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Hand On Womb
A newly pregnant woman rests her hand on her belly
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(permanent link) added: 2011-06-04 17:21:06 sponsor: johnnye (last reply: 2013-03-26 14:21:30)

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Reviving a long-dormant YKTTW

If you want to indicate to your audience that a woman has just found out she's pregnant, thinks she might be, or just happens to be thinking about it, there's one tried and tested visual shorthand -- she rests her hand lovingly on her lower abdomen. Exactly where depends on her knowledge of biology, but it should be pretty clear she's aiming for her womb.

It doesn't have to be the mother who does it; perhaps Bob comes in, kisses Alice on the cheek and lovingly strokes her belly. Or maybe Paolo struts into the room, gives Alice an evil grin, clutches her stomach and sneers "Does Bob know yet?" Either way, we're receiving the message loud and clear.

Note that to be this trope, it has to be the first time the audience knows about the pregnancy - if we already know she's pregnant, all she's doing is cradling her unborn child. And if she's heavily pregnant, it might just be the most convenient place to rest her hands.


Examples:

  • Played for horror in FEAR 2. Alma's just raped the protagonist and impregnated herself with what may as well be the Anti Christ.
  • In Sims 3, if the player hasn't caught on to the "this Woo Hoo made her pregnant" jingle, and is clueless enough about the "Mysterious Causes" nausea debuff, they should get wise when the female sim stops to smile knowingly and rubs her (still normal) belly.
  • There was a variant of this on a news program once. This guy killed his girlfriend, who turned out to be a couple months pregnant. For some reason the news anchors kept focusing on whether the boyfriend knew about the pregnancy, and they kept pointing to a prom photo taken before the attack where his hands are on her lower abdomen as incontrovertible "proof" that he knew.
  • Played for drama on one episode of Law & Order SVU, one married couple said that their daughter was away travelling, Elliot then made a bluff attack on the wife, who instinctively invoked this trope. Turns out her daughter was never born, and was petrified and still inside of the woman's womb.
  • In the first Gossip Girl book, one of the many rumors surrounding Serena is that she is or was pregnant, which speculation is fuelled by the fact that she's seen resting her hand on her stomach during a school assembly.
  • Carmen's pregnancy is revealed this way in Pans Labyrinth. The second clue in the opening scene when she stops and rests because "your brother needs to catch up" when there is no brother in sight.
  • In the first Terminator movie, Sarah does this the first time she reveals that the late Kyle Reese left her pregnant.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Katerina Solensan does this when she enter a bar together with Asimov. This is to make it obvious that she is pregnant and her ordering a Bloody Mary is just Spy Speak. This trope is subverted later in the episode as it's revealed that she isn't pregnant, she is hiding drugs under her dress.
  • Planet Hulk: Caeira reveals to the Hulk that she's pregnant with his child this way.
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