Milan transport's 'Can I sit?' badges for mothers-to-be

Francesca Barra (centre) holds one of the new badges Image copyright Comune di Milano
Image caption Francesca Barra (centre) holds one of the new badges asking for a seat for mothers-to-be

Mothers-to-be in the Italian city of Milan can get badges asking for a seat on public transport.

While badges for pregnant women on public transport are nothing new, the Milanese approach is far more direct that Transport for London's modestly-sized "Baby on board" badge, and instead asks the straightforward question "Posso sedermi?" ("Can I sit down?") on a badge that is almost impossible to miss, La Repubblica newspaper reports.

The campaign is the idea of TV presenter and mother-of-three Francesca Barra, who says she was frustrated by the indifference shown to pregnant women, the elderly and infirm on public transport, and proposed the badge to try to change people's attitudes. "After my third child, I tired of not being noticed," she says, noting that it's particularly bad for women whose pregnancy isn't obvious. "This badge is a great example of civilisation," she wrote on her Facebook wall.

Milan's city council is pushing to make services more friendly to pregnant women and new mothers. This includes a three-year-old initiative called "Happy Popping" which provides spaces in its libraries, museums and offices to give mothers room to feed their babies and change their nappies. "No mother should have to rely on luck to find a welcoming place," the Comune di Milano website says.

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