Go Ahead and Touch My Pregnant Belly

Go Ahead and Touch My Pregnant Belly

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Go Ahead and Touch My Pregnant Belly!My baby bump is a magnet.

It yields a powerful pull over your curious hands, no matter if you’re a family member, a friend, or even a total stranger in the grocery store.

There’s just something about my ever-expanding belly that you can’t resist touching—sometimes rubbing in gentle circles like you’re waxing a Mustang, sometimes patting it approvingly like you would the head of a well-behaved puppy. 

For many pregnant women, your hands approaching their midsection is one of the most bothersome parts of carrying a child, topping even nausea, the constant urge to pee, and swollen cankles.

Indeed, in my home state a man was even charged with harassment for touching a pregnant woman’s baby bump.

And I get that. There’s nothing that says the moment my uterus became inhabited was the moment my body became public property, and for many women, that sort of unwanted touching can range from uncomfortable to annoying to triggering. 

But lucky for you, it’s none of those for me. I say, Go ahead and touch my pregnant belly.

Why am I so at ease, you ask? 

Because I see in your eyes that just yesterday your last child took his first steps, and your heart is heavy that your baby days are behind you.

Or because I suspect you’re having trouble getting a baby bump of your own, even though you’ve been praying for one every night for months or even years. 

Because you’re a grandparent caught up in the reality of how fast it all flew by, of fleeting memories not savored enough in the moment. 

Because you’re mourning the death of a family member, and the feel of a kick from my belly reminds you of new life, new beginnings, and of hope.

Or maybe, it’s because you just love babies—I don’t want to deny you the joy of connecting with one, even one yet to be born.

Sure, you are totally violating my personal space, and after a few moments with your hand attached to my about-to-pop belly button we both might start feeling awkward.

But I believe you mean well—that your intentions are pure, that you just want to celebrate my baby and the miraculous process by which she will grow and enter into this world. 

So go ahead and touch my pregnant belly. Just do me a favor and ask first, ok? 


How do you feel about people touching a pregnant woman’s belly—totally unacceptable or no big deal?

70 Comments

  1. tovemaren
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 07:18:59

    People ALWAYS touched my belly – and it freaked me out – but I didn’t have the heart to stop them! A coworker even grabbed my belly BEFORE I was showing – ha ha – AWKWARD! But I love your reasons – beautiful!

    Reply

  2. Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 08:35:58

    The only person who wanted to touch my belly was a coworker I didn’t like. I was always suspicious of her, whether I was pregnant or not. So that tainted it for me.

    What got me more irritated was how I was visibly pregnant and people wouldn’t give me their seat on the bus! Oh, well.

    Reply

  3. Annie Swingen
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 11:12:06

    i know i shouldn’t admit this, but I LOVE touching bellies..preferably full of baby but i’m not picky. But yes, asking for permission is clutch.

    Reply

  4. lisacng
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 11:28:03

    So nice of you to think about another person’s perspective! I don’t like touching pregnant bellies and it felt weird when people touched mine. Maybe just because I’m not a touchy feel-y person, in general.

    Reply

  5. terristeffes
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 11:53:15

    This is the single best article I have read about this situation. Love it! I will be sharing it on my site!

    Reply

  6. Liz Mays
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 12:30:45

    I think you’re so sweet to see beyond the touch itself to what spurred it. You may very well be right about that. I didn’t like my belly touched by strangers, but I tried to just grin and bear it because I know they didn’t mean any harm.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Mar 16, 2015 @ 14:04:54

      I know plenty of women who absolutely HATE it, and I completely understand and respect that! I think I’m in the minority with not minding it at all.

      Reply

  7. kellylmckenzie
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 13:59:29

    Ever since asking a shop clerk when she was due only to be told “five years ago” I don’t touch, I don’t even comment. I just smile. If she wants to talk about her pregnancy, lovely. I’ll chat away and touch. But only if she mentions it first.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Mar 16, 2015 @ 14:04:14

      That’s probably a smart strategy! In general it’s best not to make any assumptions about pregnant women, I guess!

      Reply

  8. creativekkids
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 15:14:57

    I was pregnant 5 times, and I think only a couple of people touched my belly. I don’t think I would care for it too much; but I would put up with it.

    Reply

  9. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 15:27:27

    I was always appalled at people who thought it was ok to just reach over and touch my belly when I was pregnant. it wasn’t.

    Reply

  10. maria @ close tohome
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 16:05:00

    I totally remember those days, it was unsolicited touches and people telling me what sex the baby was.

