Open Thread: Hiding a Baby Bump

how to hide a baby bumpHow do you hide a baby bump? This struck us as a great question…

I’d love to see some suggestions on hiding a baby bump while dressing appropriately for the office. Hiding my growing belly wasn’t hard with my first baby. It just wasn’t that big. Now I’m pregnant with my second and, true to everything all my friends told me, I’m much bigger, much earlier. I prefer not to tell everyone until the first trimester is over. That means hiding my expanding middle. I moved up a size in trousers (no expand-o waist pants yet). However, I can’t seem to find any good ideas for tops. I’d love your (and your readers’) help. Anonymously, of course. Any hope for me? :)

Having never been pregnant, we can’t really offer any advice, but it does strike us as a very worthwhile question. (Fine, here’s our best guess — we’d stick with empire-waisted tops such as the one above, or very blousy tunic tops. Pictured: Banana Republic Garment-dyed linen top, available at Banana Republic for $59.) Still — readers, what is your best advice on how to dress professionally while hiding a baby bump? Any other tips on dealing with pregnancy woes, such as morning sickness?


  1. subscribing…

    • I’m subscribing too. I have no advice to offer since I have only one child, but would love to hear what other commenters have to say. Great topic, Corporette!

  2. Wearing dark colors on top seems to help me, and layers. It’s easier to hide under a jacket or sweater where you can’t really tell exactly what shape is underneath. Even at 35 weeks now, if I wear a black top and tan pants it minimizes the fact that I have a watermelon-sized belly.

    As for the “other pregnancy woes,” I’ll be lurking and taking notes for suggestions! I bought a humidifier for my office to help with the preggo congestion, and I try to get up and walk the hallways every couple of hours to get off my bum. I wish I’d kept mine quiet longer–kudos to you for keeping it on the DL. I’m SO sick of office staff asking me how I’m feeling, calling me “mommy” in the hallway (I still have a name!), and speculating on the baby’s middle name!

    • I bought simple draped tops (non maternity) when I was pregnant. Stuck to black mostly.

      But if you’re hiding a bump, steer clear of clingy jersey type fabric, stick with the flared stuff. Wearing tops untucked (they must hit at hipbone) helps.

    • Ugh. I had to take a staff person to task for calling me “mommy.” I am not your mommy! I tried to be understanding, but I asked her several times to refrain and she just wouldn’t stop.

  3. Oh, and staying in non-maternity clothes as long as possible. Maternity clothes seem designed to accentuate that bump. It’s amazing even now how much smaller I look if I wear normal pants (with a belly band–can’t get around it now) and a tunic-style shirt I bought in the normal section.

  4. Ditto the dark colors on top, I think it makes a big difference. Also, the second time around, you may just have to tell people earlier than you’d like–I figured that I would rather have people know for sure than speculating about me. Although Midori (above) is correct regarding the comments; the single most irritating thing in both of my pregnancies has been the way office staff started treating me–constantly asking how “we” are feeling and calling me “mommy”. It seriously drove me nuts.

  5. Two words: long cardigans. I bought 7 or 8 inexpensive ones, and some elastic waistband skirts and pants, and kept my secret reasonably well even with pg #3.

  6. This is my second pregnancy to make it past the first trimester as well, and you’re right that the belly certainly remembers what to do! I was not visibly pregnant with my first until around 20 weeks. This time around I was desperately trying to hide it by 11 weeks. It was a little easier for me because it was the dead of winter in my first trimester, so I could definitely wear layers to hide my shape. I wore a lot of jackets and sweaters. I was also able to wear my “fat suit” (the one I usually put on when I’m feeling bloated). A belly band over regular pants helps, but depends on how bad your morning sickness is (I found the pressure of it to make me feel much sicker).
    Congrats on your pregnancy- just get through these next few weeks and then relax into the maternity clothes!

  7. I’ve been buying shells (White House Black Market has some good examples out there that are a “loose stretch fit”) that are not so tailored and have a busy print or a ruffle near the top that does a great job of drawing eyes away from my ever expanding belly! I definitely would continue wearing your pants with the belly band because maternity clothes absolutely make me look more pregnant than non-maternity clothes.

    But shells with a nice pattern or some sort of gathering or ruching with a cardigan on top have been very helpful for me. Good luck!

  8. I would NOT wear empire waist tops like the one in the picture because to me that screams “I’m pregnant!” even when you don’t have a belly yet. Maybe try those cape jackets that only have a single button up top, or something else… but not empire waist tops! Seriously, it screams pregnant to me.

    • Anonymous :

      I totally agree. Things can be poofy without the tell-tale empire.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I completely agree as well. I wore one of these kinds of tops and the clueless secretary asked me if I was pregnant (I was definitely not, and was completely mortified). And I’m pretty slender to boot. These types of tops just scream pregnancy.

    • Hee hee – I guess the idea is that if enough non-preggo people wear ’em, everyone realizes that they make you look preggo and so if you really ARE preggo and wear ’em, everyone assumes its the top! You know, fake ’em out!

      • Exactly! I thought that was the point… it’s got to the point of cliché with empire-waist tops!

        (Not dissing the style – I love them).

  9. I’ve never been pregnant, but a co-worker managed to hide her pregnancy for quite a while using looser-fitting jackets, shirts that are close fitting at the bust and then are unstructured below (like the one in the picture, but maybe in a more floaty fabric) and dresses with no details at the waist (like empire waist, or loose sundresses, or even some sheath dresses a size up). Good luck!

  10. In addition to the above posters, another thing you can do is really play up accessories around your face to bring attention up away from your stomach. Do your hair up if you have long hair, wear slightly larger earrings and clunkier necklaces, wear brighter make-up, etc.

    As for morning sickness, since the original post brought it up…. I’ve heard it’s due to low blood sugar, and sure enough the only thing that helped me was to eat all the time. I just kept crackers, fruit, and beef jerky in my office and munched on something every twenty to thirty minutes. No candy, though, as the sugar crash afterwards is a killer (maybe not literally, but it always made me -want- to die).

    • And that’s why I gained 8 lbs in the first trimester, from eating constantly! :-) It is the best way to keep the nausea away though. Also, you just have to eat whatever sounds good. I ate some weird things in the first trimester. I took vitamin B6 as well.

    • Though I know the eating all the time works for some people (like my lucky sister), I wasn’t that lucky. My “morning sickness” always hit in the afternoon – right after lunch – and lasted through bedtime, no matter what I did or didn’t eat.

      However, I would encourage pregnant readers to stay hydrated, especially as farther along in the pregnancy. Being dehydrated caused a hospital stay for me!

      I second (or third) the advice to wear jackets and long sweaters to hide a small belly.

      • Ladies, I had the WORST morning sickness– it lasted the whole pregnancy. Taking a unisom tablet (not quick-melts!) and a 100 mg b-6 tablet every night before bed was the only thing that kept me going to the office. I had to continue taking it the entire pregnancy, but it really took the edge off and as a helpful side effect, I slept well and didn’t have issues with congestion.

        Sea bands are also helpful– they come in black, so you can be more discreet.

