Do Not Touch My Growing Bump

First they came for the bumpless bump
Touching in wonder that you're really pregnant

Then they came for the small bump
Touching in amazement that you're beginning to show

Then they came for the protruding bump
Touching in awe that you're really showing now

Then they came for the rotund bump
Touching in surprise that you're now so big

Then they came for the huge pot-bellied bump
Touching in shock of how really massive you've grown

Then they came for the unmissable, fully encompassing bump
Touching in admiration and asking when you're dropping your precious bundle

Seriously people, what’s up with all this baby bump touching. I mean, hands too friendly and inviting of itself for a feel … however unwanted … definitely not requested or agreed. Would it be too much to hope it stops?

baby-bump

This week’s baby bump touching

“Are you … pregnant?”, I think I heard as I raised my head; followed quickly with more enquiries about if I had another little one on the way … before I could get a word in. If this is all that happened, it wouldn’t have taken more than a few minutes of my mental energy.

She came towards me with a huge smile and pointing finger, whilst excitedly asking me questions I barely had time to answer. Never mind that I was startled by it all … I was doing something else, you see. And oh the pointing finger … it had only one destination … my protruding belly. It came too close for comfort, and without hesitation, zoomed in for a touch and feel with its finger friends. It all happened too quickly and I didn’t have enough time to react as fast as I would have liked.

I tried to move back and hold this well-meaning hand, but it was having none of it. It tried to touch and feel my bump again .. and again. I had to grab it more firmly and hold it a bit tighter to keep it at bay.

Bump touching is really not my thing … it baffles me to no end, but I couldn’t really get annoyed. I knew she meant well; she was so excited for me … way more than I felt in that moment.

Even then, she sure shattered the ‘definitely-safer-from-bump-touches’ that my bubu gave me. My conclusion that last week’s bump touch was down to the absence of my free-flowing dress – my super comfy pregnancy go-to outfit, though worn when I’m not pregnant too – now stands on shaky ground.

Last week’s baby belly touching

The other day, instead of my bubu, I wore a super baggy skirt, really elasticized under-vest, and a turtle neck top to make maternity / nursing bra size detection as easy as possible. This was a task too big for my bubu, not if I wanted to keep my bump clothed.

I know my choice of outfit on this day was unusual, as I’m known for being very protective about my bump. I keep it under wraps and I stay away from clothes that particularly make it very obvious to the guaranteed stares of interested onlookers. But hey ho, that’s life, right. I kinda understand the societal mostly casual interest in the growing of another life that is likely to become a tax payer – more on this another time.

You see, I can take the looking (especially if it’s subtle) … and I’m usually happy to natter about it when I’m not too preoccupied … but the touching ….

Well, my wearing of an outfit that hugged my bump in a way that you couldn’t help but see how big it was, seemed to be a ‘touching invitation’; albeit, an unintended one.

Okay, I only got 2 touches this time, and they were from well-meaning friends. However as usual, this uninvited and unexpected bump feeling caught me unawares; even more, it kinda annoyed me. It startled me, and I wasn’t fast enough to subtly move backwards before the palm landed.

I know the touches were fleeting, and their accompanying comments were thoughtful. I mean, it’s nice to enquire about how I’m getting on, isn’t it. But did my precious bump really need to be touched to show this level of care?

Other pregnancy tummy touching

It reminded me of another time when a friendly acquaintance found out I was expecting another bundle of joy. They were very pleased for me and I really appreciated it; but their simultaneous beeline for my belly caught me by surprise. I couldn’t get annoyed, not with their beaming smile … but my word, did my bump need that touch.

I could go on about other occasions, but the sequence of events are not much different … the expression of delight that the awareness of a growing new life brings … the congratulatory and ensuing well-being enquiring words, simultaneously accompanied by the all too familiar reach for the baby bump.

It’s like baby bumps are public property; albeit one that is free of responsibilities. Why mind the feelings of the bearer of the bump and their growing pains and aches, when you can … indulge your curiosity and enjoy the moment, hey?

