A viral Twitter thread is seriously resonating with moms who have experienced the joy (yes, that is sarcasm) of taking public transit while pregnant.
Last week, U.K.-based writer Brydie Lee-Kennedy tweeted about an experience she had on a London bus journey.
“Well it finally happened in my 8th month of pregnancy, I just sat on a man’s hand and bag when he wouldn’t move them off the last spare seat on the bus. We’re now sharing a very quiet ride,” she wrote.
The tweet received more than 17,000 likes and 1,500 retweets. Lee-Kennedy followed up with another tweet comparing the ordeal of taking mass transit with “The Hunger Games.”
In response to the writer’s story, many other moms chimed in to share their own experiences taking buses and subways while pregnant.
From hilarious and heated confrontations to well-timed bouts of nausea, their stories are pretty epic:
It wasn’t all hopeless, however. Other people on Twitter recounted stories of strangers who stood up for pregnant women on trains and buses.
When Olivia Wilde was pregnant with her second child, she tweeted a complaint about standing on the New York subway
“NBD, able-bodied [subway emoji] riders who won’t give your seat to a GIANT preggo. I’ll just stand riiiiight next to your head and pray I go into labor,” she wrote. The tweet received over 4,500 likes and many sympathetic replies from moms who have been there.
For pregnant women, sitting on the bus or subway is not simply a matter of comfort (though the discomfort of walking around with the feeling of a bowling ball strapped to your abdomen cannot be overstated). Falling during pregnancy, especially during the late-second trimester and early-third trimester can be harmful to both the mom-to-be and her baby.
This is why many public transportation systems include priority seating for those who are injured, elderly, disabled or pregnant. Sometimes, however, riders don’t honor these designations.
In recent years, many local governments have implemented measures to raise awareness around this issue. In 2016, the city of Busan, South Korea, introduced the “Pink Light campaign” to test a solution for moms-to-be seeking seats on public transportation. Since 2005, Transport for London has offered “Baby on Board” badges to Tube riders, and just last year, New York City introduced a similar program. In 2017, Tokyo also started experimenting with technology to help pregnant subway riders find seats.
While these initiatives may be helpful, there’s also nothing more powerful than good old-fashioned courtesy.