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An expecting mother received support from the internet after sharing she spoke to her mother-in-law in a "condescending" tone of voice for touching her pregnant stomach.
Shared on the popular Reddit forum "Am I the A**hole," u/No-Comfort-670 said in her post—which amassed more than 14,000 votes since it was shared on Friday—that she is uncomfortable being touched. Since becoming pregnant, however, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law constantly touch her stomach without asking.
It all came to a head when u/No-Comfort-670's mother-in-law touched her stomach at a baby shower and she immediately removed it while responding to her in a patronizing tone.
Touching a Pregnant Stomach
u/No-Comfort-670 is not alone in not wanting to be touched without asking—Verywell Family published a piece offering advice on what to do if a pregnant person is touched without consent.
"While there are always going to be people who want to pat your growing belly, don't feel like your belly has somehow become part of the public domain," the outlet said. "Even though it may be protruding, it's still part of your body and belongs to you."
Those who wish to deter people from touching their stomachs can choose to block them, be direct and tell people not to touch them or pat the other person's stomach in return.
"Am I the A**hole?"
In her post, u/No-Comfort-670 said she and her husband are expecting their first baby together. Although there have been some ups and downs with her husband's parents who have overstepped boundaries, she said the overall experience has been positive.
u/No-Comfort-670 said she does not like being touched, which became a problem after she became pregnant.
She said she and her husband tried to talk to them and asked that they request to touch her stomach, but they rarely respect the boundary.
During the baby shower, u/No-Comfort-670 was eating cake when her mother-in-law, while talking with another relative, reached out and touched u/No-Comfort-670's stomach.
"So I took her hand, removed it and said, 'No, no, you know I've told you not to touch without asking first. You know how to ask, do you? It's easy!' with the most condescending voice I had," u/No-Comfort-670 said.
Her mother-in-law later approached her and said she did not appreciate that she was spoken to like a child.
"I just smiled and said that [her] touching me after being asked a million times not to was a kid behavior and I just called her out on that," u/No-Comfort-670 said.
She said that when her father-in-law asked her to apologize, she declined.
Fellow Reddit users flocked to the comments section to express their support of how u/No-Comfort-670 handled the matter.
"Everyone thinks being pregnant makes you public property," a Redditor wrote. "Stand your ground, enforce your boundaries and tell her off every time."
Another Reddit user wrote that it is unacceptable for someone to touch another person's body without permission.
"You drew the line politely and they stomped all over the line," they said. "They needed to be put in their place."
"If someone can't respect your wishes even after being told so many times, they deserve to be called out," one Redditor commented.
Newsweek reached out to u/No-Comfort-670 for further comment.
Other stories on "Am I the A**hole" have previously gone viral.
A man faced backlash after he shared that he was upset his childhood "crush" married his brother.
One woman was praised for "making a scene" at a wedding when she discovered she could not sit with family members.
Another man was supported for telling his friend to stop acting like a "victim" following a breakup.