10 Brilliant Tips for How to Hide Your Pregnancy During the Holidays
The first trimester of pregnancy can be challenging. You may feel exhausted and nauseated. You may still be coming to terms with the news yourself. Whatever the reason, you just may not be ready for your pregnancy to be public knowledge, especially during the holiday season. Cocktail parties with co-workers, big family gatherings, and large group meals with foods that are either off-limits or make you sick all make hiding your bump even trickier. The good news is that there are ways to keep up with your social calendar, delay announcing your pregnancy, and take care of your body. Here’s how to hide your pregnancy from friends and co-workers during the holidays.
1. Camouflage with clothing.
Layers are a great way to disguise the belly. A blazer over a t-shirt and jeans or a long, creatively placed scarf can help distract the eyes. Dark colors and patterned prints also hide a bump better than light-colored, solid fabrics. Wear a boxy button-down shirt tucked into the front of your pants. The billowing of the shirt helps disguise any bump that might otherwise be noticeable above your pants. Not quite ready for maternity jeans, but already feeling the bulge? Wear your regular pants with a hair elastic looped through a buttonhole and hooked to the button. Avoid empire waistline dresses (these can make you look pregnant even when you’re not).
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2. Feeling terrible? Regretfully decline.
Pregnancy is exhausting. You’ll probably want to sleep a lot during the first semester. In addition, morning sickness lasts all day long for many women. It’s not exactly a combination that puts you in the best frame of mind for navigating social interactions and elaborate meals. If you’re not feeling well, gracefully bow out. Simply explain that you aren’t feeling well and you’ll miss being with them, but you’ll have to catch up next time. Not being around may be one of the most effective strategies for how to hide pregnancy belly.
3. Don’t share your news with people who can’t keep it a secret.
Expecting a new baby is exciting, and you may be tempted to share the news. However, if you’re trying to keep it quiet a little longer, don’t tell any friends or relatives who you fear may leak your news. People tend to get chatty when they’re around other people they don’t get to see often, especially around the holidays. You may also consider waiting to tell your other children until after the holidays. Kids are prone to sharing information, even if unintentionally.
4. Choose bland, easily digestible foods.
If you decide to attend a holiday party or dinner, stick to plain starchy foods, like bread and crackers. Drink lots of water and ask your doctor about taking a vitamin B6 supplement which may reduce the severity of morning sickness symptoms. You may even consider eating a little before you go to the event. Keeping your stomach full will often help keep nausea at bay.
You should also be aware of foods you should avoid while pregnant. Pregnant women should not eat undercooked seafood, meat, cheeses, and eggs (so no eggnog or raw cookie dough for now!). Steer clear of unpasteurized dairy (which may include some soft cheeses) and any lunch meats unless they’re steaming hot (ok, just stay away from the charcuterie boards altogether). It’s also worth noting that no level of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy. The safest bet is to avoid alcohol entirely.
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5. Show up early to the party.
This is a great way to participate and put in a bit of face time while giving you the opportunity to head out before the party gets too rambunctious. When you’re ready to go, let the host know you’re not feeling well or that you’ve had a long day and need to head home.
6. Get in cahoots with the waitstaff.
Getting to the event early also gives you the opportunity to explain your situation to the bartender or waiter. This way they’ll know to serve you only non-alcoholic “mocktails” without you having to be obvious about your drink order.
7. Trade drinks with your partner or carry a decoy.
Swap your full glass for your spouse’s half-full one when no one is looking. Periodically, mime taking sips. Once everyone else gets a little inebriated, you can just pour out what’s left in a sink or a nearby plant.
Alternatively, simply hold a non-alcoholic beverage in a wine or cocktail glass. Plus, it has the added bonus of keeping you hydrated. Sparkling water or ginger ale in a champagne flute may safeguard you against potential questions. At a bar, consider ordering a vodka-free Moscow Mule. The virgin drink looks identical to the real thing, and the ginger may be soothing to a nauseated stomach.
8. Host your own event.
If you're longing to spend time with friends and family but don't want the anxiety of navigating a virgin drink order or turning down your favorite brie or sushi, offer to host the group at your own home. This will allow you to mix your own drinks, select the food that’s served, and more easily pass undetected.
9. Offer to be the designated driver.
Want to get yourself off the hook for not imbibing before you even arrive? Offer to be the designated driver. That way everyone knows exactly why you aren’t drinking (and may even thank you for it).
10. Bob and weave when necessary.
If you’re in a tight situation, try changing the subject or faking a phone call. It may look a little suspicious so if you return to the conversation, consider talking up activities pregnant people can’t participate in, like an upcoming ski trip or a relaxing weekend in a hot tub.
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