We have heard from a lot of expectant mothers who have shared their horror stories about having their tummies publicly (or privately) touched by strangers. Some moms are not bothered if a family member or friend does the touching, but it’s a different story when a perfect stranger asks, “Can I touch your belly?”
During this time, you may be experiencing a great deal of emotional stress throughout your pregnancy, whether it’s due to relationships, moving to a bigger home to make room for baby, finances, etc. We have found that typically, the “crime” occurs when you’re out shopping, at a park, at work, or the like. When a stranger asks to touch, or even rub your belly, your first reaction may be to say, “Don’t touch my tummy!” Keep in mind that this is a very natural response. One thing we would recommend would be to simply ask them to please not touch you. Additionally, you can tell people that you are not comfortable being touched by strangers. Another thing you could do is to put your hand in front of your belly if you see them reaching toward you. Be warned, however, we’ve heard that some of the eager belly rubbers can be pretty quick on the draw!
Although you may be tempted to react out of frustration, or even retaliate by giving them a dose of their own medicine, (rubbing their belly) we have found that by just giving them a smile and a gentle hand motion to shield your belly, most folks will take the hint. This will also avoid any potential hostility on their part. If you keep in mind that some people see your belly and react with excitement at the prospect of new life, they may be acting on impulse, later regretting their behavior! Your gracious, but clear response may cause them to think twice before attempting to invade your—or anyone else’s space.