This one I'm making is for people to share advice on meeting and talking to pregnant women in their neck of the woods. Here are some tips I posted on You Tube the other day and note the bolded parts:
First, on getting a pregnant woman to let you touch their belly:
1. Note your surroundings. Not a good idea to ask if she's busy or eating. If she's working it depends on the where.
2. Doesn't matter if she's alone or with someone unless the "someone" is kids. I've had some success with kids present but most of the time she's too busy with them to give you her full attention. Other adults, depends though I've had success with women who were with their husbands/boyfriends.
3. When you approach, start a normal conversation "Hi there.", "Can I talk to you for a minute?" or something similar to get her attention.
4. Ask her if she's pregnant (even if it's obvious) and complement her for it. "You look amazing.", "Wow, I wasn't sure. You look great!", things like that. That shoud be enough to get her to relax a little and give you an opening for what to do next.
5. At this point most pregnant women will subconciously rub or touch their belly. Kind of like a reflex. Saying "How are you feeling?" or something similar usually brings a comment about the pregnancy or the baby. A good segway to asking to touch her belly is asking "How does it feel?" and she will tell you Yes/Sure or No.
6. Now to actually asking. Politely say "May I touch your belly?" or "Is it ok if I feel your belly?" and then wait for her to answer Yes or No. She will only answer one or the other.
7. Assuming she says yes, I start with one hand (I have big hands so one is enough to cover a large area). I usually touch the area around or just above her belly button depending on if the belly's low or high. I use just enough pressure for her to feel my hand but not enough to cause discomfort.
8. While I'm touching her belly I ask her far along she is if it didn't come up before. She'll usually tell me and then I will use both of my hands to feel her belly. Some women look bigger than they really are. If the baby starts kicking she'll help me find the spot at this point as well.
After feeling the baby kick or move I take my hands off her belly, thank her for letting me feel her belly, wish her good luck and then leave. Even if I don't feel movement I still do the above in that order. The only times I was turned down was when it was obvious she was in a hurry to go somewhere or it was obvious she didn't want to talk at all. Practice these steps a few times until it feels natural.
Feeling bold? These tips might get her to show you her bare belly:
9. Starting from #8, again be mindful of your surroundings. She probably won't show you her belly if you're in a place with alot of people around. It's also probably not gonna happen if she's wearing a dress, maternity suit or overalls so don't bother asking if you can see it if this is the case.
10. If you hands are still on her belly, take them off and ask "How does it look?" or something similar. She will likely try to describe it so you're then free to ask "Can I see it?" Depending on location and comfort level, she may or may not grant your request.
11. Assuming she shows you her belly, get her permission to touch her belly again. "Can I...?", "May I...?" Or something similar. Even though she'll likely say yes, it's better to wait for the invitation to keep her relaxed.
12. Half the time she'll lift her shirt just enough for me to see (usually because she either has a jacket on or is weaing thick clothing) but sometimes she'll lift her shirt up to her chest.
...For those who need a comparison, touching a pregnant woman's belly is the same as someone running their hands through your hair. This is why you want to make sure you're polite and ask. Let her lead the conversation.
Anyway, hope this helps ^_^
Those are just some best practices that have worked for me. I figure we could all pool ideas and suggestions in one mega thread for those who want to try talking to pregnant women they see while out and about.
A few things to add to what I said above:
- It's important that you not to focus on her being pregnant when you start talking to her. She's less likely to open up to you if you focus on her belly. Flattery works as long as you don't go overboard with it.
- Be mindful of personal space. Don't get too close unless she invites you to get close to her either verbally or physically (some kind of cue).
- Location matters when you encounter her. If you're standing at a bus stop or sitting on a train you have like a minute or two at the least or 20+ minutes at the most depending on when you/her need to get off.
- Knowing how to read a situation is important. If she doesn't look comfortable talking to you, politely end the conversation and walk away.
As an aside, I want this thread to be a collaboration of everyone on the forum ^_^
A few topics I personally will not talk about are:
1. Video Recording or Taking Pictures of a Pregnant Woman*
2. Asking a pregnant woman for sex (ask someone else)
* I think it's creepy if you do it without her permission personally.
Anything other than those two I'm fine with. This isn't just "my" topic but the whole forum's topic. Anyone can give advice as well so have at it ^_^