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Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I’m pregnant, and people keep coming up to me and touching my belly. How can I tell them to back off?

Re:

I’m pregnant, and people keep coming up to me and touching my belly. How can I tell them to back off?

The Bump Expert

We know, it seems like the moment your bump is visible, people -- and by people, we mean everyone from that creepy uncle to complete strangers -- feel the need to touch your belly. And maybe you just want to scream, “Hands off!” You’d think that keeping their hands to themselves would be a no-brainer, but in reality, many people think you’re so adorable, they just can’t resist. So keep in mind that their intentions are good before you get testy. They’re not doing it to deliberately invade your privacy. The belly is a magical thing, everyone is drawn to it.

So how do you get them stop rubbing you like a magic lamp without being mean? Make a personal rule in regard to your belly. This means deciding where you’ll draw the line and sticking to that decision, no matter who it is you’re dealing with. It also means having a stance prepared. That way, if someone asks you if they can touch your belly, you tell them, without having to think about it, “I would prefer that you don’t. I feel uncomfortable about people touching my bump.” And if they reach for your belly without asking first, be firm and direct, but polite. It’s always appropriate to say, “I would have preferred that you asked first.” They need to understand it’s not okay to do that.

The most important thing to remember? Don’t be rude or snarky. Some pregnant women decide to say sarcastic and nasty remarks. That’s very ungracious and can put both of you in an uncomfortable situation.

--Mindy Lockard, etiquette consultant, The Gracious Girl

Plus, more from The Bump:

The 15 Worst Things to Say to a Pregnant Woman

Embarrassed About Belly?

Top 10 Things They Should Really Warn You About Before You Get Pregnant

The Bump Editors

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I'm really uncomfortable with all the people touching my belly. I think it would be incredibly hard to not sound annoyed when asking them to refrain. My gut reaction is to jump back and slap them off, so I just keep my mouth shut. When I met my baby's father's mom for the first time she grabbed my belly, kissed it and talked to it as though the baby were here. I felt completely ignored and uncomfortable! I can't imagine how saying "I prefer that you don't" would have gone over!

dexterousdesigns |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I'm sorry, its personal space and nobody would rub a NON pregnant woman's belly. I don't care if I sound mean or not, I've swatted hands away and said "DO NOT TOUCH" if it was a total stranger. I don't care, my belly, my child, my rules :D

monicaeg83 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I'm sorry if people want to touch me just because I'm pregnant that is not a good enough excuse. Being pregnant doesn't entitle people to a special kindness or tact from me if they try to touch me. I don't like to be touched and anyone who knows me knows that. However when it comes to strangers I am not above smacking hands away and being rude. I have smacked at hands and said "Excuse me I don't know you what makes you think you have the right to touch me!" I am a veteran and so I also have other "instincts" I guess you could say about when someone I don't know reaches out to touch me. People always talk about how the prego ladies need to be nice and understanding to people particularly strangers who just come up and randomly touch them but that is a screwed up way to look at it in my opinion. If you aren't trying to treat me as your personal buddha statue when I have no bump you have no right to try it when I do. In my case without the abillity to take my medications for my military "instincts" I am more likely than some pregnant women to break someones fingers. I am quite proud of the fact that I have only ever smacked hands but trust me it is with great effort on my part that I don't do more. Sorry but this part of pregnancy is a real pet peeve of mine.

sophiekins82 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I've been very lucky (so far) regarding this. I've only had a couple of Japanese friends touch my belly, and I lived in Japan long enough to know they have completely different thoughts about personal space and touching. So it didn't bother me. And it was obvious it was coming, so I could have deflected it if I chose to. I don't understand why people think it's ok to touch a stranger's belly because she's pregnant. If I rubbed an overweight person's belly or grabbed someone's breasts or crotch because they looked larger than normal, I'd rightly be in trouble! I'd never even consider touching a pregnant family member or friend's belly unless she invited me to. It all comes down to respect for others, and it's a shame that some people seem to have a problem with that. Honestly if a stranger does touch my belly, I'll probably tell them to stop and threaten to call the cops. Hopefully, that would be enough to make them think twice! I definitely wouldn't smile and take it, because that just encourages people to disrespect you.

modzy78 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

The thing is there are times when i will ask if you want to tell him kick. The only person who does it without me asking of my MIL. I don't know how to tell her not to when I don't want to be touched. I'm not looking on her! There's times when i feel like ok that's fine and times when my skins crawls.

