After Judy Brown, a 47-year-old woman from Massachusetts, made headlines by finding out she was pregnant only hours before she gave birth, the conversation around cryptic pregnancies has increased.
Cryptic pregnancies are loosely defined as a pregnancy in which the woman is unaware she is pregnant until the end of the gestation period. In Brown’s case, she arrived at the hospital following severe abdominal pain. According to Psychology Today, one in 450 women don’t realize they’re pregnant until more than halfway through their pregnancy, and one in 2,500 aren’t aware until labor.
While many outside of the experience may deem cryptic pregnancies impossible, there are several logical reasons as to why this kind of pregnancy occurs. About 5-8% of cryptic pregnancies can be attributed to a woman previously suffering from a personality disorder or schizophrenia. Additional reasoning behind cryptic pregnancies can be a lack of HCG hormone from the baby, which ultimately allows the baby to develop without signaling any major changes in mom.
Denial can also be a leading factor as to why a cryptic pregnancy may manifest.
“People don’t know sometimes or they’re in denial about it, and denial can be pretty strong,” said Kimberly Gesci of Cleveland’s University Hospitals Case Medical Center to Tech Times.
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