Come to think of it, why do people feel the need to reach out without permission, and touch baby bumps that are not theirs?

My potential tummy touching

Fancy, if I touch all my friends’ tummies just because … well … maybe after they’ve eaten a meal … to visually acknowledge the satisfaction of their hunger and their resulting raised belly. Afterall, their food belly is part of the evidence of their effort to support the sustenance of their lives, just like my growing baby tummy is part of the evidence of a nourished and growing life. It also shows my delight that the food bump bearer isn’t starving.

Okay, I know there’s a big difference between a food bump and a baby bump; but there are similarities too, right?

Or maybe I should touch the unbelievable flat tums of some of my friends, to show my amazement and admiration at how inconspicuous their stomachs are. And perhaps my wish that my tummy was that flat … and maybe to show my sadness that my tummy will never be that flat. Afterall, touching their tummy will probably be the closest I’ll come to feeling a flat tummy.

Or maybe I should touch some silently eye-popping mummy and beer-belly tums, to show my wonder about how their tummies got so big … and my hope that mine doesn’t … or perhaps to gradually help me come to terms with mine becoming like theirs one day.

Would any of these be weird?

Or maybe … okay, I’ve run out reasons why I might feel the urge to touch someone’s bump. The truth be told, I  have no desire to touch anyone’s belly, and I’ve definitely never felt the need to touch a baby bump.

My husband and one of my close friends think I’m too sensitive about this issue of baby belly touching. But I’m I really? I mean, I’m happy to invite and guide certain hands to touch the incredible evidence of the amazing life growing inside of me; but only when I feel comfortable and want to share that closely.

I just wish that folks will ask before reaching out to touch, and that they’ll respect your feelings if you don’t want your baby belly to be touched.

I sometimes wish I could just accept baby bump touching like I think many do; but it just weirds me out when folks just help themselves to me … just like that.

Does it need to be said that uninvited bump touching without prior agreement erodes the ownership of the bump carrier.

My word, it’s not your bump to touch as you like; definitely not to touch on your own terms. Is this not obvious?

And here, I rest my case; fully aware that bump touching has been around before my time, and will probably carry on beyond my pregnancy days. Even then, as long as folks continue attempting to touch my bump, I will continue wonder why.


So, what do you think about this issue of bump touching?

Are you a ‘bump toucher’ or a ‘bump touch refuser’?

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aNoviceMum

Founder | Writer I Editor I Manager
First-time Mum / Freelance Writer / Thinker / Educator / Business graduate / Improving Photographer / so much more. \\ Recording my mu-m-sings from the South East of England | Sharing lessons from my life's journey to encourage and inspire | Filled with gratitude for my faith, family, and friends.

27 thoughts on “Do Not Touch My Growing Bump

  1. I think I vary on how I feel. Most people ask me first which is nice but I have had a few little touches. I don’t mind massively as I am quite tactile. I get more bothered when people want to feel for a movement and they are so gentle….I’m thinking you can touch a bit harder and try and get her going!! It’s all individual preference though and I think asking should always happen first xx #twinklytuesday

    • It’s definitely nice to be asked; I’ve never been asked before … folks just help themself. Your 3rd sentence made me laugh :-). It’s definitely individual preference, and that’s why people should ask.

  2. I hated the bump touching! Worse was that it was always strangers, people who know me recognised the look I gave them that quite plainly said touch my bump and die. Strangers however did not. Grr. #TwinklyTuesday

    • My word, I mean … whatever happened to respect for privacy. How bold of someone to touch someone they don’t know … it really is crazy, isn’t it.

