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Please don’t touch my baby

There’s so much unchartered territory when it comes to pregnancy and babies. In fact, the word “stranger danger” begins to take on an entirely new meaning when you’re pregnant. You’ve probably heard stories about strangers coming up to pregnant women and touching their bellies. I’m lucky that only happened to me once when I was...

2016-09-11-08-44-02There’s so much unchartered territory when it comes to pregnancy and babies. In fact, the word “stranger danger” begins to take on an entirely new meaning when you’re pregnant. You’ve probably heard stories about strangers coming up to pregnant women and touching their bellies. I’m lucky that only happened to me once when I was pregnant with Lily (on her due date to be exact!). However, no one told me that I would one day have to shield my baby from the touches of just about every random person that crosses our path!
Maybe it’s because I’m overly sensitive, but I’d like to think that I am always aware of how my actions affect others. In my 27 years of life, it never once crossed my mind to go up to a stranger’s baby and touch their hands, feet, face, etc.
Unfortunately, it seems like I’m the outlier in this case. My first experience with unwarranted stranger affection happened so quickly and unexpectedly, it left me at a loss for words. Lily had just turned 3 months old, and I was in desperate need of a pedicure. I plopped her in my LILLEbaby carrier and walked into the nail salon that I’d been to maybe a handful of times when I was pregnant. The woman who had taken care of me a few times was there, and before I even knew it was coming, she came over and kissed my child on her cheek. Let me repeat that: This woman KISSED MY CHILD ON THE CHEEK.
Another salon patron’s jaw dropped. I didn’t know what to do! I’m a very non-confrontational person, and this was so unexpected. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t say anything to her. Instead, I snuggled my baby in closer to me and, passive aggressively, placed my hand near her head whenever the woman walked by.
I left the salon feeling angry and defeated. Why didn’t I just say something calmly to her? It was at this moment I vowed to never let this happen again. I can’t control other people’s actions, but I can control how I respond to them.
I’m sure people who behave like this have good intentions. I mean, who doesn’t love an adorable little baby? But I have no idea when they last washed their hands or if they’re sick. Something as insignificant as a quick touch or tickle could end up having a major impact on a young baby.
Maybe this isn’t a big deal for every mom, but for me it is. I like cleanliness. I wash my hands frequently and carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go. I’m certainly not obsessive about germs, but unless you’re my friend or family, please keep your grimy mitts off my baby.

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