UK soldier unexpectedly gives birth in Afghanistan

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"It's not just that they hide the pregnancy from their parents, they often become in denial of the pregnancy," he said.

"If you have a combination of any or all of those things, a pregnancy can go undetected, or the woman can be in denial of it if the implications to their life are so great," said O'Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist.

A study published in 2011 by Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary said that denial of pregnancy was more common than expected, suggesting it occurred in around 1 in 2,500 births.

In a 2002 German survey of Berlin obstetric hospitals, researchers found that 40 percent of women who didn't realize they were pregnant had seen doctors who also failed to spot the signs.

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