Get Your Hands Off My Belly

I know I’ve written about this before, but I can’t hold back from addressing this issue again. Maybe if I word it differently, it will be like a weight off my chest? Don’t know, but here goes:

For some reason unbeknownst to me, pregnant women seem to become the property of the world.

While no one would dare comment on a non-pregnant woman’s weight gain, or dare to touch her stomach, these inhibitions seem to vanish when it comes to pregnant women.

Some of the comments I’ve heard throughout both my pregnancies:

 “You’re huge!”

“Are you going to make it through the summer?”

“Are your legs swollen?”

While the offenders are not ill-intentioned, they’re still offenders.

Because I don’t want anyone commenting on the size of my stomach, at any point in my life. I don’t want anyone laying their hands on my stomach unless given express permission to (which I don’t know why I would grant, unless the person is my husband or a doctor).

I want people to treat me the way they would treat anyone with a health condition. To only speak about it unless I broach the subject. And since I rarely broach the subject, I’d like people to follow my cue.

Unfortunately, because certain people do not take their cues from me, I’ve simply stopped talking to them; in my mind I know that they mean well, but in my heart I cannot take their constant comments on about my stomach, my health, my state of mind.

Friends are different. Friends are friends.

Close family is different as well. They have their rights.

But, please, non-friends and family members – I know you might be happy for me, I know you might be excited and all a-jitter – but just stop. Stop reaching for my belly, and stop commenting on it. It’s really none of your business.

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3 Comments

Filed under Motherhood

3 responses to “Get Your Hands Off My Belly

  1. I know – it’s amazing how being pregnant is somehow an invitation for those around us to lose all manners and common sense, or sense of personal space boundaries.

    My favorite thing with my last pregnancy is how, if I weren’t with my kids, people would smile and ask me if it was my first. I would smile back and say, no, my third. Then their eyes would get big. Seriously? Three is not an unreasonable number. It’s not like I was telling them it was my fifteenth kid or something. That and the people who ask about my family planning. It’s no one’s business if we’re going to have more, or to wait, or whatever.

    Rant over. Thank you for the venue! Maybe make yourself a t-shirt that says “hands off, buddy!” Maybe that would help. 🙂

  2. It really is a shame how some people are so tactless.
    I’m almost at the end of this pregnancy but for the next one, am definitely considering that T-shirt!

  3. It’s really funny that you say that, because I hardly ever got comments on the size of my stomach, and those that I did get, I usually took as compliments. But people touching me? I’ve only had a few of those, they were all from friends, and they all asked. So I figured that those things only happened in America, not in Israel.

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