Keeping your pregnancy under wraps
In those early weeks it can be hard to keep something so exciting a secret. Here are some tips for the days when you wish you could just tell everyone.
In an ideal world, we’d all reach the 12-week mark before announcing our pregnancy to surprised family and friends. But these days your loved ones are onto you the minute you pee on the stick. Here’s how to throw them off the trail…
For the coffee addict
If you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine intake start volunteering to do the office coffee run so no one knows what you’re ordering. (And in the meantime substitute your fix for decaf or hot chocolate.) You could also declare your intention to give up coffee after having read some alarming research on the topic over the weekend.
Yes, your friends will notice if you start ordering steak well done when you always choose sushi or salads… So say you’ve started following a protein-rich diet. If you’re comfortable with the idea, another option is to tell people you and your partner have started trying for a baby and your doctor has recommended you change your diet to aid conception.
The social drinker
This one’s easy. Tell them you had a few too many glasses the night before and cannot stomach the thought of drinking again tonight. Other ideas: you could make it look like you’re drinking when you’re not – if someone has poured you a glass, accept it but have your partner sip from it or tip it out gradually (pot plants, over the balcony). If you’re in a bar scenario, ask your waiter to dress up a glass of water to look like a gin and tonic or pretend your soda water is a spritzer. At barbecues, fill an RTD bottle with something non-alcoholic.
The life of the party (who can now barely stay awake past 8pm)
Everyone works harder and longer hours these days so no one will bat an eyelid when you tell them your boss has been giving you unrealistic deadlines and you’re feeling exhausted and stressed. Of course, this won’t wash if you’re expected to be your bright, bubbly self at a work function, so for everything else, you have a virus you just can’t shake.
When ‘morning sickness’ lasts all day
Morning sickness usually subsides towards the end of the first trimester (although some poor women have to endure it their entire pregnancy) but by then you can announce your happy news anyway. In the meantime, you’ll have to smile through weeks of feeling nauseous and miserable. “I’ve eaten something dodgy” will work a few times. Longer term, you might need to say something like: the debilitating migraines you suffered as a teen have returned. In the meantime, keep the nausea to a minimum by snacking on small amounts often – plain, dry crackers before you get out of bed helps get the day off to a good start.
Downplaying your heightened emotions
You’ve always been an emotionally stable person but lately everything makes you weep. The next time you find yourself crying over kittens or puppies, rub your bloated belly and ask your sister for a tampon. She’ll assume it’s that time of the month. Try to avoid wildlife documentaries during this time.
Concealing the bump
Wear clothes and accessories that distract the eye to other areas of your body, like scarves, loud prints, layering and eye-catching necklaces. People are usually too polite to ask in the early stages – there’s nothing more embarrassing than whooping for joy over a colleague’s pregnancy when she’s actually only eaten a little too much lunch.
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