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How Do You Hide An Unplanned Pregnancy

You may not be able to hide an unplanned pregnancy–and you may not want to.

Dear Megan,

I don’t know how my friends and family (mom especially) don’t see that I’m pregnant.  I mean, yeah, I do try to hide it, but it’s getting almost impossible to hide.  I’ve never had an unplanned pregnancy before so I’m not sure what to expect.  Still, I’m surprised no one has said anything.  – K



Dear K.,

There are a lot of reasons families don’t acknowledge an unplanned pregnancy.  Chances are they are taking their cues from you.  If you aren’t going to bring it up, then neither will they. The question is whether you want to hide an unplanned pregnancy.  Here are my thoughts.


Reasons your family isn’t acknowledging your unplanned pregnancy

There are several possible reasons that your family isn’t acknowledging your pregnancy.  The first is that if they suspect you want to hide an unplanned pregnancy, they may want to respect your privacy.  This might sound surprising, especially if you’re used to your family being very involved in your personal life.  Many people are hesitant to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.  Most will wait until the woman announces the pregnancy.  Your family might be afraid of offending you if it looks like you’ve just put on some extra weight.

The other reason they might not acknowledge the pregnancy is that they are nervous about what it means.  They don’t want to open a can of worms.  We tend to rely on family as our support system when a new baby comes along.  Your family may not be ready to face that reality.  Some people prefer to address big issues when they have to and not a minute before.  They might be really nervous about what you will need from them, especially if finances are strained.

In denial about an unplanned pregnancy

It’s also really common for families to be in denial about big issues.  They likely know that you’re pregnant, and they are worried about the help you will need from them.  They might be hoping that if they pretend they don’t know you’re pregnant, you won’t ask for help or support.  The longer they are in the dark, they think, the better for them.

Address the unplanned pregnancy with your family directly and soon

My advice is to address this head on.  Tell your family that you are pregnant, and tell them your plans.  Your family will likely be more supportive if they know you’ve made plans for this pregnancy.  They may take comfort knowing that you have it under control, that you are taking responsibility for it, and that all you need from them is emotional support.

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