Denial of pregnancy: what it is and how much it affects the psyche
From the discovery of pregnancy onwards, the woman's body begins to transform, the belly grows and the whole body prepares to welcome the fetus. Until the day of delivery, but also after, the changes follow one another. How is it possible not to realize that you are pregnant?
It can happen and this phenomenon is precisely the denial of pregnancy, which leads pregnant women not to immediately realize it. Before delving into this, watch this video.
It is good to specify that there are two types of denial of pregnancy:
- partial denial (the woman realizes she is pregnant before giving birth)
- total denial (which lasts until the moment of delivery).
Although it may seem strange, there are numerous cases in the world and they are more and more frequent. But how much does it affect the psyche? How to go back to the causes?
Denial (or denial) of pregnancy
Symptoms of pregnancy: the first signs to know if you are pregnant
Pregnancy test: when to do it and how does it work?
Denial of pregnancy: how is it possible that this happens?
The role of the psyche in denial of pregnancy is important. The woman's brain, in fact, hides the gestation and orders the whole body to behave accordingly. So what happens?
- Menstruation continues
- The belly does not swell
- You do not feel the classic kicks of the child
In short, the expectant mother is not sent signals from the body that could suggest a pregnancy. Weight gain remains low (only 4-5 kg) and focuses on other parts of the body, but can sometimes be invisible as well.
Furthermore, the child himself makes sure not to be spotted: he moves little and develops more vertically rather than horizontally in the upper part of the uterus.
Denial of pregnancy: what are the consequences for mother and baby?
The psychological consequences of denial of pregnancy for mothers are very serious. Most of them wonder how they could not notice anything for all those months.
In the case of total denial, the woman realizes her situation right at the moment of delivery. People often think of a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.
The first reaction is to panic and feel completely confused. Some women lack the wit to provide timely care for the newborn. The death of the child can occur accidentally, due to lack of care or as a result of head trauma.
What are the factors that can lead to denial of pregnancy?
Denial of pregnancy can affect all women, young and old, from any type of social background.
Several factors can lead to denial of pregnancy:
Convinced sterility (the woman thinks she is sterile and imagines that she will never get pregnant).
- Very close pregnancies
-The family context, especially for adolescent girls
-The child of an extramarital affair
-An unwanted child
-The desire for a pregnancy without medicine
-A pregnancy resulting from sexual assault
In all these cases, it is the woman's brain that is at the origin of the negation and the unconscious then has the power to control the body.
Denial of pregnancy from a psychiatric point of view
The phenomenon of denial of pregnancy, from a psychiatric point of view, is a defensive mechanism with which we try to escape from moods of suffering
Although we have already seen that denial of pregnancy can be total or partial, there are two other types of distinction to be made:
- "psychotic" denial of pregnancy
It can happen with patients suffering from serious psychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, bipolar disorder;
- "non-psychotic" denial of pregnancy
It occurs in absolutely healthy women, with no other physical or mental pathologies.
In addition, there is a relationship between denial of pregnancy and infanticide, to identify 3 specific forms of denial:
- Affective: the woman is aware that she is pregnant from a rational point of view, but from an emotional point of view she is unable to connect with the child she carries in her womb and does not establish any mother-child bond with him.
- Pervasive: the woman is unaware both from a rational and an emotional point of view that she is the expectant mother.
- Psychotic: the patient has a history of chronic psychosis, there is not always a contact with reality, so even the pregnancy is not recognized.
What does the law on denial of pregnancy say?
Denial of pregnancy is a still little known phenomenon, which is not included in the penal code. In the event of abandonment or infanticide, it is up to the judge to decide whether denial of pregnancy constitutes an extenuating circumstance.