heartbeat, had it not been for the accident I had which tore my knee apart when I was 16. Standing for long periods is probably harder for me than most (although having never been pregnant I can't confirm this), and having a smart alec trying to make me feel bad about it is the last thing I need. How does this make you any better than the others not offering their seat? Not really a great example for your kids...

    On a shorter journey I would be more than happy to offer my seat, but I would be wary of offering it to a seemingly pregnant fat woman, as the offer may cause offense!
  • rountree
    no i wouldn't.

    It's not my fault she hasn't got a seat, and it's not my fault she's pregnant. She should have booked in advance like (i assume) everyone else, and if i've paid 50 for a seat, I certainly wouldn't give it up for anyone, old lady/pregnant woman.

    Taxpayers will be paying towards the cost of her child so why start helping her with a seat too?

    If it was me, I wouldn't expect anyone who has paid for their seat and has a long journey to give their seat up for me, but then again, I would have booked in advance!

    I think it's quite rude that people in society still believe in these things, I mean, why should anyone feel pushed to do this? I am a woman and yet I don't believe this.
    • freebird65
    • By freebird65 13th May 09, 10:00 AM
    • 1,731 Posts
    • 2,682 Thanks
    Even though a part of me thinks "no, she should have booked like me", I suspect I would get up........some time ago on a very crowded tube train, I did just that as all the men around me lifted their papers higher and ignored the very heavily pregnant woman in obvious discomfort.

    No big deal, you're thinking? So what? I was on crutches at the time.
  • Bunnikins69
    Giving up you seat for Pregnant Woman

    Of course I would give up my seat. At the end of the day, you can always sit on the floor if you get desperate for a rest and seats are bound to become available on the way.

    I commute into London and often stand although the journey is only 70 minutes or so but I just don't want to bother fighting with someone for a seat so I usually just stand in the corner of the carriage and read my newspaper. I think that all the business men racing along the platform look pretty desperate really.

    What's the rush, where's the fire I say ???!!!

    Isn't it just common decency to help someone in this situation.

    I have a young toddler so I would have appreciated it when I was pregnant.

    People just need to do a kind deed everyday to make themselves feel good.

    Last edited by Bunnikins69; 13-05-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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