Erin Langmaid's baby was born weighing eight pounds, according to Australian news outlets.
Erin Langmaid said she realized she was pregnant in the bathroom – 10 minutes before giving birth on the floor.
A smiling selfie posted to the 23-year-old Instagram model in 37 weeks leading up to her surprise delivery showed no visible changes in her body. There are no baby bumps and nausea in the morning, he will then notify the Australian media. He used contraception, he said, and all of his clothes fit
A post from a week ago updated thousands of Langmaid's followers with a picture of herself and her partner holding a newborn baby girl, Isla, wrapped in a blanket.
"The most difficult week of our lives," Langmaid wrote.
The story he shared is an extreme case of a rare but well-established "hidden" or "cryptic" pregnancy, experts say. One study estimated that 1 in about 2,500 women did not realize they had a child until they gave birth, while 1 in 475 did not know until 20 weeks' gestation. But research on this subject is limited and there are many medical practitioners who continue to question it.
Christine Greves, OB / GYN based in Florida, sees why many people find the Langmaid case "difficult to understand," especially considering her body type. But that is not outside the realm of possibilities, he said.
"It shows how amazing our bodies are," Greves told The Washington Post.
Langmaid's baby is born weighing eight pounds, according to Australian news outlets. Labor ends in a few minutes. But the birth a few weeks ago is still terrible, the new mother and her partner Dan Carty told 7 News.
Carty heard Langmaid's scream and rushed to the bathroom to find her with Isla, he said on 7 News.
An emergency call reviewed by news outlets documented the shock of young parents, when Carty sought help for a daughter who she warned was increasingly turning blue.
"How many weeks is she pregnant?" asked the operator, according to 7 News.
"We don't know," Carty said. "We didn't know she was pregnant. Mother was fine and the baby was not well."
Operators talk to parents through crisis, 7 News reports, and Isla appears healthy. The birth was only the beginning of a difficult time, Langmaid said.
Hidden pregnancy has made headlines for years, even inspiring a TLC event called "I Don't Know I'm Pregnant." One widely reported case from 2015 bears many similarities to the Langmaid case: Katherine Kropas, who was also 23 years old at the time, gave birth to a healthy 10-pound girl despite using birth control, menstruating and not having any disease other than her leg swollen.
He gained weight, he told reporters – but nothing seemed to be enough to indicate pregnancy.
"I thought I had gained weight in the Christmas season, but I never thought I was pregnant," he told CBS affiliates in Boston.
Many in the medical community usually refer to "rejected pregnancies," under the belief that shocking births mostly come from mothers who do not acknowledge that they are pregnant for psychological reasons. But the term "cryptic pregnancy" has been popular in recent years because people refer to cases where women don't seem to have bodily information.
"Vague pregnancy" is a more neutral phrase that does not diminish a woman's experience, said Marco Del Giudice, a professor at the University of New Mexico who advocated using this term in a 2007 paper. The name also suggests how many aspects of a phenomenon – like what what causes it and who tends to experience it – remains mysterious to the scientific community.
"We don't understand the biological basis of a vague pregnancy better than we did in 2007," Del Giudice told The Post.
Doctors do have some ideas about what makes pregnancy more difficult to pay attention to. A placenta that is positioned in a certain way can prevent the mother from feeling the baby's movements, says Greves, Florida OB / GYN. Irregular menstrual cycles – as well as the fact that some women experience bleeding during pregnancy – can mean no sign of stopping in periods. And it is not impossible to get pregnant while taking birth control.
But Langmaid's experience stands out, said Richard Beckerman, chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. A few decades ago, during his residency, he treated two women who appeared in the emergency room with stomachaches and did not realize they were pregnant until they gave birth. But the women were overweight, making pregnancy more difficult to detect, he said.
He hasn't found another case in 30 years of private practice.
"We don't see it much," he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)
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