    • For people who are experiencing more than a little nausea –
      My “morning” sickness lasted all day and all night and it got to the point where I could barely drink water, did not ever want to eat, and could not sleep, but did not want to get out of bed, because reclining was about the only position where the nausea was marginally better. I tried everything – crackers, Preggie Pops, ginger ale, ginger Altoids, mints, small meals, etc. etc. etc. Nothing worked and I finally told my OB. Although I was not actually vomiting and therefore did not fall into the technical definition for “hyperemesis,” my OB/GYN put me on Zofran anyway. It’s a sublingual dissolvable tablet that works for 10-12 hours to stop nausea. It was originally intended for people who are on chemotherapy, but is being used for many other types of nausea and vertigo now. I strongly encourage anyone whose nausea is significantly interfering with their life to talk to their OB about Zofran, sooner rather than later. You do not have to be vomiting to get so dehydrated that you need to be hospitalized – I was almost there. I was so miserable I wanted to die, no exaggeration. Within two days of starting the Zofran I was able to eat, sleep, go to work (and actually accomplish something) and stay hydrated.
      My nausea lasted until I was almost 20 weeks and then came back a bit right at the end of the third trimester. It is awful and I sympathize with those who have it – it sucks!

    • Ditto on eating all.the.time. I never got sick if I just constantly ate. Smaller amounts more often. I gained 38 pounds with twins, so I guess I didn’t do too badly! Although, the all McDonald’s all the time phase was probably not the most healthy…

  11. I am 17 weeks with #3 and haven’t told yet. My pant are one size bigger. I also do the layering thing with sweaters and jackets. I also find dresses to be more forgiving, particularly with an empire waist. I am a plus size person, so I have more to begin with so it is hard for people to tell. Things do change once everyone knows. I work in-house with all men. They are kind, but just don’t really know how to handle it. I won’t get any new challenging projects after I tell my boss.

    • this just fills me with despair. there was that poster the other day who got taken off of good work when she told she was pregnant too! What gives?

    • It’s true. The guys at my firm are great, and it’s a family-friendly place, but bless them, they can’t possibly understand. My favorite (and I heard it a lot) was, “Oh, I know all about being pregnant. My wife was pregnant three times!” I wish I’d kept it quiet longer, but there’s kind of a Catch-22: If I don’t tell, I have to use the “oh, I’m not feeling well” line for a lot longer than it’s plausible. In some ways it was a relief to explain why I’m ill, tired, and kind of crazy–and that it’s all temporary.

      • The SAME thing happened to me! I’m in-house with all men and as soon as I told my boss I was pregnant, I started getting the softball projects. Especially towards the end of my pregnancy, he would always tell me that he didn’t want to “overwhelm” me! I wanted to say, “Hey! I’m pregnant, not stupid!” It’s really frustrating and so ridiculous. I finally got so fed up with it that I stopped asking for more work and spent my “extra” time planning for my baby’s arrival.

    • Sorry to say it, but the same thing happened to me. I ended up telling way earlier than I wanted to when my boss caught me gagging into a trash can and thought I had gotten food poisoning from the division potluck. I blurted out that I was pregnant but asked him to keep it under wraps. He didn’t – choosing to reveal it in a staff meeting in front of everyone before I had even reached the 12-week mark (yes, he was a tool, for more than just this). After it became widely known I was pregnant, I started getting dropped off of long-term projects – no reference was ever made to the pregnancy but I heard through the grapevine that everyone expected me to quit after the baby came (which I had no intention of doing), and didn’t think I’d be around to see things through.
      I really, really recommend keeping the information to yourself as long as you possibly can – and that means telling NOBODY, because the only news that travels faster through a workplace than a pregnancy is a confirmed extramarital affair. It’s just better to be safe than sorry. I ended up sorry – I definitely feel I got involuntarily “mommy tracked” from the time people found out I was expecting.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I hate to be the lone jerk here, and maybe I would feel differently if I had kids, but why are you all surprised that you got taken off long term projects? If you know someone is taking a long vacation, going out for surgery, retiring, etc., you don’t assign them to tasks that they can’t finish. Even if you plan on coming back to work after the baby is born you are still missing a month and a half or so. Why would someone give you a project knowing they have to take it back? They give you stuff you can complete before your leave and then you get the long term stuff when you are back. Make sense to me and I don’t think it is discriminatory.

        • Yes, you would feel differently if you had kids. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

        • Litigation can take years, and sometimes very little happens in a couple months. I wasn’t taken off long term projects. I worked very diligently to transition major commitments to other lawyers in my office during the 10 weeks I was out. They were all supportive and happy to help because for YEARS I had always been the one to pitch in to help them, covering things while they were on vacation, sick, dealing with sick family members, etc. I expected to not be taken off of my cases because my job is not just busy work. I had invested, in some cases, years of my life in those cases, and I wasn’t easily replaceable just because I have a uterus and chose to use it.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            In your case, if nothing is expected to happen while you are out I don’t think you should be taken off. I’ll explain more where I was coming from. I am planning a two week overseas vacation in late December. If any cases come in that would likely be going strong at that time, I don’t expect to be put on them. I would consider it dishonest not to mention this planned vacation and do tons of work on a case with a December trial date and then in October, just mention “oh I will be out of the country.” I feel like all planned leave is the same in that regard. While a pregnancy may not be planned, you know approx. when you will be out and it makes sense for you and your employer to plan accordingly. I don’t think it is punishing you for having a uterus. If a guy was going out for surgery, to deal with sick family members, to go on vacation, he would likely be temporarily re-assigned too.

            For the record, I do think it was ridiculous to that one poster was taken off all Family Law cases. That is totally over the top.

        • I do have kids, and I was thinking the same thing. I was not surprised at all when I stopped being staffed on the long-term, interesting projects after I told everyone I was pregnant. why should they risk being left in the lurch when I go out?

    • I was the poster the other day. I got dropped off the paying projects and put back into the indigent defense work that I’d started out in. The partners are saying that it was a decision they had already made, but, please, one day after I announce my pregnancy? The real truth of it is they don’t want me taking on paying clients that I will have to abandon for 3 months after I give birth. Also, I won’t make any money for them while I am gone.

  12. I am 9 weeks with my first. I am 5’8″ with great ab muscles so I figured I could hide it for awhile. However, I was also 113 pounds when I got pregnant and there’s nowhere for it to go but out. I started popping last week really with a solid bump. I’m not telling anyone for another month, hopefully. This is interesting; thanks for the tips.

    • I bought everything 1-2 sizes up. Button-down shirts are quite forgiving esp if you blouse them or wear untucked.. Do NOT buy a bunch of empire shirts, it will make the bump more prominent. I am normally an 8 and bought suits in 10 and 12 which carried me through until I was ready to tell people.

      Also, lakeside, please eat enough as you go along – you are quite underweight as a starting point. Not meaning to be preachy, but I had several friends who started out underweight, and some of them tried to stay skinny while they were pregnant, with bad health results for their babies.

      • I know, I know! Believe me, I didn’t mean to lose so much and then get pg! An illness in the family combined with quitting the pill, and boom, I was 7 pounds lighter without trying. The good news is that I have already gained 5 pounds because having something in my stomach is the only thing keeping the nausea away! Thanks for your concern.

      • No offense to anyone but let’s keep judgments on height/weight ratios off this site. If anyone were to imply that X height and X weight was overweight, people would start to scream. It’s equally ill-placed to imply that X height and X weight is underweight. I know there are charts, averages, etc. etc. but ultimately everyone is different, bone structures can vary wildly from one person to another, and it is not anyone on here’s place to judge.

        • Thank you for saying that Anon, I totally agree.

        • I agree, but make no mistake – many, many people have NO problem implying that X height and X weight are overweight. Or, in fact, saying it straight out to the subject’s face in exceedingly cruel ways. Nobody is winning here.

          • I don’t care what the person’s frame is like, a weight of 113 at 5 foot 8 is incredibly thin, and a BMI of 17.2. Under 18.5 is underweight. This matters not only for one’s own health (risk of osteopenia etc etc) but also for the health of the baby, if one is pregnant. Unfortunately, some very thin/underweight people that I have known have continued to undereat throughout their pregnancies. Their babies were born early and each of the babies has significant health problems. It is a real risk to start out underweight and then not eat enough during pregnancy.

