‘i hid my Pregnancy’
Meet the women who were scared to go public with their bumps. They tell us why...
Discovering you’re having a baby with your partner is up there with the top milestones in life, so it should be one of the most amazing, feelgood announcements to make. But for some women, it’s one they feel they need to keep to themselves.
It’s something that the celeb world has brought to our attention. Blake Lively kept her first pregnancy secret for four months, while Eva Mendes reportedly only told close friends and family when she was eight months gone. Then there are those Cheryl ‘pregnancy’ rumours, where she’s apparently accepted congratulations from fans but refuses to comment herself. But if you don’t have paparazzi following you around, why would you hide your entire term?
For Heidi, it was her previous miscarriage that weighed heavily on her mind when she fell pregnant again in 2010. ‘I had a lot going on in my life,’ the 31-year-old tells Look. ‘I had a very successful career, we’d spent less than a year in our new home and I was busy with my five other young children, all aged under nine.’
‘I didn’t feel well from the start and I was worried after having a miscarriage the previous year. I felt like my partner Andy was the only one who knew what I was going through, so I decided to keep it a secret.’ At seven weeks, Heidi was rushed to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit, suffering from bleeding and stomach cramps. Doctors informed her that she’d been expecting twins, but sadly only one foetus had survived. ‘I cannot describe how scared I was,’ she tells us. ‘It only reinforced my decision to keep it quiet. I wore lots of make-up to hide how pale I was due to morning sickness. I wore a large winter coat to cover the bump, but it was hard to not tell people I know really well. All I could think was that it was easier than telling people I’m pregnant only to have to tell them I’m not soon after.’ After an eight-month scan, Heidi finally felt ready to reveal all. ‘Most of my family were understanding of my decision. My mother-in-law was upset that she hadn’t been able to support me through my miscarriage fears, but I’m glad we didn’t have to put her through it.’ Heidi’s not alone. Despite millennials being used to changing traditions, when it comes to pregnancy many still wait until they’re past the three-month stage before announcing their news to the world. The most common reason for this is that miscarriage poses a threat
to one in five women.
Work is a another reason why women keep quiet about their impending motherhood. For Kate, 31, her career was the driving force behind her decision to hide her third pregnancy from the world. ‘There are 14 months between my second and third child and I was worried what people would say about having one straight after the other,’ she reveals. ‘I hadn’t been back [at work] long so I didn’t tell them until I started to show. I was worried about how they would react.
‘I kept it quiet for as long as I could, but when my bump started to show at around five months I had to tell people. I felt better telling people and no one said anything negative about it. I don’t regret keeping it a secret while I figured out what I wanted to do.’
FYI, the government says you must tell your employer 15 weeks before the beginning of the week when your baby is due, especially if you want paid time off for antenatal appointments.
‘More people today are holding off telling anyone until later on in their pregnancy, particularly those who’ve struggled to conceive,’ says Dr Venkat at Harley Street Fertility Clinic. ‘Announcing the news later can certainly help to curb stress and pressure from friends and family. However, it’s also nice to share the good news and get support. I just recommend that you and your partner are on the same page.’
Exactly. And maybe remember that next time you think you see a baby bump, don’t shout ‘When’s it due?’
My motherin-law was upset she hadn’t been able to support me