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What to do when people want to touch your Pregnant Belly

It is fair to say that most people light up at the prospect of a new baby. We are naturally drawn to it – the excitement and the joy. But something weird happens to reasonable, well-mannered people around pregnant women. For some reason, some people think it is ok to disregard the socially acceptable rules around not invading personal space. Unfortunately, a woman’s pregnant belly can easily become the focus for unsolicited groping.

What to do when people want to touch your pregnant belly…often it’s done without thinking, the joy of a belly carrying a baby triggers something that makes many reach out and touch it. Unlike other unsolicited groping, it is not necessarily of a sexual nature. Mostly, people don’t mean any harm and don’t give much thought to how it makes the person who is attached to the belly feel.

Sharing the bump and the kicks that come with it, is the mother’s privilege – only she can choose who shares in this. A common complaint from pregnant women is that they feel like they become ‘public property’ once their pregnancy becomes visible. While you probably don’t feel like being a crusader, only you can voice any objections that you may have if this happens to you.

It’s a very personal thing – you may not mind, or you may feel violated, particularly when a stranger reaches for you in the supermarket or on the street. Often it happens so quickly that before you realise you’re about to have your belly rubbed by a complete stranger, it’s all over.

However, if you seriously object to it, you need to take action. If you are feeling brave, you could return the action and reach out and rub the stranger’s stomach. Without saying anything, this is a way to show them how inappropriate their behaviour is. Most people would reel at someone touching them in the same way.

Alternatively, if you see it coming you can act quickly by putting your hand in front of your belly and defuse the situation by saying something like “my belly’s off limits to strangers, sorry”. It’s very clear that you don’t want to be touched by a stranger and should (hopefully) show that it’s not acceptable for a stranger to invade your space.

Try to remain polite, but stand firm if it bothers you. Often people don’t realise that their advances are unwanted, but it is still no excuse to be touched, without your consent.

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