Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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.


  1. 100% agreement. This should be taught in basic manners classes -- which are sadly lacking these days -- along with "don't hold your hand out to shake a woman's hand, as it's the woman's prerogative," and other old-fashioned social cues that kept the world sensible. No touch, without permission. What a concept, in this kissy-kissy world!

  2. Most offensive comment of my pregnancy finally happened today (to wrap up week 28). Bumped into a girl at work I hadn't seen in months so she says, staring at my belly, "Wow, look at you!" I replied along the lines of, "I know -- my belly's getting big!" To which she somehow actually said out loud, "Well, you've gotten big all over." WTF?!!??!??!@#$%^&* Thank Gd my elevator arrived just then. I barely recovered from my blank stare in time to say, "Shabbat shalom," jump in and head home. WHO SAYS THAT?! Of course I spent the entire bus ride telling myself, "Whatever, she's an idiot, ignore her," to which I couldn't help but reply, "But is it true???" And I know you've addressed this in your blog before yet it never fails to amaze me -- the offender has a handful of kids of her own -- she SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

  3. Ruti, absolutely. Maybe we should re-institute manners classes!

    Yael, I'm sorry you had to go through that! She should definitely know better, and besides, I've seen you, and it's not true!

  4. Yael - Although of course we only think of these things later, I would love to reply to that person with something like, "Did you really just say that?"

    Let her try to make up for it!