          • K, but you can’t assume that someone is that weight because they undereat – there are many many skinny people with high metabolisms who eat all the time and still can’t keep more weight on – my mother was when she was my age, and so is a college friend of mine… Both of whom have given birth to full term healthy babies… So please don’t assume that all skinny skinny women are undereating necessarily…

          • This is true. I don’t undereat, I just have a hard time keeping weight on. And there is no underlying medical condition. I run, I do some weight training, my metabolism is fast. But I am underweight and have been warned about gaining enough weight during pregnancy. So both sides have points.

  13. One caveat to all the loose-fitting top advice:

    If you don’t already wear a lot of empire-waist, tunic, flowy-style tops, the shift in wardrobe alone is a dead giveaway even if your bump is concealed. I’ve seen a lot of women try this “trick” and it’s pretty obvious.

    It’s kind of like the girl who suddenly starts wearing full-suits on a regular basis when, previously, she’d been pretty faithful to the business casual dress code – she doesn’t have to say a word for everyone to know she’s secretly interviewing…

    Ultimately, there’s only so much you can do to hide it, so don’t stress too much. Hopefully your coworkers have sense enough not to ask you if you’re pregnant and wait for you to reveal your news on your own schedule.

    • This one drives me crazy. I wore a suit twice this month and both times was asked if I were interviewing. The reality was that I had after-work commitments that mandated a professional attire, not interviews.

      It’s amazing how difficult it is to make the transition into a slightly nicer wardrobe from business casual.

    • just thought if you are “business casual” person you could swap to suits and everyone would be so busy gossiping about you going for interviews or trying to get a promotion that they wouldnt notice the bump!

  14. layers. and buy a few top layers a size or two up, you’ll need them for the first month or two back to work anyhow (well, unless you are better at working out on maternity leave than I was!) sweaters work well – blouses are hard because your bust is likely growing too and will only continue to grow. I agree with wearing blazers over it all – makes it harder to tell what’s going on underneath. The Bella Bands were great for me – no one ever noticed.

    for morning sickness, if its more than normal, ask for medicine – I was losing weight because I couldn’t keep anything down, so I got Zofran, which didn’t help my appetite but made the days bearable.

  15. Slightly off topic rant – I’m about 18 weeks and have been telling people in the last few weeks. I can’t tell you how many times peers who are not particularly close friends have asked me if it was planned. It was, but really is it any of your business?! Any thoughts on how to handle this obnoxious question?

    • I swear, other people’s pregnancies really do bring out the socially-inept. In droves.

      I’d probably go with a nice stare and a “What an odd question.” and then I’d just continue on with the conversation (or not) as if they hadn’t asked me anything.

      Congratulations btw :)

      • Depending on how polite you are feeling, you can simply say “oh, we’re very excited” (this is super polite and non-responsive, so non-responsive in fact that people should get the point), or “why?” Whatever you say, you are correct that it is no one’s business. I’d probably use the first one if a boss-type-person asked.

      • Anonymous :

        I would be incredibly pissed if someone responded in this way to me, regardless of if the question was rude – there is no need to insult the asker – they are probably just trying to be interested. I don’t have kids and don’t plan on having any, so when people tell me they are pregnant I have no idea what to say. Usually, congratulations, followed by an awkward silence that I try to fill by asking some question, so if someone accidentally offends you, maybe you should be more understanding and appreciate the fact that they care.

        • They are just trying to be interested? In what, the mom-to-be’s birth control method? WTH?

          I think this answer is perfect, but another alternative is, “why do you ask?” It puts the awkwardness back in the other party’s court, where it belongs.

        • If you were pissed because I answered with “we’re so excited” or “why?” instead of telling you, I wouldn’t care.

          • Anonymous :

            I wasnt reply to your comment, but the one above that suggested saying “What an odd question.”

        • How about: When are you due? How are you feeling? Are your families excited? That sounds wonderful.

          There are so many simple ways to respond to this statement, but yet some how people manage to find the rudest responses ever!

          My department secretary said: Oh, i thought you were going to wait a while. Then followed up with: i guess i didn’t know you were trying. As if my husband and i’s “trying” is any of her business. I didn’t know i needed to tell the office “Hey my husband and i are going to try and make a baby tonight incase anyone needed to know that!”

        • Anonymous :

          Seriously? I don’t want kids either, but I still know what to say when I find out someone else is pregnant. It happens all the time. Options include: congratulations, when are you due, do you know the sex, how are you feeling, did you pick out names.

          • Actually, people get a bit touchy on some of those too (sex, names) – and don’t feel it’s your business. So I’d stick to asking about due date, or general enthusiasm like “wow, that’s very exciting” unless they are really looking to share details with you or prolong the conversation.

          • Anonymous :

            EVA’s response highlights the point. Everyone has different versions of what is offensive. Trying to make someone feel awkward for asking a question doesn’t help anyone. To some people, if the women is married, it is no big deal whether the pg was planned or not, so, the the asker, it is just an innocent question like when are you due.

          • Anonymous :

            I actually get really annoyed with those comments as mine was unplanned and baby is being put up for adoption, so I am not naming him

    • My gut instinct is that, although it really isn’t any of their business and that’s kind of a rude question to ask (what if the answer was no and the person was having a hard time coming to terms with it?!?!), you should just say something along the lines of “Oh of course! We/I always wanted to have kids.” And then try to move the conversation along to something else. Otherwise, even though you know that you planned the pregnancy, saying something snippy back about how it’s none of their business might give the impression that you didn’t plan the pregnancy and are feeling bitter or induce comments about how you’re having pregnancy “mood swings” and give people something to gossip about.

      • That’s a good one– we always wanted children.

      • Thanks ladies. I’m glad that I’m not just hormonally nutsy for thinking that it is a rude question.

        @CL – that is what I’ve been doing, although not for the well thought out reasons that you articulate. It has simply been truth born of the shock that someone actually asked me that!

        • People are such idiots. It doesn’t really help us to treat them as such though, because *we’ll* be the ones labeled as “hormonal” and touchy. Easier just to give a quick answer (or non-answer) and leave it at that.

          This type of question is similar to other comments I’ve received. One of my female co-workers actually said to me “I can’t believe how big you are! My sister’s due a month ahead of you, and you look a trimester ahead of her!”. Seriously. Now how do you respond to that? And I think I look quite good (if quite round) thank-you-very-much.

          It’s also like the people who ask when you are going to have a kid/have another, etc. Another of my female co-workers asked me when was I going to have another kid, and that question just happened to come right after my fourth miscarriage. Now, the question didn’t upset me, but what if it had? What if I had started bawling right there? People just don’t think!

          • I would love to hear childless people’s responses to the constant questions about “are you planning to have kids?” from people at work. I am in the legal field, in a male-dominated practice area, and even though they know they shouldn’t ask, it seems like every one of my co-workers does. Whether it’s by choice or for medical reasons, it’s none of their business when and if I have kids.
            I’ve been telling people who ask that I don’t plan to have kids, just to avoid being “mommy tracked” before I’m even a mommy!
            Also, while I’m ranting, does anyone else who is childless get annoyed when someone tries to tell you about how great your firm is for working mothers? I KNOW they aren’t telling that to the childless men in my class.

