Hidden pregnancies

This is a couple months old but I just found it today while checking out news readers and I need the input of SDMB. Is it really possible for a woman to hide 8 pregnancies in 15 years and no one notices? Even a heavyset woman would show not just weight gain during but a more dramatic weightless afterwards. And none of the 8 births happened when her family was around?

The article also mentions another French woman charged in March with the same crime albeit with fewer victims. What cultural norms exist in France that allows for that level of deception without suspicion or discovery?

I think that my husband and I give each other a fair bit of space but I can’t imagine being able to hide labour pains from him no matter what the motivation. Is privacy a bigger deal there?

It’s obviously possible because it happens.

Not all women show an incredible gain in weight during pregnancy. In Japan, for example, women typically gain very little weight during pregnancy (I learned that from the SDMB!). So while it should still be surprising when it happens, it’s definitely possible.

The woman weighs nearly 300 pounds (20 stone is 280, right?), and obese women are advised not to gain much weight at all during pregnancy, just 11-20 pounds. Do you think you’d find it alarming if someone went from 280 to 295, then lost the weight over a few months? I wouldn’t.

I’m a plus sized woman and have yo-yoed with my weight. Those fluctuations could just be written off by neighbors and coworkers.

I think she’s crazy to kill her own babies. But I think it’s possible to hide it.

Plenty of women don’t gain a tremendous amount of weight during pregnancy, and even more don’t experience a dramatic weight loss after, especially if they’re not nursing. After all, anything you gain that isn’t baby, placenta, or amniotic fluid is just plain fat, it doesn’t magically fall off after you have the baby.

If the occasional slender teenager can pull off hiding her pregnancy, it shouldn’t be all that hard for an obese middle-aged woman.

A friend of the family gave birth without even knowing she was pregnant:

  • She didn’t really gain any weight (and non noticeably)
  • After not getting here period took a pregnancy test (came back negative) / went to the doctor’s who told her not to worry sometimes periods can just go on… hiatus.
  • Started to give birth thinking she had to take a really big dump - ended up giving birth on the bathroom floor.

I’m somewhat skeptical (and didn’t talk to her myself) but… there you go.

I suspect a fat enough woman could pull it off by wearing the same “tent” style clothing in a slightly larger size. Neighbors don’t size her up or care about her weight. I seriously doubt the husband’s story. It took both parties to cover all the deaths up. These people are not very smart. They had to understand they would be caught. Now let’s hope they are punished. How many more than the eight were really killed?

Many people didn’t know I was pregnant with my third child, especially coworkers. I was a bit overweight at the time (about a size 16-18), but it was mostly due to my having large breasts and generally very small babies (5.5 pounds). My pregnant abdomen never projected past my breasts, so I never looked pregnant. I worked the morning before my son was born (at a full 9 months) and my boss said some coworkers refused to believe I’d had a child.

We had just had a miscarriage, and one of the hardest things to deal with was telling people, so i just didn’t talk about being pregnant. In fact, in a somewhat misguided effort to spare my husband the pain, I kept postponing telling him. After the sixth month, I figured, what is the problem, can’t he tell? I finally told him August 20; my son was born September 28. I only told him because he’d arranged for us to tour a nuclear accellerator and I said I thought it might be bad for the baby. He said what baby? He claims he had no idea–and he certainly looked shocked. Happy, but shocked.

So, yes, it is quite possible for no one to know a woman is pregnant. It also helps that I never experienced morning sickness or much discomfort.

I have a friend who is a bigger girl and has two kids. She said no one noticed she was pregnant either time. I saw her just before she had the second baby and she really didn’t look too much different… if I didn’t know she was pregnant, I’d probably have assumed that she just put on a bit of weight.

I never looked really pregnant, and lost 40+ pounds over the pregnancy. Up above had it right - a combo of large breasts and wide hips kept me from having that basketball-belly look. However, I had some symphysis publis dysfunction, and so you could tell as soon as I started walking, from the pregnant waddle.

My mother probably could have given birth to all four of us without anyone knowing. She was very, very thin, but she never got very big with any of us. For instance, she stopped bowling on her league about six weeks before I was born, and none of her teammates knew why. Also, she was only in labor for a couple of hours each time, so it’s not like she would have had to cover anything for long periods of time. Sometimes it just goes like that.

A good friend of mine is on the short side (probably about 5’2") and fairly overweight. She had 2 kids within 3 years and you never would have guessed she was pregnant at any time.

The hell? You didn’t tell your husband that you were pregnant for 8 months? And you only did so because you thought going to a nuclear accelerator would harm the baby. What was the plan? “Honey, I need to go the hospital” “Why?” “I’m having a baby.” Or just call him afterwards and tell him he’s got a new kid.

I know a woman who is tiny - like probably 110 pounds - and she hardly looked pregnant at all when she had her first daughter. In fact, I have a picture of her and I together when she was 8 months pregnant, and I look MUCH bigger than her. She actually lost weight during her pregnancy because she was horribly sick the first trimester (and then gained some back, but overall only gained maybe 10 pounds over the course of her pregnancy)

It runs in her family. Her mother is built just like her, and she hid a pregnancy when she was young and scared and was afraid to tell anyone. Nobody knew until she woke up some relatives she was staying with one night and said “umm… I think I’m having a baby, could someone please take me to the hospital?”