Yes, pregnancy may be a gift but it’s one that you may want to keep under wraps, at least for the first trimester. But how to hide your pregnancy from aforementioned manager/Aunty Sue/Bob who lives upstairs?
It’s not always easy. You can only blame that inconvenient vom and greenish tinge on a hangover so many times before someone starts leaving AA leaflets on your desk.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with the best sneaky ways to keep your knocked up status under wraps.
- Go on a (pretend) ‘detox’
A ‘detox’ is your get out of jail free card when it comes to alcohol, coffee, sugar, soft cheese, hell anything that makes you stomach churn. Ordering a soda water with lime at after work drinks and copping a raised eyebrow from Nancy in Accounts? Tell Nancy to piss off (politely, or not, up to you) and pull out the detox card.
Sick to the stomach at the very thought of ordering your usual skinny latte during tea break? It’s cool, your detox says no caffeine so you’ll just have to pass. Much more creative (and on trend) to hide your pregnancy than the antibiotics excuse.
- Invent a creative excuse for your apathy
This ties in extremely well with your detox. Friends or colleagues keen to enter a fun run? You’ll have to decline thanks to your detox fatigue/low blood sugar/toxin induced sore muscles. Swapping from your usual Body Combat class to gentle yoga? Your ‘Naturopath’ advised it to help keep you aligned with your detox path. In short; lie. It’s totally acceptable when you’re pregnant.
- Embrace the ‘stretch and flow’
Depending on which number pregnancy you’re at, and how you carry, you may have to contend with a small bump, especially as you near the end of the first trimester. Real baby or food baby? We will never know. What we do know is that you need to conceal it. Stretchy waists and less structured tops are your friend to hide your pregnancy.
This can be slightly trickier in a corporate environment but with the new breed of comfy maternity work wear on the market, (think pencil skirts with some stretch) you can keep things snuggly under wraps. If you’re keen on staying casual, invest in a good pair of maternity jeans or jeggings and a couple of fitted but not tight tops or knits. They’ll cradle and cover your bump without screaming ‘BEHOLD, I AM GROWING LIFE INSIDE ME!’
- Line your handbag with a plastic bag
This is one for those lucky ladies who are #blessed with a vomit filled first trimester. And it’s not for the faint hearted. But sometimes you’ll be in a situation where you need to spew discretely (yes, it happens). Lining your bag with a plastic bag means you’ll have a receptacle to hand if/when you need it (we’re looking at you public transport commute). It also eliminates the majority of the mess. Tie that sucker off and toss it in the bin. And get yourself some ginger tablets stat.
- Get yourself a Netflix account
Netflix is the modern day scapegoat. It makes the perfect excuse for why you’re hibernating at home. You may be one of those lucky pregnant women who escapes the majority of symptoms (we’ll call you the ‘pregnancy unicorn’) but you’ll most likely still be knackered by the end of the day, especially during the first trimester. Enter Netflix and a ready made reason for going home straight after work or staying in on the weekend? Already got the ‘flix? Become invested in a show STAT, it’ll have the same impact.
- Stash your snacks sensibly
If you’re fighting off pangs of nausea or just really, really hungry ALL THE TIME, you’ll need a steady supply of snacks. Sitting down, peeling open a packet of Sakata Rice Crackers and going to town is not the most subtle way to manage this. Prepare ahead and make up a few snack packs to stash around your office/home/in your nappy bag. Think casual, ‘I’m just going to pull out this packet of nuts to enjoy with my (caffeine free detox) green tea,’ not ‘hangry, emotional pregnant woman who must eat now at all costs,’ it’ll raise a lot less suspicion.
- Shift the focus
If all else fails and you feel you’ve been rumbled, you’ve got two choices; admit that yes, you are indeed with child or employ diversionary tactics. Use a co-worker, your partner, your child, whoever happens to be nearest. Kids are especially good for this purpose. ‘Me? Pregnant? Well… OH MY GOD, look at Ben, he’s just tried to eat a cigarette butt! Sorry, must go.’ Nailed it.
Just remember, you only need to hide your pregnancy for 12 weeks, then you can move on to hiding the gender (if you choose to find out). Good luck!