So you’re finally pregnant and wham – it’s the holiday season. You’re not ready to tell your boss, friends or even family the news yet. But every week on the calendar has a cocktail party in it. Your workplace bash is just one of the many gatherings designed to trip up your carefully planned unveiling of baby news. Here’s how to keep the bump under wraps.

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photo: AI404 via Flickr

1. Swap drinks with a friend. This is an easy one and almost all pregnant women cop to it after the fact. Switch your full glass for your husband’s half full one when no one is paying attention. Occasionally, pretend to take sips. Once everyone else gets tipsy, you can pour what’s left in the nearest planter.

2. Get in cahoots with the bartender. Arrive to the fiesta early and explain your situation to whoever is making drinks. Then, when you order a vodka soda, he’ll know to pour a seltzer on ice. Make sure to specify the proper vessel! We had one mom report the jig was up when the bartender served her fake cocktail in a water glass.

3. Avoid the empire waistline. This is the easiest way to look pregnant even when you’re not, so don’t go there unless you’re looking to score a seat on the bus.

4. The baggier the better, to a point. If your belly is growing, look for clothing that’s made to fit loosely so you can hide your bump without looking like you’re wearing everything too big.

5. Keep wearing the same pants. If people start suspecting you’re pregnant, a change in wardrobe might give you away. As your belly grows, keep your pants up with a hair tie looped through a buttonhole and hooked to the button. And since it’s the holidays, your pants getting tighter is par for the course.

15902508501_05d55c3e38_zphoto: Simon LeLoup via Flickr

6. Talk up last night’s party. We’re not saying you should lie, but if people know you were at your husband’s best friend’s birthday over the weekend, say things like, “It was a crazy party! I was sooo tired Sunday!” Everyone knows “tired” is adult code for “hungover.” That’s how your coworkers and acquaintances will understand it, and it’s probably the truth (for different reasons) anyway.

7. In the same vein, if you’re not up for the drink switch or bartender fake-out, just claim to be hungover. “I couldn’t possibly drink again after last night! Ugh! Just the smell makes me want to barf!” Probably also true.

8. Or speaking of claims, claim to be on antibiotics. Women have admitted faking UTIs and infected gums to lend credence to their reports of antibiotic-use.

6022434081_16fa348e97_zphoto: Alain Bachellier via Flickr

9. Talk about trips or activities that would be off limits if you were pregnant. Tell people you are thinking about skiing soon or how you can’t wait to relax in a hot tub. Tell people about plans for a girls’ weekend in Vegas. It’s all about throwing them off the scent.

10. And when all else fails, dodge. You can get out of a sticky situation by changing the subject or faking a phone call. Sure, it looks suspicious, but when next time you see the person you go on and on about how you can’t wait to party at your friend’s bachelorette in New Orleans, she’ll be confused enough to let it go.

How did you hide your pregnancy before you were ready to spread the news? Tell us in a comment.

— Anna Knoebel

featured photo: Pepe Pont via flickr