  3. I seriously don’t get it. What gives people the right to touch? Thankfully I didn’t deal with too many touchers, but people did say stupidly rude things to me.
    And I didn’t know you were expecting, congrats hon 🙂

    • Thanks Julie … I plan to write more about it, as I’m able. The things people say is another blog post, I tell you. It’s crazy how people don’t apply normal rules to pregnant women, it’s like you become public property and free for all to comment as they please. Crazy. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. I’m a bit chunky so you probably wouldn’t think I was pregnant but I have been subject to a few bump touches this week – and I don’t like it!! I’m not one of those touchy feely people and I quite like having a personal space. So when someone actually pats me on the belly it really freaks me out! #maternitymondays

    • It’s really unacceptable and such an invasion of privacy, isn’t it. I can definitely understand it freaking you out; it shocks me sometimes and it’s definitely weird. I just wish people will ask before they reach out to touch and that they know the answer could be, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Bump touching is a no-no to me unless you’re a close friend/family member & I invite you to do it. Now my bump is baby there is a lot of unwelcome baby touching while i’m trying to get her to sleep or home before she cries etc. I’m with you!

    • Don’t get me started on the baby touching, that’s another blog post right there. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that finds it uncomfortable. I don’t know why the right to privacy and respect for personal space doesn’t appy in these very personal areas.

  6. It does amuse me when people I don’t know all that well touch my bump. It doesn’t bother me but it is just not something I would do unless it was a really close friend and even then I think I would ask. #maternitymondays

    • Crazy, really. I just think people should ask and be prepared for a ‘no’ answer. My word, why would people who barely know a pregnant woman want to touch her bump and feel the freedom to do so. Dear oh dear! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  7. I’ve never experienced that many bump touchers! I think I’d be a little surprised if a stranger did it but don’t mind a friend saying hello with a little bump touch! 🙂

    My two boys are the biggest bump touchers going, they can’t keep their hands off it… which I love obviously! 🙂 #maternitymondays

    • I’m happy for my toddler and husband to touch; I often call them to touch and connect; but I think all others should ask … even close friends ought to make sure that you don’t mind. O well, thankfully we find our way through it.

  8. I think I got off pretty lightly as this only happened to me once or twice. The worst is having people touch your tummy thinking you are pregnant when you are actually not though. That has happened to me a few times, and I’m hardly fat! #MaternityMondays

    • O my word, what do you do in that situation – the touching of your non-baby bump? I’d love to know. We just need more respect for people’s personal space.

  9. I am with you. Someone touched mine once and, while there was a baby in there, the bump wasn’t really all baby and it was so embarrassing. Having said that, I do ask my friends if I can have a feel of theirs oops I’m
    Just as bad 😉
    #maternitymondays

    • LOL … you’re funny. I suppose our bumps can be a mixture of baby and other things. 🙂 I don’t think there’s anything wrong with touching baby bumps, provided it’s with permission, as opposed to the unquestioned feeling of entitlement to touch.

  10. I didn’t mind people touching my bump, so long as I knew them. I was huge though and strangers trying annoyed me. I wouldn’t dare touch anyone else’s bump without asking though! x

    • It’s the permission thing for me. If you want to touch, ask … and accept that the answer might be, ‘no’. Touching someone’s bump is so alien to me; even if I’m asked to. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • It’s helpful to know I’m not the only one who thinks pregnancy should not strip away the respect for our personal space. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  11. I encourage my daughter to touch, she likes to hug and kiss my bump in order to let her bond with her baby sister. The only other person I’m happy to let touch is my husband… but other people are happy enough to help themselves and that really annoys me!

    • I encourage my toddler to interact with my bump too … such sweet moments, hey. I’m happy for my husband to touch too; and indeed anyone else I feel comfortable enough with to invite to touch. What I’m not keen on is the ‘happy enough to help themselves’ … I don’t like the unconscious assumption that I’ll be alright with it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  12. It’s odd, but through all three of my pregnancies I have never had an unsolicited bump touch. I’ve wondered whether it’s because I’m a plus size lady, but I have looked very obviously pregnant. Part of me feels jealous that I’ve never received that attention or approval. I wonder if the desire to touch is down to the utter wonder and amazement people feel about women growing another person inside them. Like all pregnant women are fertility goddesses, or something! It’s a really weird thing, pregnancy – I still can’t get my head around it! But still, I totally agree that people shouldn’t touch others without express permission.

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