Having a baby is a challenge in itself, and if you have to do it in front of all your family members and friends, you’re bound to find yourself in situations that aren’t necessarily the most pleasant. Everyone has an opinion about you and your mothering skills, and you’re likely to feel a little embarrassed and perhaps, even irritated by all the fuss.
But as part of the culture that is distinctly Pinoy, you have to remember that those around you really just want to help you out and give their support—whether to your liking or not. So for these situations, we asked the advice of the professionals, Evangeline Alianan-Bautista, M.A., psychologist at Psych Consult, Inc., in Quezon City, and Anthony Ancheta, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist at The Medical City, to give their take on what to say and do in these awkward moments.
“I am six months pregnant and people like to rub my belly ‘for luck.’ I find it irritating. How can I keep them from attacking my tummy, with no clear warning?”
Alianan-Bautista suggests keeping it simple and honest. Just nicely say, “I don’t feel comfortable with that.” If you’re in an office setting, word will spread that you’re sensitive about this particular practice, and people will ease off on the rubbing.
Dr. Ancheta says there really is no medical contraindication to this, especially in a culture that promotes the belief of “Swerte ang buntis.” But simply telling others you’re having a delicate pregnancy is enough to keep those hands off your belly.