Pregnant woman’s hidden camera shows people don’t give up their seats on the Tube

Miri Michaeli was "swollen, exhausted and afraid of sudden brakes" when she made this undercover video on the London Underground

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Journalist Miri Michaeli Schwartz is 9 months pregnant – and just about fed up with not being offered a seat on the Tube.

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In the early stages of pregnancy, London-based Miri proudly wore her ‘Baby on board’ badge, expecting commuters to give up their seat while she struggled with morning sickness. But this didn’t happen.

“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,” Miri, who is the Europe correspondent for Israeli TV news service Channel 10 wrote on Facebook.

“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,” she said.

But at 38 weeks pregnant – Miri still wasn’t being offered a seat despite being “swollen, exhausted and afraid of sudden brakes.”

So she decided to take a hidden camera on the tube to film people’s reactions to her bump. 

And this is the result…

London friends,Almost 9 months of commuting in the tube with the “Baby on board” badge have come to an end.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. 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.I already know how people look when they try to act like they haven’t seen me. The newspaper is held up a little higher, the phone comes out, headphones are placed in ears or sometimes.. they stare at my bump and just don’t care.I think the first woman in the video, doing homework with her child on the Jubilee line, missed a chance to teach him a much more valuable lesson- how to respect others and be a little less selfish.Where I grew up, ever since I can remember myself my mother would get up herself and make me stand up if a person who needs the seat more got on the bus. It was so clear to me this is how it should work. No badge needed.Once in a while there are a few righteous people on the tube, as you can see at the end of the video clip. Unfortunately, they are not the majority. Transport for London

Posted by Miri Michaeli Schwartz on Thursday, 4 February 2016

Wow, well that’s a reminder that everyone needs to be aware of who’s around and who might be in need of a seat.

It’s worth noting that she didn’t actually ask anyone to move – but should she have to? The video clearly shows how oblivious people are.

Photo: Instagram / Miri Michaeli

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