A breastfeeding mother who was forced to stand on a packed train after nobody offered her a seat has written about her experience in an angry Instagram post. Kate Hitchens, a blogger from UK, was travelling home to Wickford from London during the rush hour on Tuesday, reports BBC. The 32-year-old was travelling with her six-month-old son, Charlie. She says that not one person offered her a seat for nearly half an hour as she struggled to stand while nursing her baby.
"What has the world come to that a mother has to stand up on a moving train breast feeding a wriggling and writhing 6 month old, 20lb baby?" asks Ms Hitchens in an Instagram post shared one day ago.
"Maybe some people didn't see. I know for a fact some did; they made eye contact and actually smiled at me. I was thinking stop smiling and offer me your seat please!"
She goes on to say that when one woman finally did offer her a seat, someone else took it before she could.
You can read her full post below:
On my way home from London on a packed commuter train and this is what I faced. What has the world come to that a mother has to stand up on a moving train breast feeding a wriggling and writhing 6 month old, 20lb baby?! The point here isn't just that I found it difficult because I was nursing (although that was bloody difficult!), but that not one person offered a mother carrying a small child a seat for around half an hour, or 3 stops! I could have asked, but I didn't. I felt silly. I shouldn't have to ask. Maybe some people didn't see. I know for a fact some did; they made eye contact and actually smiled at me. I was thinking stop smiling and offer me your seat please! One lady looked up from her book and immediately offered me her seat, another lady then sat in it and when the lovely lady said 'Oh excuse me I actually gave up my seat so this lady with a baby could sit down' the sitting lady shrugged, plugged her earphones in and closed her eyes! I like to think that she needed that seat more than me, perhaps she was newly pregnant and in that early exhaustion period, perhaps she was knackered after a day at work, perhaps she was ill. Or perhaps she was just a twat. I hope not. I can somewhat understand not offering your seat to someone elderly; perhaps they might be offended you think they look old! I can understand not offering your seat to someone you suspect might be pregnant; maybe it's just their time of the month or perhaps they are just naturaly curvy and they aren't pregnant; perhaps you worry you might offend them. I cannot get my head around not offering a parent with a child a seat. Next time you see someone with a child on a train - if you're able bodied and fit and healthy please offer your seat to them!
Since being shared online, her post - for which comments have been turned off on Instagram - has collected hundreds of 'likes'.
However, while many have supported her, some on the Internet have also criticised her post.
"Oh no, unacceptable," said one person on Facebook. "'Struggling' but managed to get a selfie for her blog post though," wrote another.
I'm not surprised. I stood on a packed subway train beside a heavily pregnant lady and not one of the fit, young & healthy people sitting down would offer her a seat. All avoided eye contact. I couldn't offer a seat because I was standing myself...- Louise (@loulouxyz) September 6, 2018
Struggling .... still managed to take a photo tho!- Official Li@m Lo@kes (@LLoakes86) September 6, 2018
Ms Hitchens tells BBC that her experience left her feeling "embarrassed and flustered."
"This isn't about breast v bottle-feeding - it's about being kind and showing common courtesy. If I saw someone struggling, whether it was with a baby, some heavy bags or a pile of books, I would give them my seat."
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