Pregnant Woman's Story Shows Why Men Should Offer Their Damn Seats

March 9th 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

One pregnant woman decided to take on a problem she often faced during her daily commute on the subway by awarding the first man who decided to help her out.


Yvonne Lin resides in New York City and after never being offered a seat by a man while on the subway during her first pregnancy, she made an award to give to the first man to do so during her second pregnancy. However, this moment didn't happen until she was around eight months pregnant on Feb. 24, and she posted a photo of the man, with his award, who gave her his seat along with a caption on Instagram Feb. 28.

"I didn't get a single subway seat offered to me by a man throughout my first pregnancy. So for the second pregnancy, I had this made and I've been carrying it around everyday - till last Friday. This guy is the winner!" she wrote in the caption of the post.

The model man, Ricky Barksdale, simply said that he felt he was obligated to give up his seat. "If you see an elderly, disabled, or pregnant person, give them your seat,” Barksdale told NBC New York.

“For pregnant women, it’s actually very important on a commute for people to give them a seat,” Dr. Leena Nathan, assistant clinical professor at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an OB/GYN, told ATTN:.

“The center of gravity changes as you’re pregnant,” Nathan explained. “To be on a moving subway can be really hard to keep your balance when you’re not pregnant and then, when you are pregnant, there’s much more risk of falling or injuring yourself.”

“Women often experience low back pain, they can have some early pre-term contractions, they can have lots of swelling in the ankles and the feet, certainly toward the end of the day on a commute home,” Dr. Meg Sullivan, assistant professor of OB/GYN at Tufts University School Of Medicine, told ATTN:.

Both Nathan and Sullivan agree that this is the case with healthy, normal pregnancies but can be different for women with ailments like high blood pressure or diabetes. A 2012 study of working pregnant women found that standing for extended periods of time or working more than forty hours a week while pregnant affected child development.

In general, rest and relaxation during a pregnancy is important because it keeps everyone healthy. Strenuous activities like prolonged standing and heavy lifting can lead to “miscarriage, preterm birth, or injury during pregnancy,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To the men, the moral of this tale is very clear: pregnant women need to sit more than you do — and it doesn’t end with them. “Elderly people, pregnant women, anybody with a disability should get preferred seating," according to Dr. Nathan because of balance issues and other possible health problems.

“Use your common sense,” Dr. Sullivan said of subway riding. “Watch your surroundings, be mindful, be kind. If you’re able-bodied and you see someone who needs a seat — as a community — help one another.”