Anna

Five Tips for Commuting While Pregnant (and Afterward)

If you missed it, on Friday the Wall Street Journal Juggle blog asked readers to comment on commuting while pregnant. What resulted was a long, long thread of horror stories (from pregnant women forced to stand for long subway rides while fellow passengers feigned sleep) punctuated with a few friendlier tales and lot of people admonishing each other to be more courteous. If you are looking for commiseration, head to the Juggle blog. If you are looking for solutions, just scroll down! I read through the thread to glean tips for Ms. JD readers.

Five tips for commuting while pregnant (and afterward):

1. Carry plenty of plastic bags. The smells on the subway can set off your morning sickness like nothing else. And even if you have a car service, you might need them.

2. Don't be afraid to stare people down on the subway, rubbing your pregnant belly and looking as pathetic as possible. It may be the only way you get a seat.

3. Don't hesitate to politely say, "Excuse me, I'm pregnant. May I share this seat?" A number of passengers explained that they don't want to assume a woman is pregnant and risk insulting her by offering up a seat if she's merely overweight.

4. Use the benches reserved for handicapped and elderly passengers. Those are for you, too. If you feel shy about asking for a seat, know that you're even more in the right to ask for one of these.

The middle three tips all apply after the baby is born, too, when you're carrying a babe-in-arms. Or a babe-in-stroller, as it were. Which brings me to the last tip...

5. Shop carefully for a stroller that folds up compactly. Many passengers complained about deluxe, monster strollers that block subway aisles. After you have the baby, you will obviously have to make your own judgments about what you need. If you can find a more compact stroller, though (or ask for one as a baby shower gift), you may be better off--and find your fellow travelers a little friendlier.

Got any more tips? Leave 'em in the comments. Happy commuting!

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