Trying to keep your pregnancy secret during the first trimester? Here's how to keep your big news under wraps.

By Chaunie Marie Brusie, R.N., B.S.N.

To tell or not to tell? That is the question for every pregnant woman. Many women decide to keep their pregnancy private for at least the first trimester, whether it's due to concerns about miscarriage or complications at work.

And that makes the first trimester of pregnancy a little awkward, as you walk the line between wanting to shout your news from the rooftops to wondering when the right time is to share your bundle-of-joy-to-be with your family, friends, and of course, Facebook. If you're still not quite ready to share your news, here's how:

1. Understand your bump. In the first trimester, hormones can cause bloating and relax your stomach muscles, which can account for that pre-bump that looks like you've put on a couple of pounds. It can be frustrating in those first few weeks, when you aren't feeling necessarily pregnant but just plump, but you need to keep in mind that your body is simply adjusting to the pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different -- some women tend to gain more during the first trimester and not as much in the second; other women experience the opposite.

2. Avoid form-fitting clothing. When you're not ready to highlight your belly -- or what feels more like bloat -- avoid your tighter prepregnancy clothes. "Stick with clothes that drapey or deconstructed," advises Amy Tara Koch, a style expert and author of Bump It Up: Transform Your Pregnancy Into the Ultimate Style Statement. "Think flowy or slouchy." Koch suggests choosing a top with side-ruching, or playing it safe with tunics or something Empire-waisted, which she calls "the magic silhouette" for pregnancy.

3. Balance is the key. "The trick is, if you wear something blousey on the top, wear something more fitted on the bottom," Koch says. "If you don't, and you wear something big on the top and the bottom, you'll look ten pounds heavier." Bottoms like leggings, black tights, and skinny jeans are perfect options to keep your outfit proportional.

4. Add a scarf. Scarves are another great way to camouflage your condition. "Scarves are so easy to pop on," Koch says. "And they make you look longer, leaner, and taller." She advises trying an oversized length for thrown-on glamour. "Don't wrap it more than once," she says. "And leave it hanging down." If you're feeling large, opt for dark, slimming colors like black and blue, or add a bright printed scarf for a pop of color.5. Accessorize. . "Accessories are styling tools," Koch says. "They can draw attention away from the things you don't love and draw attention to what you do love." If you're trying to hide your bundle of joy, she suggests bringing attention to your face and away from the belly. Try bigger earrings, like hoops, chandeliers, or anything that goes below the earlobe. "I think gold is more powerful than silver or black," Koch says. "And stones work too."6. Drop your neckline. . You obviously don't have to show Kardashian-style cleavage, but showing a little décolletage can help draw attention from your mid-section. Koch advises trying shirts with scoopnecks, V-necks, or boatnecks that will show a little skin, drawing attention to your neck and face. 7. Out with the old, in with the new. . Rather than leaving all those clothes in your closet that just serve as a depressing reminder of how fast you are growing, keep them out of sight and out of mind. "Just pack those pieces that don't fit you anymore in a storage container and get them out of your closet," Koch says. "And when you rediscover them, it's like shopping in your own closet!"

Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.



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