Unwarned belly patting: don’t do it (unless its me)

I’m almost 14 weeks pregnant, and I’ve only really been showing for the past two. Already, there have been three accounts of people patting or rubbing my abdomen without asking. From what I hear, this is common. Strangers on the train will put their hands on my expanded middle.

For me, this is not a big deal. It’s not that I don’t have personal space, it’s that my bubble includes everyone else.

For others, I can imagine this would be startling at the very least, and bring on atavistic rage at the most.

I do find this incredibly interesting, from a sociological perspective. Our culture seems to celebrate pregnant women, which I assume is a celebration that we haven’t become inept at procreation. Pregnancy is also a temporary state, so unless you troll maternity wards, you don’t tend to have a steady stream of pregnant women in your life. It’s powerful that growing a baby is something gives everyone else the go-ahead to cross the don’t-touch-strangers-in-the-midsection boundary.

Just so you know, I’m totally willing to let anyone touch my belly. I wonder if that will change as the baby (and I) get larger, and I start to get that mama animal, primal thing. I’ll let you know.

  1. See, I don’t think I would have minded having people touch my belly, yet almost no one did during either pregnancy. I always had to invite Zack, my mom and my mother-in-law to do so … and my dad and brother flat-out refused!

    I am mentally patting your belly from the midwest. 🙂

  2. I had a salsa dance partner who would put firm pressure on my baby bump while dancing. I wanted to kill him! I did not like strangers touching my belly, which is funny because I generally have little to no personal space.

    You should post a picture of your bump. I’m jealous of you. I just looked fat, not pregnant until about 20 weeks along.

  3. I wonder if the appropriate response is to pat the belly-patter on the belly? I think that is what I would do.

  4. I couldn’t stand strangers rubbing tummy. nope not one bit. But I loved sharing it with friends, family and david of course. He was funny about it for a while. He was worried about poking elliott or hurting him in some way.
    Once I was really began showing I started worrying about weird things like falling down stairs and car accidents (I became a awful passenger).

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