Everyone already knows a TV show called “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” where women shared their seemingly fantastical stories. Some ladies found out about their pregnancy midterm or even in the last stages and some of them hadn’t suspected they would become new mothers until labor started.
Can you believe it? It seems absurd! How can a pregnant woman not feel a new life developing inside of her? There can be no symptoms during the first few months of pregnancy, but how can you possibly not know about the upcoming motherhood until childbirth? Gynecologists and obstetricians, though, mentioned such a term as “hidden pregnancy”.
Pregnant or Not Pregnant?
Perhaps every woman of childbearing age that has a stable sexual relationship felt doubtful about being pregnant at least once in a lifetime. As a rule, the next menstruation or pregnancy test results kill all the second thoughts immediately. However, in some cases even if your period started on time and the pregnancy test was negative you might still be with the child.
The term “hidden pregnancy” means that the pregnancy has taken an unusual course: a woman feels no symptoms at all or the signs are so imperceptible that it’s very hard to notice them. The monthly periods come as usual or there is some minor spotting, and even a pregnancy test may show a false-negative result. The possible reasons for a false-negative test are its incorrect use, some diseases (usually kidney problems), intake of diuretics, and hormonal disturbances. Menstruations, or rather the monthly spotting, is also a possible occurrence during pregnancy – in fact, in the majority of cases, they are not a sign of danger and are completely normal.
Besides, statistics is a curious thing: it has revealed that about 20% of women don’t presume they’re pregnant till the 3rd–4th month. Think about it – it’s every fifth woman, after all.
I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: What Are The Risks?
The hidden pregnancy itself isn’t a health-threatening condition for a future mother or her baby. Physiologically it’s no different from any normal pregnancy: its symptoms are not so obvious, that’s all. But if we look deeper we’ll find out that an expectant mother may face a few dangers if she is not careful. Here are the main risks:
- The pregnant woman doesn’t attend an antenatal clinic. It means that medical experts won’t be able to detect the complications and fetal development defects which could be eliminated in the early stages of pregnancy until childbirth.
- Monthly bleedings, mistaken for periods, maybe too heavy. Such an occurrence is usually an indication of the low insertion of the placenta, the possibility of a miscarriage, or premature birth. Any of these conditions require timely medical attention.
- When an expectant mother doesn’t know about her pregnancy she may lead her usual lifestyle. For example, she may practice hard exercise, have a smoking habit, and keep to an unhealthy diet. All this may lead to a congenital malformation of the fetus.
- A future mother may take medications contraindicated during pregnancy or undergo medical examinations dangerous for her baby.
How To Recognize A Hidden Pregnancy?
Despite its imperceptible symptoms, you can actually recognize a hidden pregnancy in time. A future mother should just pay attention to her body signals. Even the women who hadn’t suspected anything until going into labor told that they’d felt pregnancy symptoms at some point but hadn’t paid attention to them because of the regular menstruations. Thus heartburn, morning sickness, and fetal movements may be mistaken for an upset stomach, fatigability, and mood swings – for stress, the growing belly (some women have a very small belly even in later stages) – or a sweet tooth that caused weight gain. So, if you think you may be pregnant, take an hCG blood test or do an ultrasound. These medical exams are the most trustworthy.
Hidden pregnancy is not a myth – it’s a reality, and in order to make sure your baby is born healthy, you should visit a gynecologist if you get even the faintest suspicion that you are pregnant.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.