In the early days of your pregnancy, it’s fair to want to keep your thrilling news to yourself. But what happens over the holiday season, when you’re probably spending endless hours with your loud, loving, all-up-in-your-business family? Don’t stress! We polled our Beli community for the hands-down best way to mask a pregnancy – morning sickness symptoms and all – if you’re dreading the next few weeks with the fam, because this is one surprise that no one should spoil. Read on for three brilliant tips for hiding a pregnancy during the holidays and beyond.
Plan the outfit
It’s a simple truth that some of us rock that baby bump really early in the game, and that’s especially true when it’s not your first rodeo. If you're stressing that your eight-week baby bump is basically a neon sign announcing your news to the whole dang family, relax. Reach for a generously cut sweater or dress. Those that accentuate your natural waistline or sit right below the rib cage and have a full skirt often disguise that bitty bump really well. But avoid the dreaded empire waistline – can we just agree those make everyone look pregnant?
Steer clear of lighter colors, which can be pretty unforgivable if you’re trying to obscure your shape. Darker colors will minimize telltale shadows, so think black or dark gray. Layers are absolutely your friend for this kind of thing too, so plan for a cardigan or some sort of outer layer that you can reasonably wear inside. Pair it with some leggings or your fave pair of jeans if the rubber-band-through-the-buttonhole does the trick, add some great ankle boots, and you’re good to go. And don’t forget the accessories! A chic scarf has the added benefit of pulling the eye upward while also serving as a discardable layer. Pregnancy hormones are all over the place, and you may find yourself feeling too hot or too cold, so layers are a good call. Another trick to pull the gaze up is a statement necklace or some fabulous earrings.
Lean into a little deception
If you’re typically the life of the party or you just never say no to a glass of wine or a festive cocktail, begging off may raise some eyebrows. Instead, accept a glass that you carry around with you. No one is likely to notice, and you can double down and dump some down the drain or swap glasses with your partner if your family is the wildly observant sort.
The same goes for any appetizers. Clearly, you’re avoiding that amazing charcuterie tray with its tempting soft cheeses and cured meats. But feel free to put together a little plate of things you can and will eat – especially dry crackers if you’re feeling nauseated. In that case, you'll want to opt for bland foods that are easy to digest. And remember, just because you have food on your plate doesn't mean you have to eat it, so throw off your eagle-eyed aunt by including a bit of everything on offer.
Have a go-to answer
We should have all learned by now that it’s wildly inappropriate to get up in people’s business, and that’s especially true when it comes to fertility and pregnancy. Still, that memo hasn’t yet made it to everyone, so it’s best to be prepared in the event some well-meaning but clueless relative asks you point-blank why you’re looking a little green or so exhausted or refusing the annual champagne toast. A time-honored reply? Tell them you’re on antibiotics for a UTI infection, and don’t elaborate further.
Cut yourself some slack
It’s one thing to feel nauseated and tired, and another thing entirely to feel like you absolutely must attend Thanksgiving, no matter how nauseated and tired you may be. Remember that your health is a priority, full stop. If the idea of trying to fake your way through six-plus hours with your family (all while trying not to inhale too deeply or literally throw up before you can make it to the bathroom) sounds utterly exhausting, you’re absolutely right and you should go with your gut. So bow out. Blame it on a bad cold. Make your excuses, send your best wishes, and enjoy the freedom that comes with your favorite sweats and a meal that will actually stay down.
If morning sickness is bringing you down, remember that staying hydrated is key and vitamin B6 can help calm nausea. And keep in mind that your prenatal vitamin could be making things worse. We have a great post explaining why, plus tips and workarounds so you can get all the nutrients you and baby need without making things worse. And if you aren’t already on the Beli train, make the switch! Our no-nausea blend is made with vitamins B6 and B12, along with superior forms of choline and chelated iron that are easier on your stomach. The refreshing minty essence may also soothe that I’m-going-to-hurl sensation.
Your pregnancy is your news, and you should absolutely be the one who decides when to share. You have our blessing to deflect, deny, and flat-out lie this holiday season, and we hope our tips for hiding your pregnancy make it all possible. Happy holidays!