It’s an experience so many pregnant mamas can relate to: That first-trimester nausea is kicking your butt, but you’re not quite ready to reveal your pregnancy to your co-workers. I couldn’t even keep my morning sickness under wraps working in an office, so I have no idea how Kate Hudson did it when doing her job involves holding extreme yoga poses in skin-tight leggings.
The now heavily pregnant Fabletics co-founder recently posted a video to Instagram that was shot back before the world knew she was expecting. The video was captured during an outdoor Fabletics photoshoot that saw Hudson balancing on a yoga wheel in leggings and a sports bra.
“All I wanted was a bed and a bucket and all I got was a wheel… #TheSilentMonths,” Hudson captioned the clip.
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Earlier this month the 38-year-old mom of two sons announced she’s expecting a daughter, noting that she’d been trying to keep “this pregnancy under the radar for as long as possible,” and that it had been the worst of all her pregnancies for nausea and vomiting.
Knowing that she was so sick, it’s kind of amazing that she was able to keep her pregnancy a secret for so long. Looking back at her Instagram it’s pretty clear she was doing yoga gear photo shoots (often outdoors and without the benefit of air conditioning) pretty far into this pregnancy.
We’re so glad Hudson can finally relax and be open if she feels sick or needs a rest, because hiding a pregnancy from colleagues can be stressful for a working mother-to-be, but many women feel they have to do it.
As a Hollywood star and co-founder of a successful athleisure company, Hudson occupies a place of privilege that many women keeping pregnancies on the down low don’t. For many, working though nausea and buying looser and looser work attire isn’t as much about protecting their family’s privacy as it is about protecting their family’s income.
It’s been 40 years since the United States government passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, but unfortunately pregnancy discrimination is still very real in 2018, and many mothers choose to keep their first or even second or third pregnancy (depending on how obvious the bump is) to themselves to avoid it.
In 2013 the results of a national survey of mothers were published in a report called Listening to Mothers: The Experiences of Expecting and New Mothers in the Workplace. The authors of the report noted that although 40% of the moms surveyed said they needed some kind of pregnancy accommodation at work (more breaks, a chair, the ability to carry a water bottle), 38% of them didn’t tell their employers about these needs for fear of negative repercussions.
Unfortunately, #TheSilentMonths, as Hudson calls them, are the months that moms most need to be able to voice their needs, but too many of us still feel we can’t.
Whether you’re hiding your pregnancy under a loose blazer at the office, or trying not to puke during a hot photo shoot, pregnancy is hard, and we shouldn’t have to hide it. Hopefully, as legislation and HR policies catch up with the needs of families, we won’t have to.
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