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KHON2 went back to the home of the young woman who told police she found a baby at Sandy Beach. Her younger sister told us she was not home and had no idea her sister was pregnant.
How common is that?
KHON2 spoke to a doctor who shed some light on the topic.
“Surprisingly, we see a large number of women come in who don’t know themselves that they are pregnant. Obviously, they’re not telling their family that they’re pregnant and nobody seems to know,” said Dr. Tod Aeby, OBGYN at Kapiolani Medical Center.
He says one in 600 women don’t know or deny they’re pregnant — some until they give birth.
As for friends and family members being unaware…
“It must happen a lot because, I guess, denial. Maybe people just don’t notice the things that they see commonly. They see every day, they just don’t look very carefully,” Dr. Aeby said.
Sixty percent of pregnancies in Hawaii are unplanned, so in addition to hiding the pregnancy from friends and family, it’s possible for the mother to be, in a way, hiding it from herself.
“There is an actual psychological condition called pregnancy denial. Some of the stages are in the sort of mild stages. It’s just somebody who sort of knows they’re pregnant, but don’t do the normal things we’d expect them to do,” Dr. Aeby said. “The more severe forms, they will deny that they’re pregnant, won’t recognize that they’re pregnant at all.”