A pregnant commuter in London was asked to prove she is pregnant in order to get a priority seat.
baby on board button for London Underground
Credit: Max Mumby/Getty Images

Mind the gap...in manners!

In England, passengers wear "baby on board" buttons to show they are expecting and are eligible for priority seating on public transit. The buttons are meant to help fellow passengers to better recognize moms-to-be (and avoid those awkward assumptions). But recently, a fellow commuter on the London Tube demanded that Raayan Zafar prove she's actually pregnant!

"It's early days so that's why I don't show but that doesn't mean I'm not pregnant or tired or sick all the time," Zafar said. "It was a long commute and I suffer from severe morning sickness—I'm on medication already. I feel dizzy and out of energy, which makes standing in the Tube quite difficult when there is not enough ventilation."

The man who confronted Raayan was actually sitting in the seat next to the man who yielded his seat to her. "Where's the baby?" the oh-so-compassionate "gentleman" interrogated her.

Raayan contends she is not the first expectant woman to be treated rudely on London's underground transit system. "I see a lot of pregnant ladies on the Tube in rush hour and I don't see that people are more considerate towards them. People see the badges and just ignore them." She added, "I think we need to educate people more about this. People know about disabled people and they are more considerate because they can see it, whereas with a pregnancy they can't see it at a certain time so they think everything is fine."

I'm not sure I can "get on board" with Raayan's assertion that pregnant women are disabled. But it sure would be nice if more people were considerate of others in general, especially of women during pregnancy, which can be an extreme physical challenge. You can't force everyone to play nice, though!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.