          • When I was asked that (extremely inappropriate) question time and again, I always answered with a kind of dodgy, “Oh, I don’t know…we’ll cross that bridge when we get there… focusing on XYZ right now!” kind of non-answer. Kind of an, Oh my, never considered that one before! kind of answer. That way you can never be held to anything. Because no doubt that if you go around telling people that you don’t plan to have kids, and then you do end up having one, people have long memories and will remind you that you didn’t plan to have kids. Even if it was never true in the first place. And you’ll probably get some of those “Was it planned?” questions to boot.

            People telling you about how great the firm is for working mothers probably really think they’re being helpful, because some people would welcome the information. Not that there isn’t a double standard, of course, and not that it isn’t annoying, particularly if you’re not in that frame of mind.

          • anonymous :

            Anon – I would just be honest and say “no, I’m not interested in having kids, I’m not really a kid person”. I don’t care if that sounds a little bad, at least it’s honest.

            Fortunately as I’m single I don’t get this question very often. The other comments above make me so sad though, and at the same time very glad that people in my office are discrete and nice (and really not that chatty — who has time for all this chit-chat anyways?)

          • The funniest comment I got when I told co-workers I was pregnant was, “Do you know who the father is?” I gave the asker a funny look and replied, “Yes, my husband.”

          • I would just say no. It’s just easier. With me, it has the added benefit of being true, but anyone who has ever seen me around a child easily figures that out (kids freak me out and I don’t find babies cute. I’m a weird female, apparently).

          • I am in my early 30s and I have a 13 year old, but people always ask if/when I’m having more. I usually respond with a firm, “Hell no.” Gets the point across, even though some people might find it a bit offensive, but it generally stops the follow up conversation on how I’ll change my mind because I’ll miss having a baby around. Usually, “That’s why we got a puppy” stops that one!

          • when the guys I work with (and all my coworkers are guys, there is a HR lady in another state otherwise its top to bottom blokes) ask me questions that they clearly are only asking because I’m a woman I just out them on it. when they ask if I want kids, I say, is that something you ask everyone or am I getting special treatment for being a woman? or I say “is that something you’ve ever asked X coworker?” Dont be rude, but remember guys are clueless 90% of the time. they dont mind you just telling them its none of their business and that either way it would have no effect on your work committments. unfortunately in a world where they’ve never had to deal with women inthe work place you have to be the one to teach them how to treat you. Its like making love, you want them to do X, you gotta ask for it and when you do they LOVE it because they aren’t lost anymore.

      • I’d be nervous about saying it was planned, for some reason, if the question came up from someone very senior. You have a right to make reproductive choices and it doesn’t have to reflect at all on your committment to your company/firm, but the fact is a lot of this business is about perception and I’d be worried they’d take it the wrong way – like you’re angling for an exit strategy or something…

        I know that sounds terrible, and it shouldn’t be that way, but that was my first reaction.

        • I agree with this. Of course many/most professional women who are pregnant will have planned their pregnancies, but there are so many things related to waiting to tell that make the whole pregnancy process seem somehow “sneaky” that I wouldn’t want another element of “sneakiness” thrown in (i.e., not only have I been pregnant for 3-4 months and hid it from you, but I was PLANNING it in advance!). I don’t agree with this attitude at all, but I think that’s the way things are.

        • I work in tax. It is expected that you plan your pregnancies.

      • I had a friend who did not plan on being preg (at 39) and took time to come to terms with it. Asking her if it was ‘planned’ would just bring up all her issues…regardless of asker’s intentions.

        • My mother had an “oops” baby at an older-than-typical age. Someone had the gall to ask her, “What are you going to do?” To which my mother bewilderingly replied, “Love her like I love the rest of my children?”

    • If you’re feeling nervy, stare them dead in the eye and with a straight face ask them, “Why do you ask?” and let them squirm… because they should.

      If not, just gloss over with a breezy “so excited” and change the topic

    • I have to say–and I don’t have kids yet–that this is the first question that pops into mind if someone I know tells me they are pregnant and we aren’t close enough for me to know if they were trying. Of course, the fact that we are not close enough for me to know if they were trying means we are not close enough for me to ask this question!! So I bite my tongue. Even though sometimes it is hard and I really really want to know. Sigh. I guess I am nosy.

      • RoadWArriorette – who actually tells people they’re ‘trying’?!! I think that question is a rude one to ask, and TMI to answer!!

        • S – almost all of my girlfriends have told me when they were trying.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I don’t want kids so I am always curious b/c the thought of my birth control failing is terrifying.

          • Exactly! All of my close girlfriends have told me they were trying. That’s why I figure, anyone who hasn’t actually told me they were trying is not a close enough friend for me to ask the question.

            And S, you are so right–it IS rude to ask–which is why I don’t.

          • I had to tell my boss we were trying because we did IVF and some unfortunate timing (my body, and a trial that went longer than it should have) meant that I had to be out of a trial I was second chairing for a couple hours one morning. So, sometimes you do have to tell!

    • I have twins, so I got asked flat out how they were conceived. I just tried to judge the situation and why they were asking. If I thought they were being rude, I’d occasionally respond by asking if we were going to talk about how everyone conceived their children or just me. More often than not, people just don’t realize what’s coming out of their mouth until it’s too late.

  16. careful on the empire waist tops. i have a coworker who bought a bunch recently b/c she though they were cute and her tummy is not her favorite part of her body, and another coworker accosted her wanting to know if she is pregnant. (she is NOT.)

    • Ouch…which brings us to the second reason why you never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant unless she is unmistakeably within sight of her due date (the first, of course, being that she might not be ready to tell yet).

    • I had a coworker who returned from maternity leave only to be asked by someone who worked in the building at a different office when she was EVER going to have that baby because it seemed like she had been pregnant forever.

    • A few years ago a well meaning store clerk asked when I was due… I was not pregnant.

      After spending an hour fruitlessly searching for a dress that would fit/slenderize I was already on edge – I burst into tears, and left the items I had planned to purchase on the counter — Just another low point for the fat girl… Never, ever ask – I don’t care how certain you are.

      Unless you’re at her baby shower, or she has said “I’m pregnant” just keep your mouth shut.

      • LOL!

        • Also, I thought you were a size small belt? Must carry your weight at your stomach?

          • Wow Anon, how rude! If you had been following this blog at all, which obviously you haven’t, you would know that she recently lost a lot of weight after some time being heavier. Even if she had not lost weight, your comment is totally uncalled for and unwelcome here. Please take your snarkiness elsewhere!

          • Anon 2 – glad someone has name recall — and yes, I did lose a lot of weight — and at the time that happened I was approximately size 14 – 16.

            Anon 2 is so so correct – making remarks like that is easy behind the internet’s anonymity, but they are uncalled for, and frankly, more than a little rude.

      • Even at a baby shower, you should be sure…my sister was adopting a little girl, and we threw her a baby shower.

        About half way through the party, a friend of my mother’s whispered to my sister “why are we having the shower so early? You don’t look like you could be more than 24 weeks along…” She was mortified when she realized what she had said, and remembered that my sister was adopting. We still laugh about it with her, but my sister threw away the dress she was wearing that day.

    • A coworker and I were at a different office from usual, and one of our contacts asked her if she was pregnant. I started sputtering, (because WOW that is rude) trying to say something like, we had nachos for lunch so we’re bloated, etc…. Turns out my coworker WAS pregnant but not ready to share. And she also thought it was very rude.

  17. You can definitely buy tops that are more fitted around the ribcage and flowy at the bottom without the empire, if that’s not your thing. I bought some casual knit ones at Old Navy. Blouses, unless boxy all over, might be harder.

