How Soon Should You Put On That ‘Baby on Board’ Badge?

It’s a goddamn political minefield, but then no one wants to offer their seat to a fat woman by accident, do they?
Publish date:
March 1, 2013
pregnancy, Public Transport, Baby on Board Badges, london underground

Yesterday I was on the train with two other preggers women. One of them was a size six, stick thin, and had absolutely no bump whatsoever, but she had her ‘Baby on Board’ (BOB) badge on and was sat down.

The other, clearly rounder and very preggers couldn’t zip her coat up over her tummy. She wore her badge proudly, but nobody offered her a seat. To be honest, I wanted to boot the stick woman out of her seat and give it to the other one. Me, I’m 18 weeks, and to the untrained eye, I look more fat than preggers and was hesitant to wear the badge, because do I really need to sit down right now? Well no, not desperately, but more about this later.

So when is the right time to don the ‘Baby on Board’ sign? The more I think about this, the more I figure it’s a political minefield of correctness. And who the hell wants to be that person who offers their seat to a fatty by accident?

I refused to put my BOB badge on until I’d had my first scan and knew everything was ok, cause having miscarried prior my 12 weeks scan before, I didn’t want to hex it.

But I’m also most definitely not one of those people who spout the line ‘Har! I have to sit all day in an office chair, so I don’t mind standing on the tube’. Fuck that for a game of soldiers, I hate standing up almost as much as I hate walking, so me getting a seat is pretty damn important.

So do I need that seat right now? No, not really, but I’ll gladly take it. Of course there are women who are pregnant and don’t show for ages and ages, but they may be suffering in silence due to sciatica or other pregnancy ailments, and this is why they sport their badge and are hopefully offered up a seat.

Apart from a few dizzy spells and extreme tiredness, I’ve been lucky not to have suffered any massive downsides to being up the duff. Apart from the approaching fatness and sick addiction to carrot cake.

In the mornings, I get on the first stop on the Central Line, so I’m guaranteed a seat. Coming home, I have to walk a mile to the tube in about 12minutes, and feel pretty shattered, so I do love to sit down, but I’m not going to fall down not having that throne.

During my last pregnancy, after I’d hit he 25 week mark, I really needed to sit down a lot. I’d feel faint and woozy, and several times I had to ask people to give me their seat (cause some pricks don’t give a shit about us preggers ladies). Towards the end of that pregnancy, I was so fucking fat and pregnant and at least three stone heavier (who am I kidding, at the end I was 4 stone heavier), and desperately needed to sit the hell down. But I wasn’t always offered a seat.

But this isn’t what this article is about. It’s about the god damn BOB badge. If you're going to wear one, there are certain rules that must be followed. Pay attention, ladies - use it or lose it.

If you’re wearing the badge and someone offers you their seat, you absolutely MUST take it.Why? Cause if you’re wearing the badge, you’re ASKING for a seat. Otherwise why bother wearing it? Please tell me? Don’t be rude.

That said, twice in one week, I witnessed the same pregnant woman, get on at Stratford, walk straight round to the seat that has the ‘give this seat up’ sign above it and say to the person occupying it ‘get up please’. There’s a right way and wrong way of doing things lady, and you were just fucking rude about it. At least give him 10 seconds to offer you the seat before throwing him out of it.

Feel free to fight another woman’s cause.I was on the tube and there was a heavily pregnant woman, badge and all, in clear view of all the seated folk. She was unmistakably pregnant, and verging on dropping but people averted their eyes, read their Kindles/played on their phones, or slept.

I politely shouted out to the carriage, ‘Is anyone going to offer their seat to this very pregnant lady?’ Eventually a young woman did and she was super apologetic that she hadn’t actually looked up. I get this, because I lose myself in my Kindle daily, but this lady was too shy to speak up, and clearly, I’m not.

Don't take the pissLet me just be frank for a moment. Of course there are pregnant women taking the piss, wearing their badges the minute that little blue positive sign pops up on their peed on test stick. To some degree I guess I am too, cause if forced to stand, I’m not about to vom on those sitting down.

But then there are those women who don’t look with child, but do genuinely need that seat. And however much we might want to offer up our seat, there’s always a news story like THIS humdinger that makes you question yourself.

So how soon is too soon to put on your BOB badge? I may have posed this question, but it doesn’t mean I have the answer. I’d love to hear your experiences.

And please do tell me if you’ve ever offered your seat to a fatty, or just hate giving it up to pregnant women – I know I do, and I’m one of them! I won’t judge (course I will). @danigraph.