Only six in 10 commuters would give up their seat for an expectant mother, a study revealed.
Researchers found the battle for a seat amid the morning or afternoon rush-hour apparently leads to passengers neglecting their manners or failing to notice pregnant women.
The study of 2,000 regular users of public transport also found one in four commuters hadn’t given up their seat for a ‘pregnant’ woman in case she wasn’t actually expecting a child.
The research was commissioned by Mama Mio skincare as part of their ‘I’m Expecting’ campaign which encourages expectant mums to not be afraid to ask someone to give up their seat.
Ambassador for the #ExpectingChange campaign, Anna Whitehouse (@Mother_Pukka) said: “Pregnancy is not a weakness, but it is a vulnerability and I felt this during my first trimester in particular.
“Busy, hot, and cramped commuting conditions can be incredibly stressful both physically and mentally, and being able to sit down can make a difference.
“However, from my own experience, I find that people are either too engrossed in their phones to be aware of their surroundings, or won’t offer their seat unless prompted.
“I’d encourage anyone who needs a seat on public transport to wear a badge and make eye contact. If that fails, don’t suffer in silence - ask for one!”
Natalie Cowley of Mama Mio said: “We were surprised at the findings, as we’d expected everyone would offer up their seat to a pregnant woman.
“We were particularly shocked that only two per cent said you should offer a seat to a woman in her first trimester, considering how many suffer from severe symptoms during this time, including sickness and fatigue.”
The study also found adults believe you don’t need to offer mother-to-be a seat until she is visibly showing, with three in 10 saying so.
Eighteen per cent agreed you should offer a seat during a woman’s third trimester, with 11 per cent saying you should during the second.
And just two per cent said you should offer up your seat when a woman is within her first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
One in 20 have even ‘stayed put’ over offering up their seat to an expectant mother because they had a reserved ticket.
Seven per cent of women admitted to being offered a seat after being mistaken for being pregnant and a shocking fifth of expectant mothers have been too embarrassed to ask for a seat themselves.
One in five are afraid of who they might offend by offering up a seat on public transport, so they simply don’t bother.
Natalie Cowley, added: “The #ExpectingChange campaign aims to raise awareness on behalf of pregnant women, and inspire Brits to have more consideration for fell commuters.
‘’We also hope it will empower pregnant women to have the courage to ask for a seat when they need one.”
Anna Whitehouse also added: “My decision to partner with Mama Mio on #ExpectingChange was largely because it’s a brand that stands for something more, and I also used their skincare products religiously throughout my pregnancy.”