I've written about this before and have gotten all types of comments back. Recently, I've had several friends who are expecting and our conversations have ignited my interest in this topic.
For as long as I can remember, I have always given up my BART seat to someone who is visibly pregnant. When I don't have a seat and they remain standing, I let them stand in my space if it's closer to a safety bar. It's no secret that the extra weight, the fatigue, the limited range of motion, and the slightly slower ability to react can be potentially dangerous for a pregnant woman. Let's say a train suddenly jerks, the rest of us usually find our balance after a quick bending of the knees. For a pregnant woman? If she is not holding on to something, she falls. The fall doesn't just hurt her but could also jeopardize the fetus. We all know that but for one reason or another, many pregnant women remain standing on BART. I'd give up a seat to a visibly pregnant woman before I give it up to elderly person who appears healthy enough to stand.
I know opinions differ on this subject. I recall one man who left a comment expressing his disagreement saying that society already expects him to give up the seat to elderly and handicapped, now pregnant woman too? It's not fair, he says.
There is no BART rule that says you have to give up your seat to a visibly pregnant woman, so no, of course you don't need to.
So what do you do when you see a very pregnant woman on BART? We all know there's some discomfort associated with being pregnant....to me, I think they deserve a seat more than the rest of us.