The 10 Best Responses For When People Ask To Touch Your Pregnant Belly

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I guess I was pretty fortunate because very few people asked to touch my belly while I was pregnant. Or, maybe I was filled with such a pregnant rage that my bitchy resting face warded off potential “attackers” that wanted to give my basketball belly a little rub for good luck.

Now, I can only speak for myself when I say that I did not like the idea of strangers rubbing my pregnant belly. But there is the possibility that plenty of women find this cultural custom pleasing when well-meaning strangers lavish attention on you and your bun in the oven.

Yet the fact still stands that it is your body and your right to refuse. Reddit commenters in the Baby Bump community agree:

Ladies, I just wanted to post this to encourage those bumpers who feel rude telling people not to touch their bumps, or who don’t know what to say. My unsolicited advice? Be direct. I will be from here on out, and I’ll be a lot less anxious about it.

I spent all day Saturday dreading the possible belly touch at a party we were going to on Saturday night. I figured I’d just suck it up and move on when the hostess touched me (I just knew she would, because she talked about how excited she was to see my pregnant belly). But when we got there, and she reached for it after we hugged, I heard myself saying, “Please don’t. I really don’t like to have my belly touched. I don’t mean to be rude, but I’d rather you not.”

The pregnant belly touch boils down to personal preference. If you don’t want anyone to lay a finger on your belly, keep these top 10 responses in your arsenal:

1. No, Thank You.

2. No, I Would Prefer You Didn’t.

3. No.

4. No.

5. NO.

6. NO WAY.

7. No Means No.

8. Hell No.

9. NOPE.

10. No Fucking Way.

(Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • Alene

      When I was pregnant with #1, a woman at work grabbed my belly and exclaimed “I just love baby bellies!” At that exact moment, my baby KICKED HER. I am not the most assertive person in the world, so I just kind of tried to move away, but after that kick she was NOT letting go without a fight. I had a talk with my fetus that night about how we only kick for Dad and Grandma.

    • Jennie Blair

      We moved at the end of my first trimester so we don’t know anyone here trying to touch me. I’m 6 months now and apparently I just look fat to people, so a touch insulted but hands free.

      • Lilly

        it will come — I had a lot of nausea during my first trimester so I ended up not really gaining much weight until the last trimester. The result was that I looked the same or slightly fatter until about the seventh month. Then I popped and looked pregnant and people started with all the touching (and the judging — i liked drinking coffee and alcohol without comments before then).

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      One time my bf ran into Jennifer Carpenter at Target and she held my baby and let him take their photo. It made up for the last 2 seasons of Dexter we were subjected to.

      • Bethany Ramos

        OMG! Amazing.

      • JenH1986

        When I introduced myself to people I would open with that. That’s amazing.

      • Cruelty Cupcake

        I should probably just have the photo printed on some hats and t-shirts so I could always be wearing one.

    • Natasha

      None of my friends ever touched my belly without asking, probably because they value their fingers. And when they asked I would usually say yes, since they are the on “allowed to touch me” list. When strangers went for the belly without asking I would usually grab their hands and say “don’t touch me”. If they asked I’d say no. I never apologized, as it’s my body and they have no right to touch it.

    • JJ

      ‘Sure you can but only if I can touch your belly’. Or better yet when they start touching you without permission just reach out and start touching them on the belly and rubbing. Aw what’s that a little doughnut in there you just ate huh this. I feel movement you must be gassy.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      I was shocked by the number of customers that wanted to touch it while I was pregnant with my youngest. Just…I don’t know you. Hands off, man. *growl*

    • grr! arrgh!

      Very few people tried to touch me, but one vague aquaintance did make an attempt on day the pregnany was really kicking my ass. As the hand came towards me I snapped, “Anything that makes contact with my belly, I keep.” She stepped back.

      So, threatening to sever someone’s hand at the wrist can also be an effective tactic.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      No strangers attempted to touch me, which was lovely. But I restricted which family members were allowed to, and in the end, only the female ones I allowed. I just didn’t want every uncle touching my midsection and it was less offensive to bar them all rather than bar selectively. But more importantly, I didn’t want my dad doing it. And if he couldn’t, then no other male relative should because that would have made things uber weird.
      Several aunts were like, yeah! I wouldn’t want all my male relatives touching me like that either! Although some felt you should share your pregnancy with your whole family because they’re excited.
      It was much nicer with my friends. They either asked permission or waited till the baby was kicking and I made the offer.

