A routine visit to the doctor and you learn that you are pregnant without you being aware of it? Ohmymag explains pregnancy denial.
Denial Of Pregnancy
1. Causes of pregnancy denial: The denial of pregnancy affects about 3 in 1,000 women. Even though this psychiatric condition is rare, it is very real! Women have absolutely no idea of their pregnancy and have no symptoms. Even the people around them may not suspect anything.
The causes of pregnancy denial are psychological. The woman, unconsciously, cannot accept her condition and therefore refuses to understand that she is pregnant. She continues to have her period, does not gain weight and continues her life by not being aware of anything.
We talk about denial of pregnancy when it persists beyond the second trimester. Indeed, during the first trimester, a woman may not have pregnancy symptoms and simply not realise it.
2. Development of the fetus: It is often said that in a denial of pregnancy, baby is discreet. Indeed, instead of developing by rounding the belly of the mother, the fetus will grow in height without being noticed. The brain, blocking the idea of pregnancy, will strengthen the abdominal muscles, preventing the uterus from widening. Apart from this peculiarity, the fetus develops quite normally and no growth retardation is observed.
3. What to do about pregnancy denial: Two types of denial of pregnancy exist, partial denial and total denial. In the first case, most often, pregnancy is discovered by chance, during a routine examination. If the pregnancy is discovered before term and is psychologically accepted by the mother, this is partial denial. The most important thing is to accompany the future mother and to make her feel as comfortable as possible.
Either the woman will over-invest herself in her pregnancy to make up for lost time, or she will totally detach herself from it. In either case, women must be supported in their journey.
More rarely, the woman does not realise she is pregnant until she goes into labour. This is known as total denial. Again, the mother and the child will need a lots of support, because it is a brutal emotional shock and a radical life change. Breastfeeding can be a good way to establish a connection between mother and child.
Do not forget the father - indeed, many psychiatrists believe pregnancy denial is a condition which affects both parents, not just the mother. It is therefore important to devote time to the new father who also must adapt to this sudden big life change.