How To Tell If You Should Give Up Your Seat On Public Transportation

If you’re someone who is willing to give up your seat on a train or bus for a pregnant woman but not just any female, the BBC has you covered with a rule-of-thumb guide that helps you identify an expecting mother. The excuse for this sort of potentially-offensive story is that if you offer a seat to a non-pregnant woman she may take it as an insult.

All it takes is a lot of nerve, a teensy bit of sexism and an ocular pat-down.

From the BBC feature:

1. Listen for huffing and puffing, says Ellie Dixon-Jackson, 33, who is eight months pregnant and lives in Manchester, because your internal organs get a bit squashed. Plus carrying extra weight causes you to feel more out of breath. “I would say however, that it is difficult to gauge with some people until the later months when they are clearly showing a bump. My advice would probably be to say nothing if you are unsure and wait for a clear signal.”

2. Belly or back-rubbing are other giveaways, she says, and a coat that doesn’t fasten. “My experience on the Manchester Metro has generally been really good. I find leaning back a bit and rubbing the belly and having a tired expression works wonders.”
Nifa McLaughlin

3. Check the feet, says mum-of-two Nifa McLaughlin, editor of gurgle.com. “You won’t often find a pregnant woman wearing stilettos or any kind of dangerously high heels. Nope, I’m afraid it’s flat ballet pumps, baseball boots or (gulp) Uggs. If she’s paired up her work suit with comfortable footwear, or just slippers, then it’s a safe bet that she’s eating for two.”

Click on the story for the other telltale signs. Or just stop being a bastard and give up your seat to anyone who appears to need it worse than you. You don’t even need to say anything, you just get up.

Is that woman pregnant or fat? [BBC News Magazine]