  18. Here are my tips for hiding the bump from a 35 weeker who still tries to minimize the bump while at work –
    1) Stick with solid dark colors for your base. Black pants and a black slightly fitted top have a very slimming effect. If black isn’t your color brown, navy, grey, etc work fine too. This really applies to everyone, but can really help hide a bump.
    2) Layer with loose sweaters and jackets – I loved the swing style cardigans when I was still trying to hide the bump, but you can get the same effect by just buttoning the top button or 2 of a regular cardi too.
    3) Look for normal dresses. I’ve purchased both maternity and non-maternity dresses and by far the marernity ones highlight the belly far more than the regular ones. I’ve had a lot of luck at Macys and find that the poly blend dresses are the best because they stretch. Same rule goes for tops too! I can still wear some of my non maternity tunics and I don’t look nearly as pregnant as I should in them.
    4) Go through your closet now and find every item that you can possible wear (cardigans, empire cut tops, tunics) and put them to the front and wear them! People didn’t question me while I was still wearing my regular clothes but started taking notice when I started showing up with different looking clothing. I also did this to avoid looking like I was stuffing myself into clothes that no longer fit, which will def draw attention.
    5) Get creative with scarves. I personally love scarves and would wear them looped longer with the tails hanging longer to hide the bump. This doesn’t work as well if you don’t normally do scarves, but if you do, it’s an easy way to draw the eye away from the belly.
    Hope these help! And congrats on Baby #2!

    • I totally agree with JSB! I hid my bump and tried to minimize the I-swallowed-a-beach-ball look by wearing black pants, a black cami, and a cardigan all the time. You tend to look smaller (once you do really start showing) when you wear things that are fitted rather than loose.

      I also wore scarves ALL the time. They draw the eyes up to your face rather than your belly and are great for hiding the extra cleavage that inevitably comes along with the bump! Old Navy has some great spring scarves that are light weight, jersey material.

  19. Re the morning sickness…one of the best things I did was tell my secratary early on (like 8 weeks or so). she was able to cover for me a little bit if I was hiding in the restroom or had to go outside for fresh air. (or the one day where i had to close my door and rest my head on my desk for a bit).

    • Anonymous :

      Must be lovely to have a Secretary you trust so much!

      • It was! Unfortunately since I recently changed jobs, I wont have that sort of backup the next time around.

  20. I’ve found that sheath dresses are my favorite (not structured; I love my floaty silk sheath). I think people are right, empire waist tops can definitely scream maternity if they’re not in your normal rotation. Floaty shirts with a structured jacket are a more natural transition.

  21. I have never been pregnant, but working with a large number of women who have been in recent years this what made the rest of us realize when someone was pregnant

    – Empire waist tops. Actually these make girls who aren’t pregnant look pregnant. They are not your friend.
    – Major changes is clothing style — if you wore a suit every day and now you’re wearing long cardigans that could double as bathrobes it’s a major eyebrow raiser

    I do have a friend of medium build who held off until nearly 20 weeks… she wore peasant sleeve shirts – already a little blousy but not to the point where you might as well have an arrow pointed at yoru belly. She also wore knee length skirts to draw attention to her legs – and away from her stomach.

    Good luck!

  22. I’m at 13 weeks and still hiding it (pretty successfully, I think). I’m trying all the tricks they use on TV to hide an actress’ pregnancy when it’s not in the script:

    I agree with the monochrome neutral base, then adding a bright cardigan and jewelry. I got a couple of cardigans with ruffles all the way down the placket. The volume from the ruffles creates some abdomenal ambiguity — you can’t tell whether bulk is from ruffles or belly. Bright shoes also draw attention away from your midsection.

    For under jackets, I switched from my usual stretch shells (, which tend to cling to a protrusive belly, to shirts more like this ( which skim the body.

    Get to meetings five minutes early so that you’re already sitting down when everyone else gets there.

    Switch to bigger handbags that you can pull halfway over your stomach when you’re walking the halls. I also carry a legal pad or file everywhere, which I can hold in front of me if I get stuck talking to someone.

  23. For those who are not yet pregnant, but are planning to be, adding in a few blousy shirts, empire waists, a non-suit look, or similar on an irregular basis before you become pregnant (so that you can alternate it with your normal wear) can help hide it because it isn’t such a shift in your wardrobe.

  24. My husband I and tried for 7 months to get pregnant, and then I didn’t tell the office until I was 4 months along. My key to hiding was to get more blouson tops and incorporating them into my wardrobe BEFORE I got pregnant. Then, when I actually needed the extra room, no one questioned my wearing the same shirts I’d been wearing for a few months. ;-)

    Obviously, this will only work if you’re currently trying and you have some time to scheme, but it worked well for me.

  25. I have a more general question: when is a good time to tell work? I’m in the 12th week, but not really showing yet, so I don’t really need to tell. But I have lots of doctors visits and have been pretty sick since week 6, so as someone above mentioned, it’s starting to feel a little artificial being “sick” constantly and not telling. Thoughts?

    • I told at 17 weeks but this is my 2nd pregnancy so I was already bursting out of my normal clothes. Once I told, it was a real relief to me both mentally (not having it hanging over me) and physically (not having to suck in my stomach or wear my winter scarves in April as a distraction technique). Definitely tell your boss before he or she hears it from someone else.

    • I think this depends in large part on your work environment. I told at 10 weeks – because I was really, really sick (and you can only claim to have stomach flu for so long). However, I was not worried about losing plum assignments (or my job). My only concern was the potential for miscarriage. On the other hand I worked with a woman who waited way too long (about 28 weeks), which really pissed off our boss because of the nature of our trial calendar and the fact that he had assigned her to a major case scheduled for trial while she was going to be on leave. I think you have to look at your firm, your practice, whether you view this as a long term job and what your concerns about telling are.

    • I told everyone at 13 weeks, but I was having twins so it was a little more obvious sooner.

  26. Here’s a tangentially related general question. I will be starting work at a large law firm as a second-year associate later this year (I’m clerking now). I’m now 32, and, for various reasons, my husband and I would like to start having kids sooner rather than later. What would be the minimum amount of time you’d want to be at the new job before considering the possibility of getting pregnant?

    • Elizabeth :

      I gave a lot of thought to this question myself. There’s no right answer, of course, and a lot of it depends on firm culture. My firm is very small and mostly women (and, actually, one might think this would naturally make it more family-friendly but I haven’t found that to be the case – unfortunately, there is a distinct “we had to pay our dues and so do you” vibe going on). But, you will be able to discern a lot from the firm’s overall culture, attitude towards people taking time off for soccer games/school plays, etc.

      We started trying when I’d been at my job about 6 months, which in retrospect might have been a bit soon. But it took me over 14 months to get pregnant, so by then I’d really gotten comfortable at my firm and had built relationships with my boss and assistants that were really helpful. My boss knew I did my job well and so didn’t bat an eye when I had to go to dr. appointments, etc. My assistant knew me well enough for me to feel comfortable confiding in her about the pregnancy (and she was kind enough to cover for me a few times when I had to close my door and put my head down). I’d be hesitant to get pregnant too soon when you haven’t made enough of an impression yet. There is a lot to be said for building goodwill that will tide you over a bit. But, as in my case, sometimes people don’t get pregnant on the first try, so it’s impossible to predict what will actually happen!

      Also consider the benefit/leave policy, because some employers will not give paid maternity leave unless you’ve been employed a minimum amount of time (one year is typical). Unfortunate but true.

    • Personally, if age weren’t a concern, I’d want to wait at least a year to establish myself and my reputation, but since you’re 32, I wouldn’t necessarily wait that long. If, god forbid, there are any issues with getting pregnant & having a baby, you’ll wish you had started earlier (I know I would). Good luck.

