You may have heard stories about women who were not aware of their pregnancy until they gave birth. During my obstetrics and gynaecology practice for more than 35 years, I had patients who born their babies without realizing that they were pregnant or who realized that they were pregnant in recent months. You might think it is hard to believe, how can she not notice the baby she is carrying. Some women may not have regular sex lives, regular menstrual cycles and do not attend regular doctor check-ups. In these cases, they may not realize that they are pregnant.
Some women may have mental health problems and do not recognize or accept their pregnancies. Studies have shown that one in 400-500 women can realize that they are pregnant at the 5th month of their pregnancy. One out of 2500 women is unaware that they are pregnant until the time of birth.
There may be situations that may prevent the woman from noticing changes in her body:
1- Fear or Stress: For some women, the thought of becoming a mother is so stressful that they deeply deny pregnancy and with this deep thought of denial, they do not realize that they are pregnant. The feeling of rejection is a powerful defence mechanism, an explanation can be given to every sign of pregnancy, for example, they can interpret baby movements as intestinal gas.
A teenage girl may deny or deny pregnancy because she does not want her family to know that she has a sex life. A married woman may deny the possibility of conceiving from a partner other than her husband. Women with mental health disorders such as bipolar disorders or schizophrenia may also deny pregnancy.
2- Absence of Pregnancy Symptoms: Some women may not experience pregnancy symptoms such as weight gain, morning sickness, stomach burning, weakness, fatigue, or these symptoms may be too mild to be noticed.
3- Weight Changes: Women who are overweight or lose weight very often may not notice their weight gain during pregnancy. They may not understand the physical changes that underweight women feel.
4- Menstrual Irregularities: Women who have irregular periods due to conditions such as obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, uncontrolled diabetes, eating disorders, stress, use of contraceptives or epilepsy drugs may not notice their pregnancy. They may not think that they may be pregnant when there is a menstrual delay.
5- Inability to Feel Baby Movements: Baby movements are usually felled between the 18th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes baby movements may not be understood if the placenta is anterior. Studies have shown that women who reject pregnancy can be good mothers when they adapt to pregnancy and cope with the problems brought by pregnancy. Some women understand and accept when they see their baby for the first time on ultrasound. However, it is recommended to evaluate the mental health of women who denied pregnancy. This is an important step, especially for women who deny pregnancy, where child abuse and rejection are common.
Even if women do not realize their pregnancy, they can deliver a healthy baby. However, being not aware of pregnancy may also bring some risks:
It is not always easy to determine which woman is not aware of her pregnancy. If you do not have classic pregnancy symptoms, such as missed periods or weight changes, observe for other early signs of pregnancy. Pregnancy brings changes in your hormonal balance and can cause other symptoms those include: