Go Ahead, Touch My Belly! 3 Reasons Why Pregnant Women Should Stop Complaining About Belly Touchers

By Sarah Naomi Clark, special to JenniferMargulis.net

Pregnant ladies, stop complaining about people touching your belly, bring it on

Photo courtesy of Sarah Clark

 

Oh the belly touching.

 

I’ve seen so many ranty posts from pregnant women simply LIVID over the fact that somebody touched their belly.

 

Oh my gosh, it just really ticks them off!

 

And yes, this girl is stupid enough to disagree and issue a giant, “CHILL OUT,” to the pregnant ladies of the world.

 

There are three main reasons why you should embrace the belly touching rather than hate it.

 

Here goes…

  1. Not that many people touch the belly

 

I realize I haven’t done a dozen double-blind studies correctly numbering the probability and frequency of belly touching during pregnancy. I can say that in four pregnancies in three states I had a grand total of TWO people who actually touched my belly. TWO. (And they were nice people who I worked with and they asked first.)

 

I know. This is obviously a serious addiction and world wide epidemic. Something must be done!

 

  1. People are EXCITED about your baby

I know we don’t always like the way this excitement about our baby comes out. I know I got tired of hearing how strangers were “absolutely sure” I was having twins next week when I was only six months pregnant. This is the downside of pregnancy.

 

The upside of pregnancy and seemingly rude strangers is that the world is excited about your baby.

 

YOU—a stranger—they are happy about your growing life.

 

How often does the world celebrate the joy of a stranger?

 

Not often enough. So accept their joy and celebration when you get it.

 

Believe me, a lot fewer people celebrate when you are pregnant with your fourth and your almost two-year-old is busy climbing out of the cart while wetting herself.

 

  1. The joy over a new life still unites humanity

 

I realize it sounds a little cheesy to talk about the unification of humanity, but it is true.

 

People are different.

 

They have a tendency to argue, disagree, not get along and basically be pretty lame to one another.

 

But pregnancy…

 

Pregnancy unites people.

 

Family, children, love, loss, weight, babies, crying, pain—the things that go along with pregnancy and birth—are close to universal.

 

How can we be irritated when people love that you are pregnant and want to touch your growing belly to acknowledge this miraculous cycle of life?

 

I love having a grandma tell me about the four kids she raised or a dad tell me that he thinks breastfeeding is great and that is what his wife did. I love that something so intimate can also be so universal. I love that strangers who would never talk to one another otherwise can strike up a random conversation about the things in life that matter most.

 

I know it is hard to be told you look huge or ready to pop or have people question if your due date is really that far away. I get it. It doesn’t always feel good.

 

But wouldn’t we all be a little better off if we embraced the openness that pregnancy inspired?

 

If a little grandma reaches to touch your belly, don’t be offended. Share your gift with her by letting her remember the days when she was the one on the brink of giving birth to a new life.

 

There are so few things that unite us all as human beings.

 

Go ahead, touch my belly!

 

 

11265174_694711173988589_3191854792139244478_nSarah Clark is a mother of four and a natural childbirth instructor in northern California. She is also an instructor trainer and board member for Birth Boot Camp, Inc., a company specializing in preparing couples for natural birth through both in-person or online childbirth classes. She loves seeing all those pregnant bellies, but she always asks first before she touches them.

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Categories: pregnancy and childbirth.

Comments

  1. Kerry

    No. Touching without permission is not OK. Period. End of discussion. Do not shame people for feeling that they should not be touched.

  2. Let’s please not encourage people to touch each other without permission. I didn’t mind it so much when people I knew and cared about rubbed my pregnant belly, but it REALLY bothered me when strangers walked up and did it. I knew they were excited and appreciated their good wishes, but a simple “can I rub your belly?” made all the difference. People might not feel so great about their bellies or might feel self conscious. The impetus should be on the toucher, not the touchee, to have a little extra sensitivity around rubbing pregnant womens’ bellies without consent.

  3. angie

    It’s ok if you know the person. Stranger, I don’t think so! You don’t go up to the dad and rub his private part and say good job!

  4. Ashley

    This is a tough one. I don’t think it’s right for complete strangers to rub just anyone’s belly. But this is because when I was in my early 20’s I had a lady rub my belly and congrated me on my being pregnant, but I was not pregnant, just overweight. It’s not very nice unless you know for sure. I was not rude to her & she did apologize but it was uncomfortable for both of her & I. But I also know people who have medical issues & can cause there bellies to swell as if they are 9 months pregnant. Or what if someone just simply doesn’t want to be touched by a stranger, maybe they just aren’t comfortable with stranger touching them. I think asking is just simply respectful!

  5. Kat

    I’m barely four and a half months into my first pregnancy and I’ve already had people reach out and try to touch my belly. Yes, I know I’m skinny and it’s super noticeable. But I worry, as a person with personal contact issues, that people will continue to try to touch me without permission. It should not be encouraged. Being touched by people stresses me out and therefore stresses my baby, I shouldn’t have to accept that. I don’t worry about this with my close friends because they know getting too close or touching me without permission will give me a panic attack. (So bad I can’t even hug my friends or family without getting tense) People should ask first and accept when I say no. The only person allowed to touch me without asking is my husband, pregnant or not.

  6. Heather

    Fuck you lady. Personal boundaries are actually a thing. No women should have to fucking ward off unwanted touch from strangers.

    • Allie

      I’m trying to understand why your reaction is so hostile.

      The author did not say that people should touch OTHER women’s bellies without asking. She’s saying that she’s ok with people touching HERS, and she explains why. She even says, “she loves seeing all those pregnant bellies, but she always asks first before touching them.”

  7. Daphne

    I also live in Northern California and am pregnant. While I personally don’t mind people touching my belly, I can understand the concern. Firstly, over forty people touched my belly in the month of December. Yes, I’ve been counting. Not sure where you got your 2 from — maybe you just put off a certain vibe that says don’t touch me. Happily, all 41 people have asked first! Consent is the key. Touching anyone in any way without their permission is a violation. So I’ll let you touch my belly, as long as you ask first!

  8. RB

    HA HA HA HA. only two people touched your belly, in your entire pregnancy? consider yourself lucky then. What if, ALL of the women at your church violated your personal space everytime you saw them? every sunday service, every bible study, every woman’s meeting, etc…

    Yeah, I think your opinion would be another one. same goes for me though, if only two people put their hands on my stomach i would probably not make a big deal out of it, but my reality is what i just described… smh.

  9. Over 25 people have touch my stomach without permission, so I don’t know what states you go to but I should move there because it makes me jump everytime it happens and I don’t like it period. It’s not okay

  10. Kimberly

    wow, only 2 people touched your belly?!?! I had 2 people touch my belly yesterday at work! And when a coworker asks, I feel bad saying no. But then she kept her hand on my (intestines, higher than my uterus) for the rest of the conversation. Then a lady was holding out her hand and kept waving it for me to come over and have her rub my belly in front of about ten men. I didn’t get closer to her, so she stopped even looking at me and looked pissed. Why do people want to rub my belly?!?! I have no idea. Same for the ladies at church – when I was in the early stages, really, all your are touching is my bloated breakfast belly. Very strange.
    So yes, the author can have her belly touched all she wants, but please don’t try to inform me of why I should encourage / accept this behavior, as it is outside of my comfort zone, even to be asked.

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