      • I am in a similar situation, having started a new job a few days after my 30th birthday (and we had previously planned to start trying around that date). We delayed our plans for six months. Still trying (it’s early yet, no worries), but the basic principle was that I wouldn’t want to go on leave until I’d already been here an entire year and had a chance to get settled into the rhythym of the new job. On the other hand, I really didn’t want to wait too long as we think we probably want a couple of kids, and don’t yet know if there will be complications impeding that.
        I think it also matters how long you plan to be out, which of course can change for a number of reasons, but if you know you’ll want to take all the time you can, then you may have to plan more carefully than if you think you will want to come back ASAP.

        • This is something I’m concerned about too. I’m currently a 2L and my husband and I are seriously considering starting our family soon. While I’m only 25, due to some major health concerns (nearly every woman in my family has had a hysterectomy by age 35) we don’t have that much time if we want to have more than one child at reasonably-spaced intervals. Would it be completely irresponsible for us to start trying now, in hopes of having our first right around/after graduation next May? I don’t have to worry about studying for a bar exam next summer (Thank you, Wisconsin!) but I do worry about possibly showing during interviews. Would it be more objectionable to interview while pregnant and have the child before starting work, or to get pregnant during the first year?

          • I strongly considered having a 3L baby, but eventually decided against it. In some ways, I wish we had tried. I’ve known a handful of women who had a baby the last year of law school and it worked out very well for them.

    • I’ve thought about this question a lot, too, since I changed jobs a couple of times in the last 4 years. Many firms offer maternity benefits after you’ve been at the job for a year. So I’d suggest to try and wait 3-4 months and then start trying : 3+9months = 1year to delivery date, even if you conceive immediately.
      I’d suggest you don’t wait too long though, as it isn’t as easy to get pregnant as I thought and I sometimes wish I’d started earlier.

      • I’m in the same position–I just started at a V10 firm in DC after clerking. I started here in November and got pregnant in January, so I’ll be here just under a year when I go on leave. My husband and I hemmed and hawed about the decision to get started so quickly but decided it was best for us for a few reasons:

        1. I knew two other women who had done the same thing last year, and they both came back after maternity leave and are doing fine. This may not be acceptable everywhere, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear these two women had been treated well, and this is a pretty intense place.

        2. The younger you are, the faster you bounce back physically and can get back to work. Plus, if you want more than one kid, like we do, you’ve gotta get started.

        3. As a second year my class is still very large. I thought that, even being pregnant/a new mom, I could keep up with or even stay ahead of at least half of these people. If I waited the “recommended” two years until 4th year, the field would be narrowed considerably, only the best would be left, and I would look worse by comparison.

        4. As a new associate, my responsibilities are fairly light. I want to do good work, but my presence isn’t going to make or break a case. The 5th-6th years are the people who are really critical in case management. A four-month absence is a much bigger deal as a senior associate.

        I hope that helps. As I noted above (way above) I’m 13 weeks and still haven’t announced at work. I’m hopeful that it will go well, but I certainly appreciate being nervous about the decision.

        • I started at the firm in September and got pregnant in December. We were also thinking it would take us longer, but I got pregnant on the first try. It felt a little soon, but actually missing part of the first year turned out to be fine. They don’t expect first year associates to bill a ton, so that was a benefit.

          I’m pregnant with my second child now, and this one has felt more pressured than the first, because I have more responsibility. Actually, I felt like the scrutiny was a lot greater this time and I almost had to apologize for it, because there will only be two years between my sons and so I guess some people found it to be “too soon.” Ultimately, I think people should do what is right for their family– jobs come and go.

        • Does anybody have any thoughts about getting started on trying *during* a clerkship–as in, maybe around early-mid 2011, so if all went as planned, I’d be a few months pregnant by the time the clerkship ended? Then kid #2 could come after I’d been at my firm for a couple years. I’m just so into the start-young-and-get-it-over-with-while-still-relatively-junior idea. (Sorry for obnoxious use of hyphens.) Bad idea? Thoughts?

          • I’ve thought about that, too. Like, what if I just showed up at the firm 3 or 4 months pregnant? I fear, though, that the result would be that I’d get no good work and fall behind my peers starting at the same time.

          • Oh, and I guess it also matters if the firm requires a full year before you are eligible for maternity leave. I actually don’t know the answer to that question at my firm…

          • Very good points, A. Of course that just makes me think of starting sooner and seeing if I could just not start at the firm until after the baby… i.e., living off my husband’s income + insurance during what would be my leave, and then starting at the firm maybe in Jan/Feb. Of course I don’t know if people starting after clerkships have to start in the fall with the rest of the just-graduated incoming class, or if there’s more flexibility. And I guess if the deferrals to Jan/Feb keep up, it might not be a problem after all…hmm so many variables…

            Anyway, I feel very naive in this whole pregnancy business, but you can see I’m kind of stuck on the idea of sneaking one in right away! ;)

    • You can’t plan it for the perfect time. You may start trying and have problems (speaking from the experience of 6 years of fertility struggles before I got pregnant). You may plan it perfectly and come back from leave to kick off the worst economic crisis of our lives. Do what works for you and your husband, be professional about it, and that’s all you can do. If your firm is going to “mommy track” you, they are going to do that regardless of whether you are pregnant when you walk in the door or pregnant 3 years later.

      • All of this advice is wonderful to hear. I knew that I wasn’t the only one worrying about this issue, but actually reading about all of your experiences is so reassuring.

  27. Hello and congratulations!
    Can you wear cardigans instead of suit jackets? The drapy cardigans that are around now are very good for hiding the bump.
    But if you’re me (and I’m pretty sure you’re not) the seasick-green face and the acne will give you away before the bump does. :)
    Good luck.

    • No kidding! I just found out that I’m 5 weeks pregnant and while I’m not seasick green (yet), my face apparently thinks I’m 16 years old again. Instead of getting that fabled “glow,” I got 10 new pimples.

      But honestly, this thread has been a god-send.

      • Ha! Yeah, I had planned to hold on to the news longer, but everyone in the office pretty much had it figured out when I suddenly couldn’t stand the smell of coffee. I’m a devoted coffee-drinker, so they knew it had to be something pretty serious. My boss later told me he figured it out when he came in one day to discuss a case with me and I was eating lunch at 11 a.m. This was at like 8 weeks. It’s funny how well your habits are known in a small office.

        • Yep. I was outed because I was eating saltines and drinking sprite and no one had seen me with a diet coke in my hand for a week. A friend of mine cornered me and said jokingly that I’d either developed a drinking problem, or I was pregnant. He was great though and kept it quiet until I was ready to share with people.

          • LOL at the coffee– it happened to me too. My husband has to brew his at work now. Also I eat like every hour so no matter when anyone walks in my office I have something in my mouth. I’m not telling for another month though, hopefully.

  28. ChickintheStix :

    This brings back such a painful memory. As an associate during my first pregnancy, while in a packed elevator with a named partner, a female summer associate said to me, “well, that explains why you’ve been so bitchy lately.” I wanted to say, “No. I’m a bitch because I have to do your work & mine, too.” I didn’t. What would you have done/said? Is there *any* appropriate response?

    • Whoa. Super inappropriate. Hopefully the partner heard the summer associate–that remark does not reflect well on her. Unfortunately doing anything other than taking the high road (I probably would have just said nothing at all to her for the rest of the time you were in the elevator together, but I’m sure litte remarks such as, “Wow. Why would you say that to me?” would have been appropriate) would have made you look bad. Sucks that some people are such asses.

    • Try the “gimlet eye” – you know, the dead in the eye stare down. Sometimes saying nothing makes them focus more on just how rude/inappropriate what they just said was, and let’s you walk off gracefully without saying something that you might regret.

    • I might have said exactly that depending upon how secure I felt in my position at the firm. But I probably would have just ignored her. There’s nothing you can say in front of the partner that makes you look good. Say nothing. Rise above. She already looks like a bitch, so you don’t have to do anything to make her look like one.

  29. Eileen Fisher is a great brand to check out when you are trying to keep your pregnancy under wraps, and you can re-use the items as you go through your post-pregnancy size transitions. Also, don’t forget about the option of having a great transition piece or maternity piece replicated by a family member who sews or by your own tailor. For my winter pregnancies, my mother sewed me some beautiful mock turtleneck tunics in dark solid jewel colors–for business casual, these were a staple. I dressed them up with silk scarves over maternity slacks and got a jealous inquiry from my pregnant OB about where I’d found them–much more dignified looking than the empire-waist, cleavage-showing tops usually found in maternity departments.

    • Elizabeth :

      Ditto the Eileen Fisher recommendation, and I also found some great things at Chico’s. I don’t normally shop there, but they have nice shells, tunics, etc.

      One thing to make sure of is to make certain that your tops are long enough. I found that a lot of maternity tops were not, especially at the end of my pregnancy, and nothing says “unprofessional” like a tiny hit of bare belly. (Actually, it’s not a good look for anyone, but particularly if you work in a profession where conservative dress is the norm!)

      I might get some heat for saying this, and I know there are exceptions to this rule, but I didn’t spend too much money on designer maternity clothes. Generally I am of the mind that expensive = better quality = classier and more professional, but I just couldn’t bring myself to shell out $$$ for clothing I’d only wear a few months of my life. Instead, I bought basics at Gap, Ann Taylor Loft, and even Target in subdued, dark colors (I think you can get away with cheaper fabric if the colors are dark). And I avoided prints and trendy tops, since these tend to be more memorable—so I could wear the same basics over and over. I never looked very fashion-forward while I was pregnant, but, eh. You have the rest of your life to wear fun clothes. My mission was just getting through it in one piece! As for morning sickness (or all day sickness as the case may be), I second the recommendations for hydration and not letting your stomach get empty. I also kept ginger and sour candy in my desk, but that only goes so far. After a while it was a relief to come clean and tell people about my pregnancy!

  30. Seventh Sister :

    What is it with maternity stores and lots of cleavage? While I just about kissed the salesclerk when she told me I was a D (!) cup while pregnant (after a life of A-/B+), no one in my office needed to see that much of my chest for nine months. And layering with tanks is *not* a helpful maternity clothes tip – I was always boiling hot.

    • I thought the same thing when I was pregnant. I went from a C to a DD cup by the time I was about 30 weeks – those tatas were already “busting out all over,” ha ha – and the last thing I needed was a LOWER neckline. I honestly believe most maternity clothing designers are in a time warp where most pregnant women do not work. Just look a the so-called “professional” maternity offerings out there.

      • ClerkChic :

        I know a number of women who have had sucess covering the cleavage by sliding a BellaBand over the bra. It’s cooler than a tank top because it covers less, and that nice finished edge looks great.

      • Amen! I have searched high and low for a maternity suit and located a grand total of one–online at Pea in the Pod. And I can’t bring myself to shell out the money for it. 1. I don’t really like it, and 2. I can only wear it for a couple months anyway. All the maternity clothes I have inherited are tee-shirts and jeans, and all the suggestions for dressing for two involve sweatpants or leggings and men’s shirts (seriously!? is it the 80’s!?).

        One thing that has seemed to help with the “cup runneth over” problem is making sure I stay on top of my bra size. For a while I was just cramming into my old size, not wanting to buy something I knew I’d grow out of in another month. But that’s a bad idea. Wear a bra that fits, even if you just pick up whatever’s on clearance to wear for a few weeks.

    • Amen! It’s also a problem with plus sized clothing.

      • Definitely – I think the idea is to maximize your “best feature” – which for plus size women seems to be the chest — I always hated that since it’s not particularly office appropriate to wear low cut shirts!

        And a lot of women are thrilled by their pregnancy curves — I’ve seen a lot of maternity lines advertised as being sexy (not so much office appropriate though)

  31. Just carry a briefcase or a banker box in front of you at all times.

  32. Am the only one who cannot stand the cutesy terminology of “baby bump”? It’s bad enough that celebrities who have the nerve to eat a real meal and have internal organs get accused of having baby bumps in tabloid magazines; now it’s applied to non-celebrity women too? Enough. You’re pregnant. Or expecting. You don’t have a “baby bump.” Ugh.

    • Amen to cutting back on cutesy euphemisms.

    • YES, thank you!! I loathe “bump,” and ditto to “preggers.”

    • Knocked up is the one that continues to shock me – are you sixteen years old and forced to have a baby? Because that’s what the term says to me – not wanting to be pregnant and very immature.

      Not sure if it was the movie or what but a surprisng number of reasonably educated, very excited pregnant women have used it.

  33. Sad commentary when we have to “hide” that we’re pregnant and sick as a dog, like it’s leprosy or something. I didn’t and couldn’t. But I did work way too hard while pregnant, against doctor’s orders, got terrible illnesses and colds, and delivered early. God bless you all.

  34. What a great thread! I’m still a law student, but this is our first so I imagine I’ll be facing this issue eventually. I also found that swingy cardigans over monochromatic, form-fitting layers were the way to go as far as camouflage. Fortunately I already had several longer cardigans from pre-preggo days that worked perfectly, but I invested in a couple more to keep in rotation.

    For those of you with horrible morning sickness, you might also look into Sea-Bands. I wore them almost my entire first trimester and they really helped a lot.

    • Anonymous :

      Ms. JD just did a post about being a pregnant law student:

  35. What a perfectly timed thread! I am 10 weeks along with our first and we’re just telling our families this week – SO excited. I work at a large CPG firm, and am considering going part time after maternity leave. I’m extremely concerned about if a few years part time will completely halt career progression – and I don’t know how to have the conversation to find out more info without incurring the potential repercussions (mommy-tracked). Anyone else take a few years part time until kids were in pre-school or so?

    Also, I found that saltines made everyone ask if I was pregnant, while multigrain cheerios (or other similarly bland foods) raised no suspicions, even while eating them (and only them) all day. I’ve also tried to specify the type of illness, instead of just saying I don’t feel well. Headache, cold, sinus pressure, exhaustion (we just got a new puppy, so that’s been my excuse for friends).

    Good luck to all the other pregnant women! At some point it’s got to get easier for us to have kids and a career, right?

    • I went PT after my first but I also switched firms. My biglaw firm fired me when I was 8 months, which was really dumb on their part – I got a $$ settlement from them and it allowed me to have 6.5 months of paid maternity leave. Still very stressful bc I had to look for a new job, though. I went to a small firm and started out there @80%, which works out to about 60% of big firm hours. I found that starting out as PT worked really well – it wasn’t trying to change anyone’s expectations of when I would be available, etc., since I was coming in as already PT.

  36. My coworker revealed to us at 13 weeks or so, at a staff party, that she was pregnant with her second. All the women in the department had known (well, guessed) for weeks, but all of us had the common courtesy not to say a word to her or to each other until she told us. My male coworkers, on the other hand, were completely surprised.

    I don’t think there’s a way to hide your bump from women (or the few men) who are observant and who have been around pregnant women enough to recognize the telltale signs of pregnancy. Luckily, such women are also unlikely to be completely tactless about it. For the rest, I think wearing a suit jacket or loose cardigan should cover it up enough during the first trimester. Skirts and dresses will also show less than pants.

