From the moment you see the blue line on the pregnancy test, you’re the keeper of the biggest secret of your life. Even though you haven’t told a soul, doesn’t it feel like the whole world can tell? Did your colleague see you rushing to the loo during a bout of morning sickness? And what can you do when you need to leave work early for another appointment?
Here's how to keep your baby news a secret for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy...
Choose a confidant
First of all, don’t assume that people have guessed. “Pick one person and confide in them, like your line manager,” advises doula Lucy Symons. “They will have to keep the news confidential. But at the same time you know you’re not worrying about them thinking: ‘She’s off again today'."
If you're concerned about people seeing vitamins in your bag, stash them in a small coin purse.
Concealing your tiredness
“It’s common for pregnant women to feel more tired than usual due to the increased progesterone production,” says midwife Maggie Evans. “If you're yawning more than normal or suffering from lapses of concentration, you may worry that your colleagues will notice, but try not to. We all suffer from disturbed sleep at times and your colleagues are unlikely to read too much into it.”
How to hide your morning sickness
If your morning sickness is interrupting your work schedule and making you panic about people finding out, you’ve got two options - you can confide in someone or you can tell a few white lies. Keep the white lies light though - saying you’ve got something terrible will only cause more attention!
If you tend to suffer morning sickness actually in the mornings and it eases by the afternoon, schedule your meetings so they take place later in the day, when your sickness has subsided.
Covering up the appointments
“The best thing to say if people ask why you’re going to the doctor's, simply say, ‘I’d rather not talk about it’," advises health and wellbeing consultant, Liz Tucker. “That’s better than making up an illness they might worry about.”
If they constantly ask if you’re ok, reply honestly, "Yes I'm fine, thanks." If that fails, tell them it's "women's problems" to shut them up.
How to avoid alcohol without giving your pregnancy away
Being the designated driver is a simple way to get out of drinking alcohol. Otherwise, it's time to bring out the old 'I'm having a few days off the booze' excuse. “Your aim is to keep things quiet, not to elaborate on them," says Liz.
Another a way of disguising the fact that you’re avoiding alcohol is to grab an alcohol-free beverage. There are a wide range of fizzy fruit ‘wines’ and alcohol-free beers that look like the real thing and often have discreet labels.
When you're eating out, stay away from spicy and pungent food if you’ve been feeling nauseous, says nutritionist Clare Barnes from Nature's Best. "And go for peppermint tea at coffee time, it's a trendy healthy option nobody questions."
More tips for concealing your pregnancy
Take a look at our essential 'secret' items all mums-to-be in early pregnancy should have in their handbags to keep those curious colleagues at bay!