Pregnancy and gestation can usually be hidden at least a couple of months after a woman discovers she is pregnant. For this reason, a pregnant woman always holds a slight edge in the information department over the father of the child in that she can generally control the time and place of TheReveal.

Sometimes, though, she'll decide to simply not reveal it at all. At least not right away. And often never, at least on purpose. The character in question has decided to have a secret pregnancy.

This might, of course, sound cruel and unnecessarily mean, but there are several reasons for why she would want to do such a thing. If the father is an insane, planet-killing psycho worried that his spawn will one day try to kill him and steal his power, well, secret might be a good idea. If he's an irresponsible lout, she might decide the kid would be better off without him, since he would just be a GlorifiedSpermDonor. She might just want to be a single mom for some reason. Or she [[CannotSpitItOut can't think of any]] [[PoorCommunicationKills good way to tell him]] and is just "waiting for the right time". Even if it's several years from now. Perhaps she was drunk, or otherwise does not know in WhosYourDaddy, or believes that the father will not believe her in MamasBabyPapasMaybe.

Sometimes, she'll keep a secret because she loves him too much to tie him down. The father rarely appreciates this selfless gesture when he finds out.

Also note that the father is simply the most common individual from whom the secret is kept. A sufficiently advanced AncientConspiracy may also or instead be the target of the secret. In some cases, the woman ''herself'' may be completely in the dark because she hasn't experienced the regular symptoms. A woman with irregular periods, for example, might not notice a significant change.

Note that in RealLife, there are cases in which a woman literally [[SurprisePregnancy doesn't know she's pregnant]] until well into the second or third trimester, and sometimes not until birth. Whether it's due to mental problems, drugs, extremes of weight, carrying the baby unusually (more common than young people realize), or whatever, it's somewhat rare, but not extremely so. In 2008, for instance, an average-sized, otherwise perfectly healthy woman in England carried ''twins'' to 28 weeks without showing or missing a period; she found out she was pregnant less than two weeks before the babies were born prematurely at two pounds each. (They both survived.)

Not to be confused with HideYourPregnancy, which is the meta version of this.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the manga ''Manga/MyGirl'' by Sahara Mizu, the hero's high school girlfriend ends up going abroad to study just to hide her pregnancy (and later, the child herself) from him--she doesn't want to burden him with it. (Of course, then she dies, and he's [[ChildrenRaiseYou stuck with the kid]] anyway...)
* The manga ''Manga/MarchOnEarth''. The hero's older sister chooses not to tell the father of her child so that he won't cancel his career-vital overseas stay, and keeps who the father is secret from everyone else so that they won't contact him. She doesn't anticipate dying and having the younger sister get a PromotionToParent since there's literally no other living relative.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Portgas D. Ace's mother Rouge hid her pregnancy for ''[[LongestPregnancyEver 20 months]]'' to keep the World Government from finding her son, whose father was none other than [[spoiler:Gold Roger]]. Seeing as humans in ''One Piece'' are MadeOfIron she pulled this off, though she died soon after he was born from the strain.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'', [[spoiler:Videl originally hides the fact that she's pregnant with Pan, but only so she could surprise Gohan later. Her pregnancy becomes a crucial plot point, as it allows Goku to reach the Super Saiyan God form he needed to defeat the BigBad.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''UsagiYojimbo'', Usagi returns to his home village for a time, where his former love has been married to another man for several years. The woman has a kid, and Usagi grows quite fond of the little tyke, especially since the guy starts calling him "Uncle". Before long, however, the revelations start: It's really Usagi's kid, of course, and his love didn't want to tie him down (since he's a samurai who needs to be able to travel). After a discussion, Usagi decides not to stick around, lest he drive a wedge between the boy and his adoptive father. Then, somewhat later, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the boy knows that he's Usagi's kid]]. But neither [[spoiler:Usagi nor the kid is willing to tell the other]], believing that the other doesn't know.
* Aside from that, there's also Kahvi from ''ElfQuest'', who can't hide her pregnancy, but does tell the father that it's not his kid, and that the kid died shortly after birth anyway. Then she raises the kid as the ultimate counter-weapon to the father's incredible magic power (and ego).
* The infamous ''[[ComicBook/JMSSpiderMan Sins Past]]'' storyline that {{retcon}}ned in Gwen Stacy becoming pregnant with and giving birth to twins (albeit in appreciably less than nine months) without Peter or anyone else noticing into the continuity of early 1970s ''The Amazing Spider-Man''.
* Rose Canton (the Golden Age Thorn) pulled this one on Alan Scott (the Golden Age GreenLantern. First she married him under a false identity, then she disappeared during the honeymoon, after an explosion that led him to think she had been killed. She had twins, which she gave up for adoption out of fear that her evil Thorn self would harm them, and they grew up to be the superheroes Jade and Obsidian. (Note: this is the ''short'' version!)
* In the Bronze Age incarnation of ''{{Superman}}'', the Kents claimed that Clark was born from one of these. Since Martha Kent had miscarried multiple earlier children, the neighbors were willing to accept her not wanting to mention being pregnant again, and since Clark was 'born' in the middle of winter after a massive blizzard snowed the Kents in for well over a month, nobody other than her husband would have seen her during the time frame when she would have have been visibly pregnant, so everyone accepted their explanation.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Shows up in Fanfic/TheSecondTry, though it is a massive spoiler. [[spoiler:Due to her mess of insecurities, Asuka was rather freaked out when she discovered she was pregnant and had tried to hide it from Shinji (she even went as far as to ''starve herself'' in a misguided attempt to induce a miscarriage). He only found out after a rat got into their trash and he stumbled onto a positive pregnancy test Asuka tried to hide.]] To say he was surprised would have been an understatement.
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', [[spoiler:Kyon's pregnancy was this]]. It helped the mother-to-be [[AbsurdlyYouthfulMother was young and a late bloomer]], had a FriendlessBackground and by the time she realized her pregnancy the father-to-be stopped visiting her for a few months because they lived in opposite sides of Japan.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' AU fic ''[[ Knocked Up]]'', Megamind gets Roxanne pregnant after a one-night stand. Since he's still a villain in this fic, this is obviously not good, so creates a disguise generator for Roxanne to use when she starts to show. They handle the doctor's visits by getting Roxanne's midwife friend (and midwife's doctor brother) to help.

