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Surprise Motherhood: Tawana’s Story of Cryptic Pregnancy and Finding Support

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Tawana, Emmanuel & River: BBC

Imagine finding out you’re having a baby in just four weeks. That’s exactly what happened to Tawana, a 21-year-old who was living a carefree life, partying with friends. Her life turned upside down when she collapsed and ended up in the hospital.

Initially, Tawana dismissed the idea of being pregnant. She had a contraceptive implant and no symptoms. But after a negative pregnancy test, a nurse insisted on an ultrasound, revealing the shocking news. Tawana’s boyfriend, Emmanuel, was equally stunned, thinking it was miraculous.

Cryptic pregnancies, where typical symptoms like vomiting or a noticeable bump are absent, are rare. Tawana learned they’re more common in the Black community due to hip and bone structure, causing the baby to grow inward.

Tawana gave birth to River just four weeks after discovering she was pregnant. The whirlwind of emotions didn’t stop there. She struggled with post-natal depression and turned to TikTok for advice but found little support. “I went through a deep depression because no one was giving me advice. No one was speaking about this,” she says.

Determined to make a difference, Tawana shared her story online. Her video, liked almost 400,000 times, resonated with many. She also started a podcast to connect with other mums. Tawana hopes her experience can support young mothers who discover their pregnancy at the last minute.

Cryptic pregnancies occur in about one in 2,500 births and are often linked to stress, masking usual pregnancy signs. Tawana wishes more support existed for women in her situation. She was lucky to have financial help from her mum but knows others might not be as fortunate. She dreams of setting up a charity to help others.

Tawana’s journey highlights the importance of mental well-being for new mums, especially those with cryptic pregnancies. Her story is a testament to resilience and the power of sharing experiences to support others.

We can build a supportive community for those facing unexpected pregnancies by celebrating new mums and sharing stories like Tawana’s. It’s all about self-love, mental well-being, and lifting each other up.

What kind of support can we give Black women who experience cryptic pregnancies, thereby being faced with the sudden news of an unexpected baby?

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