    • North Shore :

      So true. When I told my coworkers about my first, at around 12 weeks, they all said they had guessed as much already. They had been too polite to ask me directly, though. This was a group that included mostly guys, but they were fathers already, so they’d been there. With my second, I was outed almost immediately by my supervisor, who claimed I was “glowing” and must be pregnant. Oh well — good luck to the rest of you in keeping your happy news to yourselves!

  37. The empire waisted tops can hurt as much as help. I’ve never been pregnant, but tops like that often just look very similar to maternity tops when I wear them.

  38. I can understand that people don’t want to announce a pregnancy before they are ready, but I don’t understand trying to hide the pregnancy once it is known. Ie, trying to minimize the bump when you are 30 weeks? Revel in the changes in your body! I hate the implication that pregnancy has no place in the workplace or that you have to downplay the pregnancy because it would make you seem unprofessional. I feel like that just plays into the hand of people who are not comfortable working with pregnant women or think they needed to be treated different, and it makes it harder for all of the other pregnant women to normalize it.

    On a different note, I actually found that I felt it was easier to get away with more casual and relaxed styles as a pregnant woman. It can be really difficult to dress in a tailored, fitted way pregnant (I am pregnant with #2 and am normally a fitted sheath lover), and I felt like the first time around, especially because it was the summer, I could push the envelope on my wardrobe a little more for the office bcs it is understood that comfort is rather important. But maybe that was just me.

  39. Depending on where you live and practice (if you’re an attorney), there’s no need for a maternity suit. You’d probably need one for a trial, but I got away with one black blazer and several professional looking maternity dresses for court appearances, mediations, etc. during the last few months of my pregnancy.

    • What color dress would go with a black blazer? I have to go to federal court this week, and I’m struggling with this one. I have a black dress that works, but not sure what color blazer to put over it. I have a black blazer, but not sure what color dress will work. Any suggestions? Links? Where does one even buy a professional looking maternity dress?



      • Look around the Japanese Weekend site: I had a few of their dresses and loved them. Not expensive (around $100) and half-decent quality. Added bonus: many of them work for nursing. If you’re coming back to work and pumping, having nursing-friendly clothes will help. Here’s one dress:

        • I liked the gap dresses. They looked very professional esp w/ jackets over.

          I also got 2 maternity suits from pea in the pod and wore those all the time, often just wearing the jacket over the gap dresses.

  40. I think either of those would work. For federal court, you will want to wear the jacket. However, check your state court dress codes. Ours specifically state that female lawyers can wear either suits or dresses. So I wore a number of maternity dresses to state court without a jacket.

  41. The truth is, you’re not going to hide it the second time around. Female co-workers will know. And that’s okay. They will find out eventually. The men will not notice until you tell them. Just choose clothes that are comfortable. I wore a lot of dresses.

    I found that it was good to tell my assistant early on, even though I wasn’t ready to tell everyone, because she could help me out. I had also told her about my second pregnancy, which I lost at 10 weeks. That way, I had someone who had my back when I was going through morning sickness and when I was upset and sick from the miscarriage.

    I shared a lot of clothes with other attorneys in our office who had recently been pregnant. We had one suit that three of us wore over several pregnancies. It so happens that it came from Target, what a deal that was.

    I tried to scrimp and save during my first pregnancy. By the end, nothing fit and I was miserable. The second time, I spent some cash and bought a few things that I felt good in and that were comfortable to wear. Japanese Weekend and Isabella Oliver were some good choices for me. I found that the best pants for me came from Gap maternity, however. Pea in the Pod was good for tops and sweaters, but the pants did not work for me.

    I also pushed the wardrobe envelope a bit towards the end. Everyone could tell I was uncomfortable, so no one cared if I was wearing ugly shoes or pants.

    • Ditto on the scrimping and saving first time around. This time I spent a little more money and actually found some cute clothes. It’s very important to me (now) to have cute clothes to wear when I’m feeling huge. Does wonders for the self-confidence! Plus, even if you’re only wearing these clothes for a short time, you’ll wear them over, and over, and over…might as well like them.

  42. Wow! There are so many great tips in this thread! I’m almost 11 weeks with #3 and am waiting another few weeks to spill the beans, so this has definitely been helpful!

  43. I have some questions for you ladies about telling clients you are pregnant. A bit of background. I was an equity partner at big law. I just moved over to a smaller firm as a shareholder. I’m working for one of my fellow shareholder’s clients on two large cases. Not only am I handling the case. I really have been doing it most of it solo without much associate help. We don’t really have any litigation associates yet although we are working on it. In one case, we are the defendant, so delay will probably be fine. In the other case, we are the plaintiff. I’m currently 7 1/2 weeks pregnant. When do you all think I should tell my fellow shareholder whose client it is? When do I tell the client? How do I assure them that I can still represent them? What are my ethical obligations when I might decide not to return to work? When do I tell opposing counsel? How should I tell? (Fortunately, one of them is out of the city and I won’t be bumping into them). How can I agree to scheduling orders right now when I may not be there during certain deadlines? On a different note, how do I continue my own business development once I start showing? So many questions. It seems like all the pregnancy questions are geared toward working for your employer. But, here as an older attorney, my questions are all geared toward working with clients. I appreciate your thoughts and any resources.

  44. I found that those breezy ‘peasant blouse’ looks that are so loose fitting most of the time were too tight for my preggo belly. They actually have just an inch or two of extra fabric, and my 4-mo belly had put on more than that.
    For a job interview at 5 mos (illegal to discriminate, but they certainly wouldn’t have hired me if they’d known), I found a just-over-the-hips jacket with a cinched waist worked best.
    Good luck!

  45. I’ve just found this site, can I really get a carrier for free?.


  46. Hi guys, Just saying hello to the forum.


  47. I LIVED in cream/beige skinny jeans, heels (not dangerously high ofc), and long empire line patterned tops for the first trimester until I was ready to tell people. Second pregnancy bump is definitely bigger! It’s a good look tho, long empire line tops skip over the bump, and pale skinny jeans draw attention away from it, and make you look thinner. And heels give you that great skinny-girl posture. I kept being asked if I had lost weight, and complemented on my spring “look”. When I told people they were shocked, and didn’t believe me when I told them how far along I was, and my son was no small fry!

  48. hey Started exercising about three months in the past and no abs. Wondering what I’m doing wrong. Any good assets?

  49. Katieminna :

    I’m only 7 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and I noticed yesterday that I’m already starting to show. I knew it would be sooner with the second one, but I didn’t think it would be this soon! I hope these tips work because I’m not ready to tell the whole world just yet. I’m also on staff in a nursing school that happens to have a program to train midwives so I’m sure there are faculty members that have an eye for these things. I’m going out this weekend to buy some bigger clothes to try and hide this for hopefully another 5 weeks, but I’ll be happy with buying another 3 at this point.

  50. I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s content every day along with a mug of coffee.

  51. 数 のメーカー が、個々小売業者。チャネルバッグ、グッチバッグ、ルイ ・ ヴィトンハンドバッグ と女性のミュウミュウ ミュウミュウ バッグにも最も愛する。 スタイリッシュな白、高級金をは簡単しかし素晴らしいハンドバッグ。そうでフレーズの値と高品質、これらのレプリカをすることができます-

  52. Great blog right here! Also your website a lot up very fast!

    What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate link for your host?
    I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  53. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared
    to textbooks, as I found this piece of writing at this

work fashion blog press mentions