You’d think a “baby on board” badge would be enough to encourage fellow commuters to give up a seat on the train to an expectant mum.
For one particular passenger, however, it wasn’t enough, as mum-of-one Raayan Zafar, 32, discovered when she was travelling on a Victoria Line train in London last week.
Zafar said she was left feeling “really, really embarrassed” after a man in his 40s demanded to know, “where is the baby?” after another passenger gave up their priority seat for her.
“It’s early days,” Zafar, who, at 11 weeks, isn’t yet noticeably pregnant, told the Evening Standard. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not pregnant or tired or sick all the time. It was a long commute, and I suffer from severe morning sickness — I’m on medication already.”
Revealing that the man began arguing with her, pointing out that another (non-pregnant) woman wanted the seat, Zafar said, “Is that the way to speak to a pregnant lady? Do I have to carry my maternity notes with me all the time?”
The “baby on board” badge was launched for Tube passengers in 2005, and the Duchess of Cambridge showed hers off while pregnant with Princess Charlotte in 2013.
It’s unlikely the Duchess of Cambridge will ever have to worry about getting a seat on the Tube. However, for the rest of us, Zafar’s experience is all too common. She said she often sees pregnant women being ignored during rush hour on the Tube.
Perhaps some people should be given “ignorance on board” badges and be refused entry to public transport altogether.