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Some of you may have heard a story about a woman who didn’t know she was pregnant until she went into labor. Your first thought? How is it possible to have no symptoms of pregnancy?

Some women don’t have routine sex or don’t have regular periods. Under those circumstances, they may not realize they’re pregnant.

Some other women have mental health problems that keep them from recognizing or accepting that they will have a baby.

How It Happens

Several things could keep a woman from noticing the changes in her body:

Fear or stress. The thought of becoming a mother is so stressful for some women that they go into deep denial — so deep that they don’t know they’re pregnant.

For example, a teenager may ignore a pregnancy because she doesn’t want her parents to know she’s had sex. A married woman may do the same thing because she got pregnant by someone other than her partner. Some women may have denied pregnancy because of a mental health problem, like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

No pregnancy symptoms. In some women, the physical tip-offs of pregnancy, like heartburn, weight gain, or fatigue, don’t happen. Or they’re so mild that a woman doesn’t notice them.

Weight changes. If a woman is overweight or her weight or size varies, she might not notice the extra baby weight.

Period problems. A woman can have irregular periods because of stress, medications, or obesity. So when her period is a no-show, her first thought may not be pregnancy.

Know the Early Signs

It is hard to predict who could have a no symptom pregnancy. But if you think you might miss some of the classic signs, like a missing period or weight gain, you can watch out for other early signals, such as:

  • Peeing more often
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Feeling very tired
  •  Nausea, sometimes with vomiting
  • Can’t stand certain foods or smells
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