Chicago Moms Are Done with People Not Giving Up Their Seats on Public Transport for Pregnant Women

Have you ever been on a crowded bus or train and witnessed a pregnant woman standing instead of sitting? What did you do? Hopefully, you or someone close by stood up and offered her a seat. Not everyone is thoughtful enough to do give up their seat and moms, in particular, are taking matters into their own hands about this. As the saying goes, if you want something to get done – ask a mom.

A group of moms in Chicago has banned together to change the way passengers treat pregnant women on public transit by creating and distributing ‘Baby on Board’ buttons so that other passengers will feel encouraged (or guilted?) to give up their seat for an expecting mom.

The group spearheading this campaign is called The Mom Project and they are taking on the task of communicating directly with public transit passengers, something the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has failed to do despite making a pledge to create ‘Baby on Board’ signs after two different expecting moms approached them.

Baby on Board signs are not a new thing, in fact, they’ve been around in the London transportation system for a few years. It’s a brilliant way to alert others that a pregnant mom needs to have a seat and that anyone who isn’t pregnant can feel encouraged to stand up.

As any woman who has been pregnant knows, there are times when standing for even a few minutes can wipe you out. If it’s not the sheer exhaustion of creating a person in your womb then nausea will surely get you feeling like curling up into a ball of NOPE. So, being forced to stand on a moving train or bus for periods of time can actually be incredibly taxing.

After a media blitz in which The Mom Project received tons of attention for putting action behind the CTA’s failed promise to encourage riders to treat pregnant women with compassion by giving up their seat, the CTA announced that it is finally mailing out those ‘Baby on Board’ buttons. For those who live in the Chicago area, you can fill out this online form to get yours delivered in the mail.

The CTA states on their site that the button project is a voluntary thing, meaning that no one will be forced to give up their seat.

“Wearing the button will let other passengers know that you have a good reason to need a seat. And we hope it will also be a reminder about the importance to being courteous to all fellow riders, the CTA writes. “Note that giving up seats for pregnant riders mothers is an issue of customer courtesy, not a requirement. Though it can’t be enforced, we hope this new program will encourage riders to remember the importance of being courteous.”

Leave it to a group of moms to get the hard stuff done. When women get together, they can move mountains – or in this case, strangers to give up their seat so that a tired expecting mom can catch a break.

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