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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)