Dear Stranger… Don’t Touch My Belly

Dear Stranger:

I don’t know you, but please don’t touch my belly. Heck. Even if I DO know you but we aren’t quite friends, please don’t touch my belly.

I see you in Kroger. I’m eyeing the produce as you eye the watermelon shape under my shirt, and you’re about to give me a random pat-down as if you’re TSA. Yes, I am pregnant. And yes, I may look pretty darn cute as I waddle down the grocery aisle with something the size of a basketball protruding from my front side. But no, it’s not an actual basketball, so let’s not start dribbling. 

You seem like a pretty nice person who probably means well. You have kind eyes, and I can tell you are amazed by the miracle life that is growing inside my body. You might be really happy for me and this is your way to express it. Perhaps you are a mother who once had the privilege of carrying her own children and feel slightly wistful with the sight of my baby bump. Perhaps you want to a chance to feel the baby kick.

But no. Sorry, not sorry. Don’t touch me.

Sure, you can stop me, tell me congratulations, look at my belly, and marvel at my pregnancy glow {or lack thereof!}, and I will genuinely be so touched by your words. But let’s make sure I’m not touched in the literal sense.

I am not a genie who can grant you 3 wishes after you give me a rub, so stop rubbing. I am not the Laughing Buddha, so rubbing my belly will not get you any good luck.

So what’s the big deal? Let’s think about this.

Yes, I know that it’s a privilege to be great with my own child. Trust me, I was a waiting mother once before and longed for that bump. However, being pregnant does not give the general public license to grope me. I am more than a vessel carrying a soon-to-be cute baby. I’m a human being with a mind of her own and feelings. Hello! I’m up here!

You do realize that you are stroking the part of my body that’s inches away from my va-jay-jay, right? I mean…  That’s probably one of the actions that got me in this situation in the first place. There’s already a baby in there, so the foreplay of your belly rubbing isn’t going to put another one in there. And heaven forbid someone bumps your hand while it is on my bump, and you end up copping a feel of my breasts. I’m not into that… At least not from you, a stranger.


Some of us {raises hand} respect personal space and reserve it for our friends and family. Don’t get me wrong. I love hugs, kisses, and caresses of my belly…from my loved ones. Now let’s turn the tables. How about I reach out and return the favor right now? I’ll pay it forward and touch your lower gut too. Oh, no baby in there? It’s just gas or the really huge burrito you had for lunch. Whoops. Doesn’t feel so good now, does it?

I’d like to preserve any amount of dignity and ownership of my body while I can now. Once I get to the hospital to deliver this baby, I’ll be surrendering all privacy and rights to my body. I’ll be poked and examined at all hours of the day. I’m not in the hospital yet, so leave me alone!

It also doesn’t stop at the hospital. Those early days of engorged breastfeeding boobs and walking around the house topless to alleviate the discomfort. The lactation consultant taking free reign of my breast so that we can figure out a good latch. Fast forward several months when my baby is mobile and climbing all over my body as if it were a jungle gym. My body definitely is no longer mine once this baby is out. While this baby is inside, I’m going to enjoy whatever control I still {somewhat} have over my own body. And part of that control is swatting your hands away from the lingering touch.

So, please. Don’t touch my belly.

Thanks and figurative XOs,

The Pregnant Lady

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Kristine grew up in Houston where she met her husband Richard. The high school sweethearts welcomed their daughter Kara {2014} after naturally overcoming infertility. Sixteen months later, their son Ray {2015} joined their family. She balances the allergy mom life as well as a full-time job at an oil & gas supermajor where she is the queen of PowerPoint. Her Houston roots run deep with her Bachelors degree from the University of Houston and MBA from Rice University. Kristine loves traveling, good food, and experiencing all things H-town with family and friends, especially drinks {bars, breweries, boutique coffee shops!}, museums, and of course, BEYONCÉ. You can follow her adventures on vu hu life, Instagram and Twitter {@vuhulife}.


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