By Relebohile Mosuoe

MASERU – Cryptic pregnancy, a condition where a woman is unaware of her pregnancy until she goes into labor, can have significant impacts on individuals and their families. It’s important to raise awareness about this issue, especially among black parents and young girls who may face unique challenges.

In the early 20s, cryptic pregnancy emerged as a significant health concern, often leading to judgment and misunderstanding. Women faced scrutiny and moral questioning, which added to their already difficult experiences. This condition typically occurs in those who have irregular menstrual cycles or difficulty predicting their periods. It can also happen during perimenopause or after childbirth, when periods are expected to return to normal, although breastfeeding can delay this process.

One common misconception is that cryptic pregnancies result in less healthy babies, but in reality, the only difference is the lack of awareness about the pregnancy itself.

Personal accounts, like one from October 2019, when a woman discovered her pregnancy while in labor, highlight the need for education and awareness. Annual health counseling for parents and young girls on topics like cryptic pregnancy is essential. Governments should send health experts to educate black parents specifically about this condition.

Parents generally want the best for their children but may lack knowledge about certain aspects of nature. Fear of judgment or moral questioning often prevents girls from discussing their feelings or seeking help. Creating safe spaces for open conversations and support can be a solution.

Cryptic pregnancy can affect anyone, regardless of their background. It’s crucial to educate everyone about its symptoms, which are similar to those of a typical pregnancy, including tiredness, vomiting, increased appetite, sleepiness, swollen legs, and mood swings.

In conclusion, increasing awareness about cryptic pregnancy, especially among black parents and young girls, is essential to provide support and understanding for those who may experience it. Education and open dialogue can help dispel misconceptions and offer assistance to those going through this challenging situation.