Insider tips for socializing when you're not ready to take your pregnancy public.
You're seven weeks pregnant and only a select few insiders know—your partner, your mom, your ob-gyn. Then...a text pings through: It's your friend, asking you to meet her for drinks. You panic. She knows how much you love a nice sauvingnon blanc; ordering a sparkling water will be a dead giveaway. But your pregnancy is still hush-hush. We asked seasoned liars—err, moms—for their trickiest tips for camouflaging a bump, explaining away rapid-fire bathroom trips, or surviving a night out when the alcohol is flowing but your pregnancy is still on the Q.T.
Navigating the social scene without drinking
"Tell the waitress [beforehand] that all of your drinks need to be virgin. If you stick to ones that are mixed with soda (vodka tonic; Jack and Coke), the waitress will just put the non-alcoholic beverage in your glass and your friends will never know." – Katie White, 30, Pittsburgh
"I always volunteered to be the designated driver." – Lauren Crosse, 32, Conowingo, Md.
"At family parties, I would take pretend sips from a glass of wine and dump some in the bathroom when I could do so without being caught." – Marcelle Wekony, 32, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
"Say you're on antibiotics." – Nicole Maurer, 36, Austin, Texas
"When I was pregnant I was living in Brooklyn and cleansing was all the rage. So it was easy to pretend I was just taking a month off from drinking because I was 'on a cleanse.'" – Kristen Childs, 36, Montclair, N.J.
- Drink water out of a beer bottle.
- Say you're feeling under the weather.
- Claim you're hungover.
- Sit next to someone in-the-know and have them surreptitiously sip from your drink to give the appearance of a slowly emptying glass.
Keeping a swollen belly under wraps
"I'd hold folders in front of my stomach at work to hide it, like they do with TV actors who are pregnant but they don't want to write it in the script." – Debbie Berk, 44, Chicago
"I was nervous to go public at work because we had a new CEO and I was afraid of him 'cleaning house' so I wore blouses that didn't have the option be tucked in plus a blazer. When it got a little harder to hide, I wore infinity scarves a lot. Black is slimming so I always had black pants on." – Kate White
"When I was pregnant with my first, I had just accepted an internship and did not want them to know I was pregnant—which was proving to be difficult as I was going to be there for months four through six. I would make sure to carry my big bag to work, stand as straight as I possibly could and make sure I lowered my chair so my belly was comfortably below the table/desk for meetings." – Tara Jefferson, 29, Akron, Ohio
"Before going public at work, it was fall so I jumped into long sweaters for my wardrobe." – Carrie Aulenbacher, 36, Erie, Pa.
- Empire-waist tops
- bold accessories
When the bathroom is your home away from home
"I told people I was hungover, or I'd blame a wardrobe malfunction for making me go to bathroom multiple times." – Lauren Steinkuehler, 38, Columbus, Ohio
"I had hyperemesis, so I was insanely sick. Ginger ale was one of the only things that helped. Normally I'm a morning coffee drinker so I used a travel mug and put ginger ale inside." – Katie White
"When it came to frequent bathroom trips, I would drink a ton of water so they seemed self-explanatory." – Tara Jefferson
"My office was near the CEO's office, so I told him before anyone else and he allowed me access to his bathroom to save me trips down the stairs or past my colleagues." – Carrie Aulenbacher
- Say you have food poisoning, the flu, or are on a juice cleanse that's making you pee every five minutes.
- Already have a child? Take your little one with you (when possible) and blame the trips on her. We won't tell.