    Reply

  11. toxict15
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 16:35:25

    Oh I completely agree and I am totally that belly toucher that is mourning my last baby growing up. So difficult.

    Reply

  12. rane25
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 16:40:14

    I think it would be kinda weird to randomly touch a person Pregnant belly.I guess people are intrigued by the new life growing inside

    Reply

  13. Courtney
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 17:49:24

    I love this. Definitely ask first though. I love how sweet and open you are, very thoughtful of others! 🙂

    Reply

  14. Christina
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 19:01:30

    You’re so sweet. I think its great you don’t mind!

    Reply

  15. becca112971
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 19:08:59

    what a beautiful way to look at it. I never had issues with people touching my belly if they asked. the ones that just grabbed freaked me out.

    Reply

  16. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 19:18:46

    I’m not so much of a “people person” so I do understand why people don’t like being touched by a stranger (especially in a vulnerable area.) But, for some reason, I didn’t mind having my belly touched. Although there’s always that odd feeling you get when you encounter someone and you’re gut says “Creepy!” But that goes for anything, right?

    Reply

  17. Jill Beckwith
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 19:56:59

    Aww Katie, this is my favorite post of yours so far!

    Reply

  18. Mama to 5 BLessings
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 20:21:46

    I have 5 children, praying for a 6th. I really was not big on people touching my belly unless it was someone close to me. It just feels awkward.

    Reply

  19. Laura
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 20:36:19

    I am due in 2 weeks and don’t have an issue with people touching my stomach. Although only poeple i know have touched it. I’m not sure i would feel the same way if a stranger came up and rubbed my stomach

    Reply

  20. Angela Gilmore
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 21:04:52

    I am completely ok with people touching my belly, though it hasn’t been a big draw this time around. I think because a lot of my shirts are flowy and aren’t really inviting for touching. Or maybe I’m putting of a don’t touch me vibe. It has never bothered me, and I am an avid belly toucher (after asking of course). I have met a few people though who were very uncomfortable with it when they were pregnant.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Mar 16, 2015 @ 21:08:30

      I totally get it if someone is uncomfortable, but I’m like you, obviously—doesn’t bother me at all! It’s been happening this pregnancy at about the same frequency as with my last.

      Reply

  21. Laurie - Steals and Deals for Kids
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 21:31:02

    Not sure how I would feel about it now a days but back 30 years ago when I was having kids, I did not mind it. I agree with your list here and allowed it for the same reasons. It didn’t feel invasive then to me but times have changed.

    Reply

  22. shaunatorres
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 21:34:03

    Ha, I was like you. I really had no issues with people touching my belly. I just felt it was there way to connect as a person. But I know many who were uncomfortable with it, so I guess each it’s own.

    Reply

  23. Saidah Washington (@ApronsStilletos)
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 23:22:18

    Its a big deal and I always ask first. After having 4 kids I don’t even desire to touch anyone belly. I’ve had my fill. 🙂

    Reply

  24. Aida Ingram
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 23:48:40

    This is such a touchy subject, you are so kind to allow someone to touch your belly.

    Reply

  25. Rosey
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 01:26:25

    I’ve always thought it was so weird for strangers to want to touch my belly, lol. I love babies as much as the next person, but I’m NOT going to try and touch a strangers baby bump, and I don’t want them to touch mine either. 😉

    Reply

  26. Dawn McAlexander
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 02:37:48

    My sister-in-law is currently pregnant and has a good sized baby bump that everyone wants to touch. They should definitely ask first though.

    Reply

  27. Stacey- Travel Blogger
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 02:40:13

    At least you understand why people want to touch your baby bump. Perhaps allowing them to will brighten their day!

    Reply

  28. Felissa @ Two Little Cavaliers
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 02:42:50

    I can’t believe someone just walked right up and touched a pregnant lady’s baby bump! So glad that you have grown to understand the need for people to do so!

    Reply

  29. Debbie Denny
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 08:59:24

    Wonderful outlook you have. I think it is great, but still people should ask first.

    Reply

  30. Emmy Cotton
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 10:28:27

    I LOVE BELLIES! I loved sharing my pregnant bellies! Your post is perfect. 🙂

    Reply

  31. lisa
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 11:08:01

    I never minded people asking to touch my belly when I was pregnant. I understand how surreal it all is.