* [[StarWars Padmé Amidala]] does this in scenes whenever she is appearing in public. [[WordOfGod George Lucas]] said this was intentional.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Waitress}}'', she tries her hardest to keep her pregnancy a secret from her nasty deadbeat abusive husband, and was planning to run away with her gynecologist. For several months he actually thought she was just fat. She also decides to keep this from her demanding boss for a time so it might not interfer with work. Humorously, the boss actually knows when she tells him ("You thought I thought you went out and got fat? I don't care if you work while giving birth."
* In ''{{Theatre/Dreamgirls}}'', [[spoiler:Effie never tells anyone about her pregnancy once she's kicked out of the show. She tried to give Curtis a hint but he never picked up on it. He finally catches on after seeing Effie's pre-teen daughter at the end of the film.]]
* In ''Film/{{Saved}}'', good little Catholic girl Mary has sex with her gay boyfriend in an attempt to "cure" him. She successfully hides the resulting pregnancy for months because pregnancy at her school is "about as common as the bubonic plague."
* Teola from ''Film/TessOfTheStormCountry'' manages to hide the fact that she is pregnant out of wedlock. She finally winds up in Tess's cabin to deliver the baby. Tess then passes off the baby as hers.

* In Creator/MarionZimmerBradley's ''Centaurus Changeling'', Beth hides her pregnancy from her husband. The only problem is that, as she soon discovers, the air on the planet they are living on is highly poisonous to pregnant women... [[spoiler:And it is revealed in the end that she was mind-controlled by a local to get pregnant without him knowing.]]
* In romance novels, the most common reasons are either that she doesn't want to make the man feeled tied down (because she's been sleeping with him but doesn't want him feel like she trapped him into a marriage.
** Commonly in historical novels the man will find out before the birth[[note]]if the baby turns out to be a boy[[/note]], otherwise it can be years before the hero meets the heroine again and discovers that he has a child. Usually the hero will be angry at the [[WhatTheHellHero loss of time with his son/daughter.]]
* In Creator/TomClancy's novel ''[[Literature/JackRyan The Bear and the Dragon]]'', a woman living in the People's Republic of China conceals that she's pregnant, as the unborn child falls afoul of the PRC's "One Child" policy, and thus would be subject to being aborted. (While one can get a permit for another child, when the first has died, as was the case in this example, the woman in question was part of a known Christian family, so the {{obstructive bureaucrat}}s of the region denied the couple's permit request.)
* ''The Thornbirds''
** Meggie goes so far as to sleep with her estranged husband one last time to create an alibi. Justified, as the actual biological father is [[spoiler:a Catholic priest.]] He only finds out years later, after [[TragedyEnsues Hilarity most definitely does not ensue.]]
* ''Southern Discomfort'' by Rita Mae Brown
* In ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' novel "Literature/WolvesOfTheCalla", Susannah is becoming pregnant, but decides not to tell Roland, Eddie or Jake for a long time, since she is also still having her periods. In the next novel, we find her baby is [[spoiler:half-Crimson King, half-Roland man/spider hybrid Mordred]], although, strangely, [[spoiler:Mia]] is the actual mother and performed a GrandTheftMe on Susannah.
* In AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', Acorna's pregnancy wasn't a secret (In fact, her mother detects it before she does). The fact that she was pregnant with twins was. One of the embryos was stolen from her by [[SmallNameBigEgo Graymalkin]], one of the race of aliens responsible for creating her species (who, in fact, stole Ariin to [[StableTimeLoop use her genetic code to create the original Linyaari]]).
* [[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon's]] mother decides, after seeing how her first child is treated, that she'd rather ''not'' let Morzan know she's having another. Of course, it also [[spoiler:isn't Morzan's, but she doesn't tell the ''real'' father she's expecting either.]]
* In Lynne Reid Banks' ''The L-Shaped Room'' the protagonist has absolutely no respect for the father and doesn't really want him around, so she doesn't tell him. Made easier by the fact that their paths had uncrossed by then. He finds out by happening to pass her when she's very big.
* In the ''other'' book about a young woman being a single mother in the '60s before it's fashionable (Margaret Drabble's ''The Millstone''), the narrator also doesn't tell the father that their one night stand had results, and when she happens to see him again, lies about the age of the baby so he won't put two and two together. This is a 'not wanting to burden the father one'.
