You just found out you’re expecting — congrats! Not only are you over-the-moon with excitement, but you’re probably dying to tell everyone you know, from your closest friends and family to the cashier at your local grocery store. But unlike other exciting and monumental moments in life, say, like when you got accepted into your dream school or when you got engaged, pregnancy news is a bit more fragile. With miscarriage rates so high, affecting as many as 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies, most women choose to keep their status a secret until around 13 weeks, when they’re out of the first trimester.
If you, too, are trying to play it safe, you might be wondering how to keep your pregnancy a secret in the first trimester. Simple things like going out to dinner with your girlfriends can become more challenging, because how will you explain why you’re saying no to a glass of wine when you’ve never done so before or why you suddenly can’t stomach mozzarella sticks even though they’re your favorite? While it can be difficult to conceal your pregnancy for a whole three months, it’s certainly not impossible. Here are some tips that will come in handy as you attempt to stay mum while you want to scream from the rooftops that you’re becoming a mom.
Stick to your story
Whatever the reason you give for not drinking or staying away from foods that make you feel sick, stick with the same story — even when you’re with different friend groups. It’s also wise to not make your story too elaborate or long-winded. “Be cool, develop your poker face, and don’t weave fictional yarns which are too long to keep track of,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “Eventually, things will come to light in their own time, but until then, keep things simple.”
Consider confiding in one person
Sure, you want to keep your pregnancy news a secret, but if you’re dying to tell someone, it might be worth it to do so. Just one person though! Margo Aaron, new mom and founder of The Arena, recommends having a designated person who knows, so you can get everything out of your system and not be chomping at the bit, ready to explode to people you aren’t ready to tell yet. “The last thing you want to feel is like you’re ‘hiding’ something big,” she says. “The goal is to feel as close to normal as possible, otherwise it will be very obvious to others that you’re hiding something.”
Give the bartender a heads up
Aaron suggests arriving at the bar a little earlier to let the waiter or bartender know to bring you seltzer with lime. “It’s the greatest trick in the book — it’s refreshing and unsuspecting, but the only giveaway is the check, so make sure you’re not splitting the bill or just ask to be charged for a regular drink.”
Or, hold onto a glass of wine
While the time-old debate continues regarding whether or not it’s kosher to enjoy a glass of wine or two during your pregnancy, simply holding one so that it looks like you’re drinking, can be effective in warding off suspicions. “If I was out for a professional event, I’d order wine and have small sips over several hours,” says Aaron. “No one cares what you’re drinking or how fast or slow you’re drinking, as long as you appear to be drinking.”
Don’t be overly into other babies
When you’ve got baby on the brain, it’s tempting to ooh and ahh at every single chubby-cheeked cherub that comes your way. Try to resist, as doing so might clue your husband’s nosy aunt into your expecting status.
Don’t stress out if people catch on to your secret
This very well might happen, especially if you’ve been married a few years. First thing first, try not to take offense and understand that people are just excited for you. But there’s absolutely no reason why you should spill the beans, even if they’re suspicious. “It’s personal and inappropriate of them to ask in the first place, even if it’s a well-meaning friend,” says Aaron. “If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. You don’t owe anyone but your partner the truth.”