Miri Michaeli Schwartz, Israel’s Channel 10 News correspondent in Europe, has exposed the behavior of passengers on the London Underground who ignore heavily pregnant women and do not give up their seat.
Michaeli Schwartz, who is in the ninth month of her pregnancy, took a hidden camera onto the train in order to show the number of people who ignored her, despite her wearing a “Baby on Board” badge.
The “Baby on Board” badge, an initiative launched in 2005, is meant to signal to passengers on the train that the wearer is pregnant, even if she is still at an early stage of her pregnancy.
But, as Michaeli Schwartz’s video shows, the commuters do not appear to care even if a woman is in the later stage of her pregnancy.
“Almost 9 months of commuting in the tube with the ‘Baby on board’ badge have come to an end,” she wrote on Facebook in a post accompanying the three-minute video of her on the Underground.
“At first I thought it is a brilliant London invention. How will other people know it’s not easy traveling with morning sickness if I don’t yet have a real big baby bump? Proudly and happily I wore my badge, hoping people will notice and offer me the priority seat when I need it. That didn’t happen. Then, I thought Londoners get up only for ladies who are later on in their pregnancy. I was frustrated I don’t ‘look pregnant’ enough. That fact did not change how pregnant I felt. It was awful.
“Now, from the top of 38 weeks of pregnancy, when there’s absolutely no way to ignore my huge bump (with a cute little baby girl inside of it!), I can tell you- London tube commuters just don’t care,” wrote Michaeli Schwartz.
“That’s why I decided today to take a hidden camera with me in order to show you how one day of my life looks, standing sometimes for long periods of time on the tube, swollen, exhausted and afraid of sudden brakes. Commuters see me, they see my bump, sometimes even stare but don’t get up, even if they are getting off of the train at the next station or are seating in the priority seat with a sticker of a pregnant lady as a reminder above their heads,” she added.
The video has gone viral and has been picked up in Britain by The Daily Mail and the Evening Standard. Outlets in Belgium, Slovakia and Norway, among others, have reported on the video as well.