How Do You NOT Know You’re Pregnant?! I Ask While Reading Another Surprise Birth Story

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

For starters, it’s called a ‘cryptic ’ or a ‘denied’ pregnancy.

As hard to believe as it may sound, a cryptic or denied pregnancy is when a woman is not aware that she is expecting. In some documented cases, not even family, friends, or even medical providers are aware of the pregnancy either. The mother usually finds out at the very end of the pregnancy or during birth, hence all of those wild news stories of babies being delivered in Taxi cabs and elevators.


Some women do not want to be mothers, which is not abnormal and actually quite common. But in some cases, the desire to not be pregnant can create a subconscious need to dismiss signs of pregnancy and attribute them as symptoms of other issues such as gas or digestion issues. But before we make an assumption that denial of this depth is a red flag for a psychological problem, science has already ruled that out.

Missing symptoms and oddly times periods

One of the reasons why women who have surprise births manage to never know that they pregnant is for one of two reasons. Either they have no common symptoms of pregnancy and or they have such irregular periods already that a missing period wouldn’t register on their minds as something to be attuned to.

When pregnancy tests and ultrasounds fail to detect a pregnancy

This was shocking to me after going through three pregnancies and deliveries, but it turns out that even a pregnancy test and an ultrasound can totally miss a pregnancy. How, though?

So, what is labor different for cryptic pregnancies?

This was one of my first questions. If the woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant and she was blessed with missing all those horribly unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, then does that also mean that labor will be easier too?

Not all of these stories are happy news bites.

The sad truth about cryptic pregnancies is that not all of them end with a healthy baby or healthy mother. In more cases, than should ever happen, mothers don’t know they are pregnant because of severe mental illness, addiction, abusive relationships, or the fact that they are far too young to understand what is happening to their bodies. In these very sad cases, either the baby or the mother — or tragically both — do not survive labor.

Parenting, Science, and History Essay Hustler | Book Writer | Rabid Reader | Rep’d by Folio Literary Management | Follow me on Twitter, FB, IG @housewifeplus

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