There’s a bunch of reasons why you may wish to conceal your pregnancy, and all are typically motivated by fear.
Fear of being fired from your job, fear of an abusive partner, fear of telling people after a previous pregnancy loss, fear of facing an unexpected pregnancy at a young age, and, therefore, fear of telling your parents.
Assuming your concern is the latter, rest assured knowing that there are numerous ways to keep your pregnancy hidden, but there’s also a bigger picture that we’ll address in a moment.
Carefully Choose Your Clothing
For at least the first 6-7 months, you’ll probably be able to hide your pregnant belly by wearing dark, loose clothing such as sweatshirts and sweatpants.
Anything too restrictive could showcase your growing bump.
If you have a certain style to upkeep to prevent suspicion, then picking up a few easily-repeated items at the store, such as maternity jeans, may be a good idea.
The flexible, stretchy material on maternity jeans can accommodate your growing bump and can also be easily hidden underneath your loose shirt.
Get Good at Making Excuses
As for your physical symptoms, such as nausea and food cravings, you can always attribute these to other ailments, couldn’t you?
Perhaps your stomach hurts more often now because you seemingly cannot digest dairy anymore?
Perhaps your cravings are soaring because you’ve recently changed your birth control dosage or brand? Maybe your sensitivities are heightened because it’s your time of the month? There are plenty of excuses to go around…
Covering Up Buys Time
However, these concealment methods can only buy you time. A newborn baby cannot be concealed by sweatshirts or sweatpants.
No matter what has been said in the past, no matter what worst-case-scenario you’ve envisioned in your mind, remember that your parents love you.
Might they be disappointed? Sure.
Might they have wished other plans for your life? Probably.
But pregnancy is a game-changer.
You have gotten yourself into a situation—with the help of the baby’s father, no less—and it’s likely in everyone’s best interest to inform your parents sooner than later.
Though you may not think so now, your parents’ anger and disappointment will be short-lived.
In terms of priority, it will not surpass the crutch you need right now in your parents as an uncertain youth in such a serious situation.
Like you, they too will realize that an actual life is on its way, and soon.
There’s not much time left to dwell in anger.
Think About Antenatal Care
Your unborn baby, no matter how tiny, deserves pre-natal care and regular check-up appointments that will be difficult to hide.
You and your child deserve as much time as possible needed to figure out the future, as does your support system.
If your parents wish to rearrange work schedules to help out with childcare.
If an additional source of income is in order.
If your parents would prefer that you secure an apartment of your own. If the seeking of adoptive parents may be your best route – it’s in everyone’s best interest to put the information on the table sooner than later.
Who Can You Talk To?
If need be, a support system outside of the home is available. For those with unsupportive parents or abusive significant others, women’s clinics and the internet are abundant with resources for pregnant women who seek support through this experience.
Tell a friend or trusted extended family member that can help guide you in the right direction.
As you adorn the loose sweatshirts and maternity jeans and cough your newfound nausea up to food poisoning in front of your family, remember that there is a tiny heartbeat just beneath that stretchy fabric.
A heartbeat that fully, automatically entrusts you already to put its best interests above all, and that is the only potential source of disappointment that should motivate your next move.
Concealing your pregnancy from everyone may feel like the right decision for now, and that’s ok, but there are other decisions to be made too and time is against you.
The first one is to find someone to confide in to talk things through and decide where to go from here.