I found this interesting discussion on Babycenter today about the dilemma pregnant women face when strangers want to touch their growing bellies. It is something that seems to happen to every pregnant woman at least a few times during her pregnancy. Something just seems to come over people when they see a pregnant woman that causes them to want to touch her belly. All rules about personal space seem to disappear and manners go out the window, replaced by an never ending line of people with outstretched hands just waiting their turn to rub away.
I have always been the type of person who really values her personal space. I don’t like when people stand too close to me when we are engaged in conversation, or feel the need to lay a hand on my arm while we are talking. My space is my space. If I know you really well I will gladly hug you in greeting and when we say goodbye. But with strangers or those I don’t know that well I like to know people are willing acknowledge my personal space and not invade it. This, of course, I knew will become a problem for me when my belly is big enough to bring on the inevitable belly rubs from strangers. I’m still not quite sure how I will deal with this dilemma.
Everyone who participated in the discussion that transpired on Babycenter seemed to be in agreement that it is rude, inconsiderate and made them a bit uncomfortable. What seemed to really vary though was the way they dealt with it. My favorite was the woman who just asked everyone if she could touch their belly first (not a bad idea).
I’d like to know what you think about this inevitable and somewhat annoying part of pregnancy. What did you do when strangers came up to you and wanted to rub your belly?