Hide Your Pregnancy During The Silly Season Without Arousing Suspicion

04/12/2015 7:24 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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A young woman arriving at a summer garden party

So, the great news is you're pregnant. The not-so great news? Unless you're already a non-drinker, it's probably the most difficult time of year to keep your secret, well, a secret.

As silly season gets into full swing and Christmas parties abound, it can be tricky to constantly avoid those glasses of wine or claim you're on a "detox". And, if like many women, you're trying to keep your pregnancy under wraps until the 12-week mark, it's likely you're facing a secretly sober New Year's Eve as well.

So what are some tips and tricks to keeping your pregnancy under wraps during the festive season?

"Navigating Christmas parties is the worst for a newly pregnant woman, who mostly just wants to go home to bed," Susan Ross, director of Birth Right, told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Some of the main giveaway signs of pregnancy include rushing to toilet frequently, obvious incredible tiredness, increase in breast size -- which can be very evident for those less endowed -- nausea and vomiting, and, of course, choosing not to drink alcohol."

Given alcohol is all too often a contributing (if not the starring) factor at social events, Ross gave the following tips to help avoid suspicion.

"Be the designated driver! Whilst this can sometimes be a giveaway, bring out your generous side and claim it is your turn," Ross said.

"Another idea is to state you have another event following, and you are ‘saving’ yourself -- or, better yet, you're off to see parents or family and cannot turn up intoxicated.

"You could also say you are recovering from a bout of gastro -- which for many people is not that far from the truth -- and simply couldn’t face drinking. Or you could use work as an excuse and say you have a project to complete tomorrow and need to keep a clear head."

Failing all of these -- Ross recommends just pretending.

"If the host offers you a drink and you can't say no, thank them and sit on it all night -- or find a thirsty pot plant," Ross advised.

In terms of what to eat, Ross says it's important to understand what's on offer and where it has come from.

"Pregnant women can eat what they feel like, but it's good to stay away from soft cheeses and sushi if the source is unknown," Ross said.

"If you are at the fish markets for a Christmas party and know the food is very fresh, then it's okay to eat. But most women in the first 12 weeks do not feel like these foods."

In terms of how your partner can help (aside from sneakily draining your wine class) Ross says the most important thing is to act normal.

"What? Us? Pregnant? Noooo."

"He needs to keep his mouth shut at his own Christmas parties," Ross said. "And if a couple are at the same event then he must act normally and not be overly attentive. That's a dead giveaway."

But finally, Ross says if you really want to come clean -- there's no reason you shouldn't.

"What most women are worried about is the incidence of miscarriage in this [12-week] time frame. It can be really good to share the news as early as possible because in the awful event there was a miscarriage, it is really wonderful to have the support of friends and family. Many women feel incredibly isolated when this happens, and no-one knows," Ross said.

"Christmas is a beautiful time of year to share wonderful news, so I would encourage women to be proud and announce to the world. In the event that a miscarriage happens then think about how amazing to have support at such a crucial and important time."

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