May 2017, I learned I was pregnant before going out of town with girlfriends for the weekend. Before the initial excitement could even set in, my first thought was how I could possibly keep this a secret while spending the weekend with a house full of women. With some creative excuses and the help of one friend who figured out something was up, I made it through. The next challenge would be keeping it a secret at work until I was ready.
My husband and I decided a long time ago that when the time came, we would wait until at least the 12- week mark to tell people about our pregnancy. On top of this, my pregnancy came in the midst of working with my boss on a job re-classification, so I was determined to keep my pregnancy a secret.
In 2017, it is sad to say that women still need to think about hiding a pregnancy in the workplace, and that a pregnancy could impact job prospects, however it is still a very real consideration. I can honestly say that I have a very supportive workplace, and am confident that my boss and co-workers would not allow news of my pregnancy to impact my value to the team or my job re-classification, but I did not want to take any chances.
Hiding a pregnancy is definitely easier said than done, you are constantly conscious about what you are wearing, who you are around, how you feel, and gauging whether or not people may guess your secret. I was very fortunate in these early days, and did not experience much morning sickness, or noticeable weight gain. Trying to hide my pregnancy made it challenging to be excited, I was not speaking about my experience with anyone, and I was putting all of my focus into making sure it was kept a secret.
In those first few weeks, I learned two very important lessons,
Although I had very good reasons for keeping my pregnancy a secret, it is quite stressful.
Even in the year 2017, when equality and women’s rights have come so far, how to handle pregnancy in the workplace is still an ongoing discussion
I would love to hear other people’s experiences, and why you may or may not have chosen to keep your pregnancy a secret.