Last week, New York City’s public transit system, the MTA, announced that it's offering free “Baby on Board” buttons to pregnant women from now until Labour Day (September 4). It hopes that riders will offer a seat to women wearing one.
The MTA isn’t the first to offer a button to help transit users get a seat. The subway in London, England has had a similar program since 2005; Kate Middleton helped promote it when she was pregnant with Prince George. The public transit system in Busan, South Korea, tried something similar last year. It was way more high tech than a simple button, involving sensors and flashing lights, but the idea behind it was the same.
We’re not convinced the buttons will take off among pregnant New Yorkers. It's just such an intimate thing to wear on your sweater, and kind of like announcing: "Hey, world, here's what's going on in my uterus right now!"
That said, these buttons would help prevent another pregnancy-related issue that happens on the bus and subway: When you get offered a seat because someone thinks you're pregnant, and you are not. This happens to women ALL. THE. TIME. It's so tricky. On the one hand, we all want to live in a society where people look out for others. On the other hand, we don't want our bodies evaluated. And even though no woman should be ashamed if her belly protrudes, it just doesn't feel good when someone inaccurately puts it down to there being a whole other person in there.
So we came up with some new buttons that we think transit riders might also need to see.
Because sometimes a pregnant-looking belly is actually just proof of a delicious lunch. Ain't no shame in second helpings!
Apparently many people aren't aware that after you have a baby, you still look pregnant for, like, a good long a while. Sometimes it's fat, sometimes it's diastasis recti, sometimes it's both. Society really needs to understand this. For the most part, unless literally you see a tiny human exiting a woman's vagina, please do not assume she is pregnant.
PMS is a thing.
There are all sorts of reasons a woman's belly might protrude. No one should ever assume they know what's in there.