As you slowly enter your second trimester of pregnancy and your belly bump starts appearing, there is one thing you face at times which just leaves you confused and irritated. Yes, we’re talking about people touching your belly. It’s one thing for your partner to do that and entirely a different ball game when done by someone you are not on that level of intimacy with. And most pregnant women have experienced this. It doesn’t matter if you’re a social butterfly or an introvert; it can still leave you feeling awkward and uncomfortable. It’s probably a way of showing their affection, or maybe people are just curious. But whatever be the case, it’s your body, and people need to respect your personal space. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend touching your belly or a random stranger in the supermarket queue (yes, that happens!) — touching your belly without permission isn’t acceptable!
So what to do the next time someone comes up and touches your belly? We are here with five creative ways to get strangers to stop touching your pregnant belly:
1. Gently Move Back
Your body language can say a lot about how you feel. When you see an arm that’s approaching your belly, smile and move back. You can also turn your belly in the other direction. It helps if you’re smiling when you do this, as it can convey the message that you aren’t trying to be rude.
If the person has a sense of decency he/she will understand your gesture and not try to touch you like that. It’s totally possible that they tried touching your belly instinctively without even considering your personal space. But your gesture would give them the no-go signal and that should work usually. For normal people, a subtle gesture should work. However, some people might need to be shown a more visible not-so-subtle gesture to make them understand that they need to back off. And if they still get offended, it’s their problem, not yours!
2. Slide In Comments About Personal Space
If you are going through touches to the belly by people you interact with, be it at the workplace or in the neighborhood, it might be difficult to directly tell them not to. However, as you do share talks with them you can use that to your advantage.
During the course of your conversations, make it a point to mention that you are very particular about personal space. For example, you could gently talk about how you’ve had a not-so-good experience with people touching your belly before. Then, go ahead and talk about how it’s unfair for people to assume that it’s okay to touch a woman’s belly when she is pregnant. This way, they’ll get a subtle warning and avoid touching your belly.
3. Humor Can Work Wonders
They say that humor is like a rubber sword — it makes a point without drawing blood. The next time someone touches your belly, you could joke about how your belly isn’t a petting zoo, or a genie isn’t going to pop out of your belly when they rub it. There are a lot of other ways to throw a joke into the context. You can also buy a few funny pregnancy merchandise such as a T-shirt that says, “Don’t touch my pregnant belly!”. A lot of these items are easily available in the market.
You can definitely throw in a pinch of sarcasm too. Though sarcasm is not always the best way to deal with situations as it can hurt people’s feelings, however in your case it could be a great tool. After all, if someone is getting a little hurt for invading your privacy, they should have their own retrospect about it.
4. Let’s Play Fair Game
Sometimes people do things instinctively with zero concern for what the other person might feel about it. However, when the same thing happens to them, chances are they will not like it either. So, how about giving them a taste of their own medicine? The next time someone touches your belly, go ahead and touch theirs in return. It might sound a little crass when we say it like that, but it’s only fair that you do to them what they do to you, right? They started it after all! You’ll end up leaving them caught off guard, and hopefully, they’ll get the hint!
5. Be Honest About It
When all else fails, truth prevails! Yes, this may sound a bit too dramatic, but it helps. Sometimes, you just have to straight-up tell them that you don’t like it. It is your body, and no one else has a say in it. Everyone has their boundaries and personal space, including you. Tell them that you’d really appreciate it if they don’t touch your belly, as it makes you uncomfortable. Make them understand that although they are excited about a woman’s pregnant belly and the prospect of a human growing inside it, the decent thing to do is at least ask before reaching out to do a belly rub.
And believe it or not, you will actually be helping others too by telling the person the brutal truth. If they are sensible enough, they will realize that this habit of touching someone’s belly without permission is not okay. So in future if they face similar situations they’ll know better how to act.
Telling people off, in whatever way, may be difficult, but it’s better than having to put up with those constant belly rubs (aand feel like a good doggo, JK!). Having to deal with all the ups and downs during pregnancy is hard enough. The last thing you need is people rubbing your belly! So go ahead and do what you have to do because it’s your body, your rules! Have you had this experience before? How did you manage such situations? We’d love to hear of it in the comments below!