As more and more photos and videos are being released showing a very pregnant Meghan Markle out and about, many people are wondering why on earth she seems to be cradling her growing bump so much.
As it turns out, there is a very real explanation for the seemingly mindless action of cradling your pregnant belly. According to psychologists and body language experts, it is innate and biological. Katharine Graves, a hypnobirthing expert, says bump cradling is a very natural thing to do. Not only does it actually produce oxytocin, which acts as a bonding hormone, it also provides comfort for both mom and baby.
"Placing your hands on your bump comforts the baby, comforts you, and helps create the optimum conditions for labour," she said.
But pregnancy can be stressful, especially for someone who is in the spotlight so much like the very public Duchess of Sussex. In addition to creating a bond, the act of cradling your bump can also be therapeutic, according to body language expert Judi James.
"Throughout pregnancy there is a two-way communication going on between mother and baby, and babies respond to touch and stroking. It is also known that the mother’s natural hormones affect the baby, so the baby is benefiting from these positive hormones too," she said.
In a recent interview, James went on to say that Markle's hands-on parenting is absolutely going to continue after the baby is born. In other words, the fact that she cradles her bump so often is a good predictor that the Duchess will be a very attentive mum.
"Meghan’s bump-cradling suggests she will be an openly doting and enthusiastic mother," she said.
James believes that there are even more predictors that show us that Markle will absolutely shine in the role of 'mum'. She cited her friendliness and honesty when speaking to members of the public, her openness about sharing how she's feeling (i.e. "very pregnant today!"), and her love of animals - just to name a few.
As for the baby's gender, we are all unfortunately still in the dark. But we do know that the Duchess' due date may be fast-approaching. On one of her recent walkabouts, she was overheard telling onlookers that "we're nearly there," when asked whether or not she was excited about the baby.
Not much longer now!