* Angie Branzino, in June Casey and Joan Triglia's ''Bound By Blood''. She actually goes so far as to ''wear a corset until the sixth month'' (and only ditches it then because she gets found out).
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', [[spoiler:Leafpool hides her pregnancy from everyone but Squirrelflight, who then raises the kits as her own. Justified in the sense that Leafpool was a medicine cat and could not have kits. Also, the father was from [=WindClan=].]]
** [[spoiler:Yellowfang]] also hides her pregnancy from the rest of her clan, but not from the father, [[spoiler:Raggedstar]]. Then again, she was also a medicine cat.
* In ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'', Elphaba goes catatonic after Fieryo's death, and didn't realize that she had given birth to Liir during the time.
* In the Creator/JodiPicoult novel ''Plain Truth'', the plot revolves around a deceased newborn having been found in an Amish family's barn, with no one having been aware of the pregnancy. At first, it suggests that the mother had been in the dark about her pregnancy as well, but it becomes clear later that she had worked it out and not told anyone for fear of the repercussions. [[spoiler:And the girl's mother had figured it out as well, but not mentioned it.]]
* In ''Literature/TimeScout'', Kit never suspected he had a granddaughter. Because he never knew his Sarah was pregnant. He had to ask his granddaughter whether he'd had a daughter or a son.
** Jenna has an extra reason to hide hers: she's disguised as a man with surgically implanted facial hair.
* In ''TheRedTent'', Leah does this with her first pregnancy for a time, so as not to upset Rachel, who is celebrating her own bridal week. Later, Rachel does it herself while she is pregnant with Joseph, until she is about 3–4 months along, hoping she won't "jinx" it and have another miscarriage.
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' people don't ever talk much about late-term pregnancies and try to hide early ones out of a superstitious fear of something going wrong with it. After her brother and several other family members died in an explosion at a theater, a grieving Kij Porter visited a [[SexSlave crib]] and got with child, [[spoiler:but it turns out she made the story about the crib up; she had in fact been [[VillainousIncest impregnanted by her brother]] and hid it until she had an excuse not to]]; because of her noble birth, it would have taken a lot to get her to go to a crib. The fear of sexually transmitted diseases, even after she'd proved clean, made it much less likely that she would be married.
* Aliena from ''ThePillarsOfTheEarth'' hides her pregnancy until the day of birth. Not surprising since she never had sex with her husband.
* At the end of ''Literature/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', Kissy does not tell James that she is pregnant; instead allowing him to go of to investigate the lead as to he really is, knowing that he will probably never return.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''{{Baywatch}}'' episode ''Baywatch Down Under''. Jake learns that his ex-wife didn't tell him she had become pregnant with his child before divorcing him, because she felt he needed to be free and didn't want him to feel obliged to stay with her.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episodes [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E9TheEmptyChild "The Empty Child"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E10TheDoctorDances "The Doctor Dances"]], the mother keeps her pregnancy secret from ''everyone''. Of course, we only find this out years after the fact.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E7TheUnicornAndTheWasp "The Unicorn and the Wasp"]], a woman returned from abroad and spent the next few months in her room, claiming severe illness. Of course, she was really pregnant. Also, this was the late 19th century, she was unmarried, and the father was [[spoiler:a shape-shifting alien wasp]], so she had some pretty good reasons to hide.
** [[spoiler:Amy Pond]] does a ''very'' good job of this. Of course, she's [[spoiler:completely unaware]] because [[spoiler: the Amy we've seen all season is actually a ganger and her real body has been trapped in a white tube, super pregnant on a far-away space base.]]
* Peggy on ''Series/MadMen'', being a nice Catholic girl who [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin had had sex]] ''[[CantGetAwayWithNuthin just that one time]]'' when she got pregnant, didn't even find out for herself until going into labor; even after the baby's been put up for adoption, she doesn't mention it to anyone, even the father, [[spoiler: until the last episode of Season 2, when everyone is panicking during the Cuban Missile Crisis]]. Completely justified, considering that it is the ''very'' early 60s.
* The Discovery Health Channel show ''I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant'' plays this straight as in every episode the woman does not know that she is pregnant until just before she gives birth. The reasons are different each time.
