Hand on Womb

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.

May lead to someone being Mistaken for Pregnant when really, she just had an intestinal bug.

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:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • 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.
  • Done by Mayo in the 3rd Fushigi Yuugi OVA when she's telling everyone about her (nonexistent) relationship with Taka, leaving out the part where she essentially stole Taka's real life wife Miaka's baby through magic. When he calls her out on her BS, she switches from a loving touch to threatening her baby bump with a dagger.
  • Near the end of Blue Gender, Marlene was shown acting much more passive than usual and watches a group of settler children play whilst resting a hand on her stomach, before interacting with them in an unusually motherly way. This, naturally, foreshadows her being pregnant.
  • This is how Tamiko Shinshi lets her husband Mikiyasu "Miki" Shinshi that she's pregnant in the second Patlabor movie, right before he goes off to quell the unrest
  • Implied in Berserk. After an incident between herself and a crippled Griffith, Casca is distraught and is seen huddled beside one of the covered wagons crying. While doing so, she's seen putting her hand over her lower abdomen. One could ride it off as her stomach being upset, but she's only put her hand over this region once before: when she was having menstrual cramps. Two volumes later, it's officially but tragically revealed that Casca was pregnant after she miscarried the fetus due to the trauma she sustained during the Eclipse. Whether Casca herself was aware of the pregnancy is never made clear.
  • Near the end of Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the Yamato leaves Iskandar with her mission accomplished. Queen Starsha watches them leave from Mamoru Kodai's graveside with her hands over her abdomen, leading fans to think they were romantically involved before his death and that she's pregnant.
  • This is how we find out Kurenai is pregnant with Asuma's child while she and Shikamaru visit his grave in chapter 342 of Naruto.

    Comic Books 
  • Planet Hulk: Caeira reveals to the Hulk that she's pregnant with his child this way.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Star-Lord's mother Meredith Quill does this when she realizes that she's pregnant just after his father J'Son leaves Earth.

    Film 
  • Carmen's pregnancy is revealed this way in Pan's 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 Terminator, Sarah does this the first time she reveals that the late Kyle Reese left her pregnant.
  • In 20 Years After, Sara puts a guy's hand on her womb to show her baby.
  • In 45 Years, the discovery of the lost body of Geoff's girlfriend from shortly before he met his wife Kate seems to trouble him to an extent Kate thinks is suspicious. She discovers they had pretended to be married on the holiday during which she died, and finds a lot of intimate memorabilia stored in the attic. Going through a slide collection, she pauses for a long time on one in which the woman is holding her abdomen in a suggestive manner. She never mentions the photograph, but it seems to contribute to her feeling that Geoff is still deeply mourning a great love from his youth.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • During the 75th Hunger Games, when Katniss (who is faking pregnancy) and her group desperately need water, she tries rubbing her hand tenderly over her abdomen, hoping the sight will move some sponsor to take pity on her.

    Live Action Television 
  • Played for drama on one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, one married couple said that their daughter was away traveling, Goren 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.
  • On Breakout Kings this was how Lloyd figured out that Erica has a child.
  • Quantum Leap: When Sam leaps into a pregnant 16 year old he sees his other self in the mirror with baby bump, and instinctively starts rubbing it. "Oh, boy" indeed.
  • Nick Carter's contemporary routine on season 21 of Dancing with the Stars ends with such a gesture, with Nick wrapping his arms around pro partner Sharna Burgess, placing his hands over her womb, as a representation of his wife Lauren's pregnancy.

    Video Games 
  • 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 The 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.
  • This trope is used in Nohime's Sengoku Basara 2 ending to imply that, even though Oda Nobunaga is dead, she still has Someone to Remember Him By.
  • In the prologue of Metal Gear Solid 2, Olga Gurlokovich's father Sergei wants Olga to leave the ongoing operation out of concern for his unborn grandchild. She rests her hand on her womb for a moment before insisting on staying. Said unborn baby becomes a very important character in the rest of the series.
  • In The Walking Dead Season 2 Clementine is offered a chance to feel Rebecca's baby kicking in which she'll lean her head and put her hand on the womb.

    Webcomics 
  • Vanessa Olsen from The Overture is first introduced resting her hand over her womb as her daughters observe. She gives birth a few chapters later.
  • Nei'kalsa of Drowtales was observed doing a double handed version in the background of one scene, and Word of God later confirmed she's pregnant, since her being pregnant had no impact on the scene at hand and had no good reason to be mentioned in the dialog.
  • On Page 226 of Wurr, Niavel does this with both forepaws after being informed by Iralbe that half of her pups are likely to be stillbirths.

    Real Life 
  • 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.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HandOnWomb