This mum just wanted to tend to her hungry and restless one-year-old but was stunned when no one was willing to get up and offer her a seat on the train.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 26, 2019. It has since been updated.
Being a new mom isn't always the easiest to deal with. From a messed up sleep schedule to having to cater to your child's feeding habits, it can be exhausting. Especially when it comes to having to breastfeed your child when out in public. While on public transport, most people are willing to give up their seat for a pregnant woman or a mother with a very young child, this new mother had to deal with 50 apathetic passengers who refused to give up their seat so that she could breastfeed her child.
According to NY Post, Sophie Molineux, 22, along with her husband, Rob Moore and one-year-old son, Chester was traveling on a train from Shropshire to Ludlow for a family day on August 20. However, when the family attempted to get a seat on the train, they were shocked when they realized none of the 50 fellow passengers were willing to give up a seat for Sophie while she held baby Chester.
This included those passengers who were sitting in priority seats that were meant for people who are disabled, pregnant, over 65 or have a child under three years of age. No one got up for her as she cradled her baby, Sophie told Mirror UK.
After boarding around 11:40 a.m. for the 30-minute ride, Sophie and Rob had to stand in the aisle, keeping the stroller in place while taking turns holding Chester. However, it got worse after a while when the one-year-old demanded to be fed. His "fussing" included pulling at her top, which was her cue to start feeding him. But with no one willing to offer her a seat, Sophie had no choice but to sit on the filthy train floor and breastfeed him.
She said, "I was so shocked. There were around 50 people in the carriage and not one person moved. We [were] stood in the aisle with seats either side of us so both sides of the train could see us stood there and no-one moved. Chester's now at an age that when he wants to breastfeed he just tugs at my top and makes it very obvious, it was one of those where I just had to breastfeed him. Obviously, I'd rather not sit on the dirty floor of a moving train breastfeeding him, it wasn't the nicest place, but I didn't really have much choice."
Stunned when even commuters walking past had nothing to say, she told Mirror UK, "When I sat down on the floor there were people walking past going to the toilet and they would look and see that I was breastfeeding but no-one offered us a seat. They just looked at me acknowledging what I was doing and then giving a blank expression. It was almost like they were not wanting to draw too much attention to themselves because they didn't want to offer me their seat."
"It was pretty shocking. We don't have a car so we always travel by public transport. There were so many people able on that train to stand up I was surprised when we came in with a young baby that didn't want to be in his pram that no-one offered us a seat. We've never experienced that many people not acknowledging the fact we've got a young child with us having to be held while stood up on a moving train, let alone breastfeeding," she explained.
What made this incident even more unbelievable for the couple was the fact that they had never faced this issue before. Sophie said, "I've been breastfeeding for over a year now, it's just part of every day, and when we've gone out I've never had that sort of issue before. We didn't ask anyone to give up their seat, we thought as it was only a short journey we'd just stand up and hope for the best but no-one got up. Some might say 'why not give him a bottle of formula and keep him safe in his pram instead of breastfeeding?' but I had to get him out of his pram because he was hungry."
Though she has no problem with formula being given, she mentioned that "if you're a mother who chooses to breastfeed you should be able to do so safely wherever you want to. I don't know how even half of these people could see what was going on and pretend it wasn't happening."
Sophie chose to address this incident in the hopes that hale and hearty commuters won't do this to some other parents with young children. "I was more concerned about Chester's safety. I'm fairly confident about breastfeeding in public but I would probably have felt more uncomfortable about the situation if my partner hadn't have been with me. I just hope that people might be a bit more considerate in future, it should just be common sense to give up your seat for a child," she stated.