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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Live Action Television
- 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.
- 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.
- On Breakout Kings this was how Lloyd figured out that Erica has a child.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.