Get pregnant and your body suddenly becomes public property. How do you handle the comments and tummy-groping?
There's something about a tautly pregnant tummy that makes non-pregnant people itch to pat it.
To deter unwanted hands-on attention, perfect the Startled Retreat (raise eyebrows and step back) or the Protective Pose (hands over belly, so there's no room).
If that doesn't work, it's time for the Reciprocal Rub (give them a pat on the tummy, too) or the fantastically upfront "hands off my [bump]" T-shirt (bumpbabies.com.au).
Retort of last resort: "Do I look like Lassie? Then stop patting my belly."
The bump exposer
Grateful as we are to not spend three trimesters in yesteryear's shapeless maternity dresses, we're not all as intrepid as those brave few who treat pregnancy as one huge excuse to let it all hang out over the waistband of their maternity jeans. Which would be fine - and each to their own - if they didn't look just a shade too smug about it. Feeling a bit frumpy? Remind yourself that you're having a baby, not a fashion accessory.
Retort of last resort: "I wish I was as brave as you - I'm much too embarrassed to show people my stretch marks."
The bump comparer
We all compare bumps - secretly - just as we compare handbags or shoes. But that doesn't mean we want ours being publicly judged. If you're feeling attacked by those "Gosh, you're so much bigger/smaller than me!" comments, swiftly change the subject to something baby, rather than bump, related. Try: "Had your scan yet?" And take comfort in the fact that there's more to growing a baby than swelling to regulation size.
Retort of last resort: "Well, I'm told bumps always look much bigger/smaller on a leaner frame."
The bump guesser
A ring-on-a-string twists anti-clockwise, so it must be a girl. Or you're carrying low and you're craving salt, so it must be a boy. Bump guessings are just old wives' tales, but it's amazing how many people do it - and expect you to be riveted by their predictions. Should you have tried and failed to not let it bother you, try a breezy, "Someone told me just the opposite only this morning. It's hard to know what to believe, isn't it?"
Retort of last resort: "Actually, I already know what sex the baby is, thanks, but I'm only telling my closest friends."
The bump ignorer
Board a bus and suddenly everyone in a seat has his (and it is usually his) head buried in a book. Even when you stand so close in front of them that your belly cuts off the light, they'll ignore you and won't look up.
Retort of last resort: "I'm nauseous: I need to sit down or I'll spew!"
The bump bitch
You'll find her at work, pausing only to look you up and down and drop little barbs such as, "Ooh, aren't you big!" and, "The extra weight kind of suits you". As you resist the urge to vault your desk and bellybutt her to oblivion, remind yourself that by the time she's pregnant, with puffy ankles and killer piles, you'll be back to your slender pre-baby self.
Retort of last resort: "Well, I'm eight-months pregnant. What's your excuse?"
Do you have any more cracker retorts to unwanted pregnancy remarks? Please enter your comments below.