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Have you ever noticed that being in the presence of a pregnant woman makes people forget all respect for personal space? Friends, family, and even complete strangers cannot keep their hands off the belly. I had a friend that my husband nicknamed "The Mad Patter". She was an OB nurse and would poke and prod my belly until I could just picture my son clinging to my spine trying to escape. Usually, I did not mind having my growing belly touched, because I realize that people mean well. Was there a “Mad Patter” you had to deal with? Please tell me about it.
Hehehe, our good friend James was a "Mad Patter". As my daughter grew big enough to kick he loved to poke my wife's belly and watch her kick back - not so sure how fun that was for my wife, but I admit it was very entertaining to watch.
I was really surprised though by the number of people who would reach out to rub her belly usually with no warning they were about to do so (let alone asking!). Most of them would never just grab another woman's belly, but for some reason being pregnant seemed to give them an "ok" to go nuts... It was very unsettling to me, and I dont think my wife was too thrilled being randomly groped either.
I never had a Mad Patter to deal with persey, but I always found it kind of creepy when strangers, or even friends/relatives, wanted to feel my pregnant belly. However, very hypocritcally, I also had the urge to do so with friends when they were prengant. I wonder why that is? Is it instinctual? A learned behavior? I have no clue.
Already I've noticed myself getting "buggy" when my cousins (who have always been as close as siblings) and my little sister start rubbing on my stomach. I'm only 20 weeks and just barely showing right now so maybe it'll get better as I get bigger. I'm also the first on all sides of the family (both my parents and both his parents) to get pregnant so it's exciting for everyone and I"m trying to be patient!
Its surprising - be prepared sometimes even total strangers would walk up to my wife and do it! Since it's family, try talking to them, let them know how it makes you feel. I'm sure they'll understand, they probably just dont realize what it's like - I think a lot of us don't until we're on the other side of the fence .
I think it only really bugged me when I didn't feel like I was really showing yet. I felt like people would just pat my bloated belly and it gave me the chills. When my belly was huge I didn't really mind at all.
I think I exude the "Don't touch me vibe" But its funny because though people don't feel the belly, strangers that is, I get more people talking to me about. Even other pregnant women. I'm all baby and have been for all 3 prenancies, but its funny to have store associates comment when I'm shopping that "You must be due anyday now, why are you shopping?" When I respond with "I'm due in March" they tend to inquire "Twins?" I'm thinking in the back of my head "HOLY COW am I that HUGE?!?!" it's a very peculiar situation sometimes.
I actually only got randomly touched once. It was a friend of mine from church. I am sure had grace been full term i would have been touched more. I was barely showing at the time, and then grace decided she needed to be born. She was 10 weeks early. I don't like the idea of strangers or friends just randomly touching my belly.
I think that certain people are just drawn to touching "the belly". I find it really weird when men do it. Haha! I think what really drives me nuts is the same questions everytime!!! ( I work in a Harley Davidson shop) "When are you due?" "Is it a girl or a boy?" "What will her name be?" "How are you feeling?" "Why haven't you had that baby yet (for those you see more often)?" I wish sometimes I could tape a piece of paper to my belly or something! =]
I didn't have any "Mad Patters" around but I did have people that wanted to touch the belly. My co-workers were all respectful once I made it clear that random touching wouldn't be tolerated. One of my RN's just reached out and started stroking my belly once (like it was some sort of pet or something!!) and I just reached down and snatched her hand off me without any attempt to be nice about it. My belly was NOT a pet darn it.
I also scared an old lady in the grocery store one day. I didn't know this woman from Eve and she is walking told me with her hands out and eyes fixated on my stomach like it was the Holy Grail or something. I took a HUGE step back and shot her a very dark glare making her blush about 20 shades of red and wlak away without a word.
I had a random lady walk up and ask me all about my pregnancy while I was seven and a half months pregnant with my twins. After she was satisfied with her interrogation, she took it upon herself to start rubbing my belly. I was not having a good day, and my girls were kicking every organ possible, so as she stroked my belly, I reached over and rubbed hers. She quickly dropped her hand and shot me a dirty look, and I just smiled and waddled off to finish my shopping.
She wasn't the only person I did that to. I'm not a touchy-feely person unless I'm close to them, and I definitely DID NOT like people coming up and petting me like I was Buddha. Haha. Now that the girls are born, people like try to rub their cheeks and such. Maybe pregnant women and babies were made for rubbing?
*~*What are little girls made of? Sugar and Spice and everything nice!*~*
That is hilarious! I love your reaction. I think it gets your point across gracefully and effectively. If I have any more kids and this happens, I'll have to keep that in mind.
I have to say this really gets to me. I can't stand it when people think they have the right to touch my stomach. With my first pregnancy it took a while for my in laws to get the picture. My family totally gets the 'space' issue and they never touched it. Even when my son was moving and I asked my mom if she wanted to feel him, she didn't. OK this could be totally wierd but I appreciated her giving me the space also.
Most people I told that if they touched my stomach they might not get their arm back or they might get hit. This usually kept them away.
With my second pregnancy I have only had a few people touch my stomach and I give them a very dirty look when they do and turn away. I don't feel it's their right to touch me.
Normally I'm okay with friends and family rubbing my tummy or patting a little bit, but for the most part they all respect my personal space and back up after a friendly touch. However, a friend of mine (who has always been VERY touchy feely) just cannot seem to get the hint. She will rub my stomach, pat my tummy, kneel down and hug me with her face pressed against my belly, and even kiss my belly button. She'll spend 10-15 minutes rubbing on my tummy while sitting or standing next to me until I just can't stand it any longer and move away. The other night while spending time with a group of friends I finally snapped at her, because she was trying to pull up my shirt so she could kiss my bare skin. I understand that she's just excited for me and being supportive (in her own twisted way) but I've finally gotten so uncomfortable around her that when invited to her house for a get together my husband and I declined simply because we knew that I'd have to leave early to stay away from her groping hands.
Is there a way I can talk to her about it without sounding standoffish? I don't mind a teasing pat or a friendly rub every now and again, but she just can't seem to keep her hands off me!
LeslieAnn, try explaining it very simply - you're not comfortable with it and would like her to respect your feelings. It wont seem harsh if you make it clear its not personal and that you still think of her as a close friend, just not that close .