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Advice on Keeping Tummy Rubbers at Bay

Mommy Dearest: Keeping Some Personal Space

Mommy Dearest,

I am pregnant for the first time and have found that I am not a fan of people rubbing my belly. Unfortunately, one of my cousins is a baby patter and chatter. Every time she sees me, she goes straight for my stomach, kisses it, and starts babytalking my tummy while she smooths her hand over it.

How can I tell her to back off my bump without hurting her feelings?

— Don't Pat the Bump

To see Mommy Dearest's response,


Don't Pat the Bump,

I can completely understand where you are coming from since I cannot stomach belly pats from anyone other than my daughter or hubby. Unfortunately, friends, family, and strangers often assume that an expectant mother welcomes the tummy rub.

As painful as it may be, honesty is the best policy. The next time you encounter your affectionate cousin, try to catch her eye before she goes down for the baby talk and have a frank discussion about your hesitation. I once told my friend, "I need my personal space — especially down below. But, as soon as our baby enters the world, you can kiss and snuggle it as much as you'd like. In the meantime, the bump is off limits!" She chuckled at my warning and never went near the belly again.

— Mommy Dearest

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