Baby On Board badge launched for expecting mothers by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
The badge will enable passengers to identify pregnant women on public transport and if they wish, offer their seat without the embarrassment of awkward questions.
The TfWM took the decision to introduce the scheme as a trial after pregnant passenger, Mrs Mary Van-Roy, raised the issue in a letter to West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.
Mary Van-Roy expressed that she was finding pregnancy difficult and was quite worried about how she’d cope on the train.
She told TfWM:“In earlier stages of pregnancy it’s not very obvious if you are pregnant or if that’s your body shape and I thought the introduction of a badge could remove a barrier for somebody who might be willing to give up their seat but not want to cause offence.”
B31 Voices reader and author of Hungry Moma’s Diary, Bethany Bedson, said: “As a pregnant woman who has to use public transport daily for work, I think the scheme is great. On busy bus routes like the 50 it can be hard to get a seat and I’m hoping with this badge, people will be kind enough to offer me one.”
The baby on board badge offer follows along the lines of similar schemes previously operated in areas of the country. Initially, the trial is for 1000 badges to be made available, however, TfWM’s customer services team has already reported that demand is high.
The Mayor said: “I’m grateful to Mary for highlighting this issue – I can see how there could be an awkward situation.
“It isn’t always obvious that someone is expecting and it’s embarrassing to have to ask – so this cuts out any confusion.
Birmingham Women’s Hospital are backing the badge scheme – promoting it as part of the Bump programme.