Kate Hitchens, 32, a mum-of-two from Essex, explained what happened on her Instagram and said no one offered her and her six-month-old a seat for the half an hour journey. She said despite the fact she was breastfeeding, she was still shocked there was no offer seeing as she was holding a young child.
“I could have asked, but I didn’t,” she wrote, alongside a selfie of her nursing her son. “I felt silly. I shouldn’t have to ask. Maybe some people didn’t see. I know for a fact some did; they made eye contact and actually smiled at me. I was thinking stop smiling and offer me your seat please!”
Kate explained that one lady looked up from her book and immediately offered her seat, but then another lady sat in it. “When the lovely lady said: ‘Oh excuse me I actually gave up my seat so this lady with a baby could sit down’ the sitting lady shrugged, plugged her earphones in and closed her eyes!”
The mum added: “I like to think that she needed that seat more than me, perhaps she was newly pregnant and in that early exhaustion period, perhaps she was knackered after a day at work, perhaps she was ill. Or perhaps she was just a twat. I hope not.”
She continued by saying she can somewhat understand not offering your seat to someone elderly, because it might be the insinuation that you think that person looks old. “I can also understand not offering your seat to someone you suspect might be pregnant; maybe it’s just their time of the month or perhaps they are just naturally curvy and they aren’t pregnant; perhaps you worry you might offend them. I cannot get my head around not offering a parent with a child a seat.”
I cannot get my head around not offering a parent with a child a seat."
The mum urged commuters to be aware of parents and kids on trains and offer their seat to them in future.
Speaking to the BBC, Hitchens, who writes about baby-led weaning on her blog, Hitchen’s Kitchen, said the journey left her feeling flustered. “I don’t make a big deal of breastfeeding and try to be discreet but everyone could see what I was doing,” she said.
“Physically, I felt quite uncomfortable as I didn’t have much to hold on to and Charlie was jiggling around as the train moved so it hurt.”
She added that if she saw someone struggling, whether it was with a baby, heavy bags or a pile of books, she would give them her seat.
Have you had any similar experiences on public transport while you were breastfeeding or holding your child? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.