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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Feb;26(2):118-21.

The incidence and outcome of concealed pregnancies among hospital deliveries: an 11-year population-based study in South Glamorgan.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.


Denial of pregnancy has been implicated in potentially jeopardising prenatal care and subsequent safe planned deliveries. This population-based study of hospital deliveries over an 11-year period, reveals that concealed pregnancies have an incidence of one in 2,500 deliveries. Among this cohort, 12% were married and 58% were multiparous with 8% having had a previous caesarean section. Some 20% of women had a medical disorder complicating the antenatal period. There was a preponderance of concealed pregnancies in the winter months compared with booked deliveries (p = 0.02). Mode of delivery was similar between the booked and concealed pregnancies with a low incidence of maternal morbidity in the latter. Prematurity rates (p = 0.0002) were significantly higher in the concealed pregnancy cohort. A total of 20% of infants had depressed Apgar scores at 1 min and 8% at 5 min. There was no documentation of counselling or follow-up in this group. Despite the low incidence of maternal morbidity, these women should be regarded as high-risk labour due to the increased perinatal morbidity. Greater effort needs to be made towards ensuring these women have adequate counselling and follow-up during the postnatal period.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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