I recently read a friend’s blog. I’ve known her for years and have always been jealous of her superior beauty not to mention charm and loving spirit. She’s been the best for years. I remember writing to her about finding out I was pregnant and welcoming the spirit of genuine wonder that she showed me even in those months of confusion.
On her most recent blog entry she mentioned that she was not pregnant. This public reassurance was because of several incidences when people asked her if she was indeed pregnant.
Let me give everyone out there a little clue.
Look for the belly rub. The belly rub is a simple way to answer your own question before you ask it. This is a wonderful technique to guard against embarrassment of yourself and said lady. She may look really pregnant and she may not look pregnant at all but if she touches her belly and rubs it like it’s a precious possession (not generally people’s response to their abdomen) then she is most likely pregnant and you can safely ask the question, “When are you due?” or “How far along are you?” or “Do you know what you’re having yet?” without looking like a total a–.
The rub comes in the form of either a gentle circular motion around the woman’s midsection or across the woman’s stomach for an extended period of time (possibly an entire conversation). If she is late enough in her pregnancy she may do the rub with just to fingers in a sort of “itch” motion or with two hands in a similar style. This means she is itchy from stretching. The belly rub may also come in the form of others touching the woman’s midriff and leaning slightly down as if to look through a window.
Women don’t just rub their bellies especially if they are self conscious about it. They don’t just touch or scratch their stomachs for a long period of time in public even if they want to. If a woman looks like she is pregnant but you haven’t seen her rub her stomach then don’t ask. Hold it (not her stomach – your question). Wait for the belly rub. If you suspect a woman of being pregnant but she is not showing, it would be wise to wait until she tells you or to ask a friend. You’ll know soon enough. 9 months is not that long.
Another tactful tactic is to try and actually ask questions concerning the woman’s life. This makes her feel appreciated rather that feeling like a lopsided cow and might also entice her to open up to you about the suspected pregnancy on her own terms.
If you are meeting a woman for the first time and need something to talk about…don’t look at her belly and pop the question. Compliment her eyes or her jacket or ask her what she does. If you are absolutely desperate to know (I’ve been there) ask someone else and not her. It’ll save you. Trust me.
Disclaimer: This does not count for close/intimate friends. Ask away if you know the person with the understanding that you may freak her out for a brief period of time. If you are uncertain of the depth of your friendship with this woman…again…hold off for your own good.
When I was first pregnant I had not told a friend that I was in fact expecting and saw her at an event. I couldn’t hold it in so I decided to tell her. When I did she said, “I KNEW IT! You were rubbing your belly on stage.”
Gah. That easy folks.
So for all you out there who have a problem asking non pregnant ladies if they are pregnant…just remember…belly rub. BELLY RUB. I don’t want to hear any more stories about this again. You hear?