Four in 10 UK commuters would not give up their seat for an expectant mother, a new study has 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 failed to give up their seat for a "pregnant" woman in case she wasn't actually expecting a child.
Just two per cent of respondents believed you should offer up your seat when a woman is less than 12 weeks pregnant.
The research was commissioned by skincare company Mama Mio as part of their "I’m Expecting" campaign, which encourages expectant mums not to be afraid to ask someone to give up their seat.
Ambassador for the #ExpectingChange campaign Anna Whitehouse 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!”
The study's findings suggest that the reluctance of Brits to give up their seats is linked to fear. One in five are afraid doing so might offend, so they simply do not bother.
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."
South West News Service
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