Tips to Use Public Transportation when You Are Pregnant

Public transportation is on no one’s top ten fun times lists. In fact, it is probably on everyone’s top ten worst times list.

Public transport is bad regularly but, unfortunately, gets worse when you are pregnant. With disrespectful children, sick and coughing adults, and dirty seats and floors, your local train, bus, or subway is far from ideal.

We have put together some tips to make your daily commute easier- and hope it helps!

1. Be Vocal

If you are standing and no one is offering their seat, make it a point to ask for one.

Multiple women have commented on the fact that it is not the norm for people to offer seats anymore. Nikki Reid told her story to Elle Magazine, saying “Throughout my two pregnancies, only one man gave up his seat for me – whereas many women did. Mostly women of color”.

If you get on the bus or train and have no one offer to give up their seat, make eye contact and ask politely, “Excuse me Ma’am/Sir, would you mind if I used your seat? I am feeling very tired at the moment.” If the person in question does not see you are pregnant, make it a point so that they know either by saying “I am pregnant” or by making your bump more apparent.

2. Carry as little as possible

In the worst case, if you don’t get a seat, it is always best to have as little to carry as possible. A heavy purse or backpack can be strenuous on your already strained back and will not do you any favor in the long run. If you do happen to get a seat, chances are you will not have much room to store your bag on your lap. Bending over and trying to retrieve your bag from under the subway bench can prove to be more trouble than it is worth.

3. Bring water and something to eat

We know you are not a toddler and you don’t need a brown lunch bag packed for you! However, staying hydrated and keeping your blood sugar levels stable is important during pregnancy. A granola bar can do wonders for your mood and for helping you feel more grounded and less faintish. Drinking plenty of water is also important -don’t worry about having to pee! Especially, if commuting in the summertime, it is imperative you keep hydrated. If you do not eat or drink enough, you have a higher likelihood of fainting or causing damage to your baby.

4. Dress in layers

It is no secret that public transportation temperatures fluctuate. Stifling hot one moment and bone-chillingly cold the next, it is always better to be safe than sorry! Wearing a cardigan or sweater over your shirt is always a safe bet. In the winter time, make sure your coat is easily removable in case those pregnancy hot flashes hit! Zippers or snaps are the easiest bet -no one wants to spend ten minutes unbuttoning a maternity coat in the heat!

5. Bring headphones and relax

Public transportation is stressful and not enjoyable. The best way to relax and destress is to calm yourself down and distract! Soothing music, audiobooks, and podcasts are great alternatives to just listening to the people around you bicker. Zoning out of the crowded train and meditating to yourself can do wonders for your stress levels and for your baby!

6. Carry a barf bag with you

Whether you have nausea and vomiting (aka, morning sickness) or not, the vibration and bumps of the ride may make you have a sudden need to vomit. Do not risk vomiting on yourself or the person next to you. Always carry a bag just in case.

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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