Secretly Pregnant

This season, Discovery Fit and Health introduced a new show: Secretly Pregnant. This show is fascinating, it follows pregnant women who are keeping their pregnancies hidden from people close to them. The women featured so far have had a number of reasons for doing so, but in the end, they eventually have to tell their secret.

Upon disclosure, these women are usually overcome with relief, Emotional relief, because they are no longer holding in a secret, and physical relief, because they are no longer holding in their stomach. In the end, the people they feared telling the most are more supportive than they had imagined. And even if the people close to them weren’t supportive, the disclosure helps everyone to move toward acceptance.

So, what are some of the reasons the women choose to keep their pregnancies a secret? The universal theme here is a fear of being judged. These women are usually worried about what others will think about their situation, even if they are happy, and confident about the situation within themselves. The reasons can be any of the following:

1.) Financial difficulty- Women may hide a pregnancy from others because they know that they are unable to adequately provide for a child, and do not want others to judge them on that fact. Even though there are plenty of goverment programs to offer assistance, some women feel like other people will judge their ability to be a good parent based on their financial situation.

2.) High expectations placed by parentsSome parents put very high expectations on their daughters. They have plans for them, to get a good education, a good job, get married, and maybe then start a family. If their daughter would become pregnant before she achieves what her parents expect of her, she may be scared to tell them. The daughter may feel that she has let down her parents, or they will be angry, and unsupportive. So she puts off the dreaded conversation for as long as possible.

3.) The baby’s father- The woman may fear being judged, or be embarrassed that they became pregnant by the person they did. For example, the woman in one episode was embarrassed of the drastic age difference between her and her child’s father, she was scared about what her family and people at work would think. Another reason is that the baby’s father is not a person they planned on being in a relationship with, and they became pregnant unexpectedly. And some women don’t even know for sure who the father is. When women disclose that they are pregnant, the question of who the father is usually comes up, and some woman want to avoid that.

4.) Their jobs- Some women may feel that becoming pregnant, or having coworkers or their boss know may put their job in jeapordy. The woman in the one show was a swimsuit model, and becoming pregnant did put her job in jeapordy. Other women may feel that they may not get a promotion, or certain opprotunities in their career due to their pregnancy or motherhood. Colleagues may feel that a mother is not as reliable, or has her head at home. This is why some women put off telling people at their workplace.

5.) Another complicating factor- This could be because of illness, or anything that may make people worried, or question wheather a pregnancy is a good idea for the mom, and the health of the baby. For example, the one mother in the show had a brain tumor, and she did not want to further worry her grandmother, who was already concerned about her health.

These are some of the reasons a woman may conceal a pregnancy. I would like to add though, that concealing a pregnancy is very physically and mentally stressful, which is not good for mom or baby. Fear of being judged is natural, but usually these fears are irrational. Pregnant women need support, and usually the people they avoid telling turn out to be very supportive in the end. It would be best for these women to have that support all along and not complicate the situation by having the gigantic weight of a secret on their shoulders.

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