raynelizabeth |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

My grandmother makes me super uncomfortable when she rubs my bump ESPECIALLY when she starts talking to it. The problem is that she gets offended easily and thinks that since shes my gma she can do whatever she wants.

kdadd001 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I have a huge problem with someone invading my personal space, especially when it involves actually touching me without asking. (kinda seems like a given, but I suppose some people didn't get that memo). I'm 14 weeks and just started to show a little bit. I'm excited about it, but at the same time want to keep the touching my belly part of the experience between me and my husband. It's weird though... my cousin patted me the other day and I laughed and didn't take offense... but then my MIL touched it to see where it was because she thinks I'm too skinny and I got totally uncomfortable. I guess it just depends on who it is and the context of it. But it's NEVER ok for a stranger to just do it... that's just creepy and I would never think to do that to someone I didn't know.

lucyball26 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

The "expert's" answer to this question is kind of ridiculous to me. If someone touches me uninivted, I do not feel the need to be gracious toward them. I think someone's touching a woman's belly (and feeling entitled to just because she's pregnant) is battery. People have got to learn that it's not okay to touch people without their consent, and perhaps to get this point across women who find this bothersome need to be a little more outspoken. We're women; we're mothers; we are not public property.

pearlymerly7 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I was in line at the supermarket, and a strange woman came up and grabbed the bump saying "Aah cute!" It was not a good day, and I just got to the point where i got fed up with stranger touching me. I said " Step away from the bump. I dont know you so don't touch me." You should have seen her face. It was as if I hit her or something, as if I was the one in the wrong. I am sorry, but I also don't agree with the expert. The fact that I'm pregnant does not make it ok for strangers to touch me. I will tell you off if you invade my space.

WilandaVT |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

Thankfully I've only had co-workers and friends and a few relatives touching my belly. I also disagree, very strongly with this so-called "expert". Yeah, I can understand being a bit more tactful with family, in-laws, and friends, but complete strangers have no right to touch me, pregnant or not. Random stranger just walks up to me and starts rubbing my belly, they're likely to get the same treatment my boss did - without the warning. My boss got threatened with bodily harm the next time he touched me like that. I work in an airport restaurant, and seem to be okay with my female co-workers and some of the other ladies who work elsewhere in the airport touching the belly, I have no problem with my mom or any other relatives, but total strangers had better keep their hands to themselves.

Monkeybird84 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I should probably add that I don't have the "in-laws" problem that seems to be plaguing so many others. The father of my baby and I are no longer together because he was a leech and nothing but extra stress for me.

Monkeybird84 |

how-to-get-people-to-stop-touching-my-belly

I just start rubbing their non-preggo stomach at the same time! They get the point pretty quickly! If they ask then that's ok though.

pdiggs |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

i started touching people back. and i dont move my hand until they move theirs. it really throws people off. haha.

sarah.nickens@gmail.com |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I softly carres their face in a very creepy way :) usually gets them to stop haha

gijaneac |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

i am 4 months and am showing alot, so thank goodness no one but my grandma has touched my belly. I am very opposed to people touching me, i like my personal space, and like the other women on here, i am not above telling someone "DON'T TOUCH ME"

ghores13 |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

My MIL tried to rub my belly the day my husband told her i was pregnant. I was only a few weeks along and no where close to showing. I still had not completely processed the idea of being pregnant as i had found out only the day before. It was supper creepy! I was so shocked that I jumped slapped her hand and yelped. She was offended but has not tried it since... though she does talk to my belly still...

tltjohnston |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

i think so my friend. Catering di Depok Catering di Bandung i hope i can use this sugestion all members for my self, thanks for sharing Jasa Catering di Depok Jasa Catering di Tangerang

gantengsekali |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

i think so my friend. Paket Pernikahan Catering di Bandung i hope i can use this sugestion all members for my self, thanks for sharing Jasa Catering di Jakarta selatan Catering di Tangerang

gantengsekali |

Q&A: How to get people to stop touching my belly?

I guess I'm in the minority because I genuinely don't mind people touching my bump. If someone were being creepy about it maybe, but otherwise it doesn't bother me. People usually ask me first though, and when I say "go for it!" I also mention that it makes most people uncomfortable. So I'm trying to look out for you private bumpies as well!

breezylovesbrezy |