How to avoid unwanted tummy touches

Emmy Samtani

Emmy Samtani

Emmy is the founder of Kiindred and mother to 3 little ones. Over the last 4 years, she has worked with some of the most credible experts in the parenting space and is a keen contributor on all things parenthood.
Updated on Jul 09, 2024 · 2 mins read
How to avoid unwanted tummy touches

Pregnant women’s bellies seem to have a spotlight on them everywhere they go. Sometimes it might even feel like there is a magnet pulling strangers right to your bump. And of course, they (mostly) always mean well and are excited for you, but the constant limelight can get overwhelming. Sometimes you might welcome the attention but it also might feel uncomfortable having anyone touching you or your bump.

Why do people love touching your belly?

After your belly is grabbed by a stranger for the umpteenth time you may be wondering what could possibly cause people to do this. Psychology suggests that it goes back to our primitive ways. We used to survive off our communities, so seeing a woman carrying a child was an emotional moment for people. It was a visual representation of the survival and continuation of their community. When you see this, your protective and nurturing instincts kick in and you have an inexplicable urge to rub the woman’s belly.

As humans, we are hardwired to touch. When language fails us or we want to evoke unspoken emotions, touch is the best way. Touch communicates something inexplicable, and many people find that they almost can’t help but show their joy and admiration by rubbing that gorgeous belly.

Even though this might explain it, it doesn’t mean you have to allow those unwanted touches. It’s still your body and strangers especially shouldn’t assume they can enter your personal space that way. When you’re feeling like you can’t hide or avoid the touches.

Tips for avoiding unwanted tummy touches:

  • Use firm words – tell them you do not like it when people touch your belly or you don’t want your belly rubbed right now. People will usually respond with respect and not do it again.
  • Put your hand over your belly as they’re reaching for it – this will cause a hand holding type motion which will stop them from touching your bump
  • Tell them you’re not pregnant! This is a bit of a cheeky one but it will definitely stop them in their tracks and teach them to not do it again.
  • Say something like, “no thanks, my baby is asleep” or “I’m not supposed to let other people touch my belly, doctor said so!”

Remember, you don’t owe anyone anything, so don’t feel the pressure! Not wanting a stranger to touch you is completely valid so speak up for yourself.


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