Does the denial of pregnancy have consequences for the child?

If the causes of pregnancy denial are diverse and varied, there is no particular profile among the women who are affected, does this health condition have consequences for the baby? Does this unintentionally hidden pregnancy negatively impact the development of the child?

THE denial of pregnancy remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern medicine. While several celebrities, like Sheryfa Luna, have been affected, helping to publicize it and paving the way to talk about it, health professionals cannot accurately delineate the causes or consequences of such an event. phenomenon. However, it turns out to be more frequent than one might think: in Europe, it is estimated that1 in 500 pregnancies is affected. Since 1985, it has even been listed in the Manual of Psychological and Psychiatric Disorders (DSM).

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is appropriate to give a definition of denial of pregnancy. Concretely, when a woman experiences pregnancy denial, she is pregnant without realizing it. Thus, she carries within her a baby, but without never have pregnancy symptoms who could alert him: there is no physical transformation, no visible sign. No amenorrhea (absence of periods), no round belly, no growing breasts, no nausea or sudden urges to eat. Pregnancy takes place with a flat stomach, as if it did not exist, even after three months.

Very often, the future mother discovers that she is expecting only one child. at the time of childbirth (We are talking about total denial). But it is possible that she learns it a little earlier, before the end of the term (one then speaks of partial denial of pregnancy). Since it was involuntarily ignored during the majority of its in utero development, the first question that comes to mind when we learn of a denial of pregnancy is: is the baby healthy? What are the consequences of such a phenomenon on the future child? Two-step response.

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Denial of pregnancy: what physical consequences for the baby?

In the collective imagination, we tend to think that the denial of pregnancy leads to growth retardation in the baby. Since the body does not evolve as it should throughout the advancement of pregnancy, we logically deduce that the fetus has not grown in the most optimal conditions for its development.

However, this idea is not entirely true. As Israel Nisand (gynecologist-obstetrician) and Sophie Marinopoulos (pregnancy denial specialist) explain in their book They give birth and are not pregnant, the body “adapts” to denial. Instead of installing horizontally, the fetus takes place vertically, behind the ribs, and the vertical muscles of the pregnant woman’s abdomen tense so that her profile does not change. There, the toddler has the space it needs to grow properly : he simply remains upright instead of “lying down”.

On the other hand, since the mother has no not necessarily had the lifestyle adapted to a pregnancy, she may have continued to consume alcohol or ingest non-recommended foods. We therefore imagine that the baby is more likely to be born with health problems. Here too, the finding is rather reassuring: in the majority of cases, it arises without any particular condition. However, some specialists claim that these future little human beings are still more at risk of prematurity and/or low birth weight than the others.

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Does the denial of pregnancy have repercussions on the psyche of the child?

The bond between the mother and the child, and in particular the attachment, is built from the first weeks of pregnancy : it was during these nine months that she spoke to him, touched him through her belly, built the beginnings of a relationship with him.

Therefore, for some mothers denying pregnancy, it is more complicated to emotionally “connect” to the baby. It is above all those who experience total denial of pregnancy who are concerned: they have not had time to get to know the infant beforehand; the latter therefore remains a sort of “stranger” for some time after he is born. Future mothers whose pregnancy denial is partial have more time to “catch up” and get to know him before his birth.

Generally, experts agree that everything is in order when it sees the light of day, even for women affected by total denial. Indeed, some of them are so guilt-ridden that they will overextend and shower the newborn with love to make up for all those months when they didn’t know he existed. .

However, it is recommended that mother and baby get accompanied by psychologists to help them weave this much desired emotional bond, or to understand what could have caused this denial.

Open-minded and in love with life, Emilie likes to decipher the new phenomena that shape society and relationships today. Her passion for the human being motivates her to write…

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