      • BREEDER

        I agree, its ok for the woman, men don’t need except for dad

    • Katherine Handcock

      I saw a T-shirt when I was pregnant that said, “You can touch my belly if I can punch you in the face.” My mom wanted to know where it was when she was pregnant. Fortunately, I never ran into that problem.

    • Frannie

      My stepmom touched my belly the other day without asking. It’s a whole lot easier to say no if someone actually asks, I’ll say that much.

    • kittenkisses

      I once saw a pregnant woman wearing a great shirt: Unless you put it in there or will be taking it out, HANDS OFF! I wanted to get one for all my pregnant friends :)

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      With my first, I didn’t have the quick reaction time to prevent people from touching my belly. My husband’s cousin — whom I’d never met — put her hands on me as my husband was introducing me to her. I only later got her name, and the next time I ran into her, I hid behind my husband.

      With this pregnancy, my husband’s family seems to think I’m going to be more comfortable about being touched, which is actually the opposite. His one aunt — who didn’t touch me with the first — touched me with this one, then started to do it again a week later, which prompted another aunt to zone in and start trying to touch me. I freaked out, covered the belly, kept saying, “please don’t touch me, I don’t like being touched, please don’t touch me” etc. It was only when my husband stepped in that they finally backed off, but I think it’s going to keep me safe for the next few months (I only see one of those aunts regularly).

      I do have a coworker who feels it’s her right to touch me, and then tells me where she thinks the baby is — ha ha, what you’re actually touching more often than not is placenta, and you’re so gentle you wouldn’t be able to tell if there was baby there or not. I’ve blocked her on occasion, though when she asks sometimes I’ll allow it. Another coworker is pregnant with her first and I don’t mind as much if she’s touching me — the last time she just wanted to compare the firmness, which I thought was mindblowing last time around too, so I was totally comfortable with that.

      I just find saying a flat “no” to the direct requests is hard, and it’s especially annoying when it’s presented by my husband’s family (or my coworker) as, “Oh, I haven’t gotten to touch the baby belly today/this week/recently!” THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR THE OWNER OF THE BABY BELLY YOU FARKING NUTBAR.

    • WhoremonalCrazyLotusBitch

      A lady in Whole Foods just randomly put her hand on my belly without a word so I put my hand on her boob, silently making and keeping eye contact.

      • Bethany Ramos

        SHUT UP YOU ARE THE BEST!

      • Eric Khalifa

        Can you come to my disqus party please lol

    • Karin

      This all assumes people actually ask before touching the belly.

      • kcore

        Yes! Exactly. I’ve had several belly rubs that were not vocalized beforehand. In fact, when a coworker actually DID ask, I was so excited that she was polite enough to ask, I said yes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001306884464 Eli J. Pacheco

      I don’t think I’d mind people touching my belly sometimes.

    • momma425

      I’ve decided that if baby number two happens, I will be proactive. I will come belly first into rooms ans chase people down, demanding that they “feel the belly.” Why should pregnant women be the only ones uncomfortable?

      • ArrVee Gee

        I like you. Was feeling real low n this cheered me up a bit. Gr8 idea!!

    • sudden_valley

      Am I the only one who actually doesn’t mind being touched? I always expected to hate it, but I don’t. I think it’s all the hormones making me super happy and easy-going right now.

    • The Redhead

      Apparently I’m WAY in the minority on this one. But, it doesn’t bother me. I agree that people shouldn’t just go around touching everyone they please, but generally they are just doing it because the are happy or excited for you. It’s hard for me to get mad at that. I may change my tune in a few months though… we’ll see!

    • Tardis

      I personally always liked crying, swearing, and ranting about why does everyone think I’m pregnant?? The look on people’s faces was priceless!!

    • guest

      I don’t know, this never really bothered me. It wasn’t like I had encounters all day long with strangers touching my belly, mostly relatives and maybe a few older ladies at the store or whatever. I think it’s just an old fashioned custom, that will probably die out. I really don’t think most people even think about it, it’s almost a natural reaction. But again, I think it’s mostly an older tradition type thing that is slowly changing as women are bringing this subject up more and expressing their distaste for it. I think it will become MOSTLY a thing of the past eventually, except for the few stragglers of course. There’s always going to be some rebels lol.

    • BREEDER

      I will never do it again, i got kicked