The way Meghan Markle holds her bump shows she’s already in ‘full mother-mode’ – body language expert reveals
From protectively "cradling" her bump to "communicating" with her child, Judi James has revealed the different ways Meghan holds her bump – and what it all means.
Speaking to Fabulous Online, Judi revealed the two-handed gesture has two functions – one for protection and the other a symbol of pride.
"This two-handed barrier with the hands clasped lightly together over the bump rather than touching or hugging it has two functions," she explained.
"Firstly, it is a protective barrier gesture that will help Meghan feel she is keeping her bump safe when confronted by cameras and crowds, but it is also a very proud announcement gesture, guaranteed to make the point that she is very obviously and happily pregnant."
"Meghan’s confidence shows in the way she keeps her elbows pushed out from her sides," Judi continued.
"This subtle pit-baring gesture suggests she’s feeling strong and in control.
"Overall this pose shows a confident, hands-on and protective approach to her baby that should extend to its upbringing, meaning she should have some very strong views about childcare that she’s keen to put into practice."
The one-hand pat
The 37-year-old has often been spotted resting one hand on her bump, which according to Judi "sends signals of love".
"Cupping the bump with one hand with the fingertips touching like this suggests Meghan is communicating with her baby, both ‘listening’ and sending signals of reassurance and love," Judi revealed.
"It’s a very common ‘tuning in’ gesture with pregnant women and will often be alternated with a gentle bump-rubbing gesture that is a calming form of communication.
"Meghan is a very tactile woman who uses touch as a tie-sign (non-verbal form of communication) a lot with Harry, so it's no surprise to see her breaking with what has often been the royal tradition of being more hands-off in public."
When Meghan appeared at the British Fashion Awards, she couldn't stop cradling her bump with both hands.
Judi explains this is a sign of "full mother mode", also suggesting she can't wait for the baby to arrive.
"When Meghan uses both hands to hug her bump top and bottom like this she is mimicking the act of cradling her baby once it is born, suggesting that she is now in full ‘mother’ mode and preparing for the time when she has her child in her arms to carry and cradle," said Judi.
"It suggests she’s impatient for the moment she’s able to hold her baby for the first time, plus of course it is the proudest of announcement gestures, asking her audience to share in her joy."
According to midwife and author of The Hypnobirthing Book, Katharine Graves, the way Meghan holds her bump is not only very common, but also good for the growing baby.
"It is perfectly natural and even therapeutic for women to hold their bumps when pregnant," she told Fabulous Online.
"Mothers naturally talk to their babies as well. It is known that, after they are born, babies recognise their mothers’ and their fathers’ voices, and also songs that were played to them during pregnancy.
"Throughout pregnancy there is a two-way communication going on between mother and baby, and babies respond to touch and stroking.
"Stroking helps the mother feel good and, when she feels good, she produces the hormone oxytocin, sometimes called the hormone of calm or the hormone of love.
"Oxytocin triggers the release of endorphins, nature’s feel good hormone.
"It is also known that the mother’s natural hormones affect the baby, so the baby is benefiting from these positive hormones too."