    Reply

  32. mamarabia
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 11:57:51

    I’ve never had the desire to touch someone else’s belly, but it never really bothered me when people wanted to touch mine. I got so huge I think people were just fascinated!!

    Reply

  33. beckyrt
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 12:18:40

    Although I never liked people touching my pregnant belly, I totally understans your perspective and why you are generous with your space. 🙂

    Reply

  34. Eli Pacheco
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 13:36:30

    What a gracious perspective you have. Yes, sometimes people are hurting or feeling when they reach out, right? There’s so much beauty in the pregnant woman.

    Reply

  35. AWTWD (@AWTWD)
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 18:41:38

    Aaah, now I am in the seat of wishing I had a belly to be rubbed.

    Reply

  36. irishred13
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 20:47:12

    I didn’t really want people touching me and I only ever feel comfortable touching my friends’ bumps

    Reply

  37. Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 23:27:47

    That’s so funny – when I was pregnant (either time) no one really rubbed my belly. You must look much more approachable than I do!

    Reply

  38. censie
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 23:18:43

    I must have had a sign on my face that said DO NOT DO IT! Because only one really annoying lady at work touched my belly when I was pregnant. I am not a fan of that at all! lol

    Reply

  39. Kristin
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 23:32:04

    I didn’t love it when people touched my belly, but I do love this post. Gives you a different perspective!

    Reply

  40. Krystal
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 11:45:03

    I didn’t have a lot of people itching to touch my belly which is a good thing. I would have been too shy!

    Reply

  41. mommma
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 08:48:12

    I was fine, even with strangers touching it both times. My husband didnt care to, and I had wanted to have a baby all my life. I started a little late 32 & 33… I knew intimately how it was to long to have a baby and feel that life inside when all my friends were having babies and I was single.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Mar 20, 2015 @ 12:35:55

      I’m sure it made a difference with you knowing how that felt firsthand.

      Reply

  42. Jill Beckwith
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 13:58:50

    I only had a few people touch me when I was pregnant, maybe because I spent so much time away from the world, but I didn’t mind, and I think it was for a very different reason. When I was pregnant, I did NOT feel like my body was my own at all. I felt like I had been completely taken over. So if someone touched my belly, it wasn’t like they were even touching me – they were just touching the baby. My whole self felt so very foreign, or maybe displaced, that having someone else’s hand on my over-stretched skin was hardly concerning.

    Reply

  43. Jessica
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 08:10:02

    I cannot tell you how much I HATE people touching my belly and have just reached 5 months with my 5th pregnancy. Last pregnancy was 15 years ago. I had forgotten how much others feel the need to lay their weird hands on my stomach invading my personal space. It is down right annoying.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Mar 21, 2015 @ 08:24:23

      I hope you’re able to express your discomfort and tell people your belly is off limits!

      Reply

  44. Jess
    Sep 28, 2015 @ 10:53:32

    I LOVE my friends and family touching my belly! I love that look they get ‘can I?’ And that awe we feel as we explore the unborn life. I work at a school and I love it when the children want to touch my baby bump and looking at their eyes. I get a little sad because where I live people seem so aware of anti touching that that they won’t even ask, they just don’t touch and when I see that urge and catch them I ALWAYS tell them they can. I want more belly rubs! More awe and more love more sharing of our mystical goddess powers. But I’m NOT like most and a stranger has never touched my belly.

    Reply

  45. Go Ahead and Ask Me When I'm Due and Rub My Belly Too
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 02:45:15

    […] dropped or that I haven’t yet. A small few of these stranger reach out their hand, quickly rub my protruding belly, and tell me congratulations and good luck.You know that if I wasn’t pregnant, these […]

    Reply

  46. Onteii
    Nov 25, 2016 @ 08:55:17

    Uuurgh… Even a thought of people touching my belly makes me cringe. But I guess there was always something wrong with me: my mum said that I’d always refuse a cuddle since I was a toddler. But at the moment, the natural dislike of physical contact is being topped up with my mood swings… I can literally punch anyone who’ll touch my belly. And when I say anyone, I include my friends, relatives and husband. I avoid touching it myself. I know it’s not normal, but I can’t help it. It’s a strong physical repulsion.

    Reply

    • Katie M. McLaughlin
      Nov 28, 2016 @ 15:11:59

      “Normal” is relative! You shouldn’t feel bad about needing your space, especially at this time. It’s different for everyone!

      Reply

  47. vivian moore
    Mar 13, 2017 @ 23:30:52

    I love this article because I love babies and love baby pumps!

    Reply

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