I found out a week ago that I’m pregnant. So far we’ve told immediate family and a small group of others.
I am not generally a hugger. I tend to tense up when someone even reaches in my personal space (again, excluding immediate family and a small group of others.) And I know when we share the news publicly, people will tend to want to invade my space. I also often hear about strangers, in addition to family, friends, and acquaintances, touching a pregnant belly, often without asking.
How do I keep this from happening? How do I remind people that my pregnant body is mine, and not community property without coming across as rude? -Letty
I put this question out to the Homies on our Facebook page, and here’s some of the great advice they had to give that runs the gamut of fist-bm…
I work at an elementary school where a lot of our kids are really “huggy.” A trick I’ve learned is when you sense someone going in for a hug, step back to arm’s length and offer them a fist bump instead.
It kindly communicates “I’m not into hugging, thanks!” and not as germy as high-fiving/shaking hands. I wish I’d have learned that trick before I had my kids, and especially when I was pregnant, but you can bet I’m teaching them now! -Emily
My sister was the same way. She didn’t like people touching her while she was pregnant (or at all). I don’t have anything rally productive to add, but I did get this shirt for a friend:
And it drew people’s attention to the fact that they weren’t even thinking about what they were doing. -Holly
I’m in the same boat and showing with baby #2. When people want to feel my belly, especially people I don’t know (like strange ladies in Target) I politely yet firmly remind them that I don’t know them, and will break all the fingers on their offending hand like twigs if they are not promptly removed from my belly. If that doesn’t work tell them that it’s akin to sexual harassment or physical assault if they touch you and you’ve asked them not to. -Codi
Step back when they reach out. Sounds harsh, but it works. Like if it’s a friend or a co-worker you’ll probably want to explain a bit first, and try other things mentioned above, but it it’s a total stranger reaching out to touch you without being asked, step away. It immediately puts them in their place, and they won’t try again. You don’t owe them jack. -Chrysoula
Honestly, I would just be honest. (Ha.) If someone starts coming in for a hug, or trying to touch your belly, tell them just because you’re pregnant doesn’t give them permission to put their hands on you. Let them know you’re not comfortable with it. Unfortunately some people don’t even realize that their behavior may not be welcome or make others uncomfortable. However, once you have made that clear to them and they continue to do it, welcome to full bitch mode, enhanced by the hormones of pregnancy. -Kristen
The favorite answer by FAR:
The best advice I got while pregnant: Whenever someone rubs your belly uninvited, reach out and rub theirs. It’s incredibly uncomfortable for them, and they’re not likely to do it again. -Carmen
This is all great stuff, people. Keep ’em coming! What else works to help maintain personal space while pregnant?