* Scully hides her pregnancy from everyone except A.D. Skinner for several months on ''Series/TheXFiles''. The reason for hiding it is never really given, though there are a few [[note]]she was fearful about what would happen should the Syndicate or CGB Spender found out. Whether they would take her for testing like they did Mulder, or leverage her child's life for Mulder's could have been very real possibilities. And considering the latter was posed to Skinner later in the season, it was very possible.[[/note]] [[labelnote:Theories]]It also be that she didn't want to bring on an investigation. Later in season 8, Mulder jokingly says there is a pool going down at the FBI, trying to guess who the father of Scully's baby is, and it has always been implied that one of the obstacles hindering Mulder and Scully from actually getting together during the series was due to FBI frat rules. An investigation into her pregnancy and the subsequent finding that her partner is the father could have resulted in being fired from the FBI, as Kersh was looking for pretty much any reason by season 8. Without the FBI's resources at her disposal, there would be no way to search for Mulder.[[/labelnote]] It wasn't until close to the birth and after William is born that we find out [[spoiler:he's an alien/human hybrid, of sorts, and every bad guy wants him thanks to a prophecy]]. A more benign reason is that she wanted to keep on the hunt for Mulder without issue, didn't think anyone else needed to know (including her new partner), or the fact that the men in her life kind of become twitchy, overprotective bodyguards when they find out she's pregnant.
* A tragic version on ''EarthFinalConflict''. Sibohan Beckett and Ron Sandoval were raped by Ha'Gel. Sibohan is captured by the Resistance and gives birth to Liam in captivity. The Resistance decide to mindwipe her to prevent her from revealing their hideout to the Taelons, with the caveat that if she remembered Liam was her son, it would cause the alien implant in her head to overload and kill her. She eventually does, and the only comsolation is that Liam's by her side (and Sandoval's watching from the shadows) as she dies.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': Due to some genetic AppliedPhlebotinum, ''Peacekeepers'' can keep a pregnancy in status for up to 7 cycles (years.) As a result, it isn't difficult for Aeryn to hide her pregnancy from John...until Noranti spills the beans, anyway.
* In ''QuickChange'', the female bank robber keeps her pregnancy secret from her boyfriend, the ringleader, firstly because she doesn't want anything to distract him from the heist they're pulling off and wants to wait until they're away and free to spring the good news, then because she doesn't like what he seems to be turning into following the heist. Unfortunately, she confides in the less-than-bright third robber, who accidentally spills the beans.
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Quinn tries to hide her pregnancy from everyone but Finn and Puck, since she knows she'll likely lose every bit of her social status when people find out, not to mention her strict Baptist parents' reaction. It doesn't stay hidden for very long, though.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has [[spoiler:Teyla]] hiding her pregnancy from her superiors for a while because she doesn't want to be taken off the duty roster. When [[AFatherToHisMen Sheppard]] starts to get suspicious due to her immediately visiting the infirmary after getting hit by a Wraith stunner, she confesses that she's in the second trimester and was worried the stunner could harm the child. He instantly chews her ass off for risking her life and that of her child's like this before putting her on maternity leave.
* K'Ehleyr from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' doesn't tell her son Alexander's father about him until he is three years old, and probably would've waited longer if she hadn't been sent back to the ''Enterprise''. Worf is understandably pissed.
* Tina from ''TheLWord'' hides her second pregnancy from everyone, especially her then-ex Bette, for fear of Bette's reaction if she has another miscarriage.

* In Jairo's song "La Balada de ComicBook/CortoMaltese" (Ballad of Corto Maltese), when Corto drops by Buenos Aires, he becomes involved with a local MafiaPrincess. When he leaves, she decides not to tell him that she's pregnant with their kid. At the end of the song, it's mentioned that her and Corto's son [[IWillWaitForYou goes to the port to wait for his father's appearance]]. [[TearJerker He never comes back.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Homer]] was in the dark during most of the time Marge was pregnant with Maggie, in part because she knew Homer planned to just stay with two kids and keep his dream job at the bowling alley and didn't want to upset him. Her sisters, wanting to see Homer suffer, spread the news around town. However, Homer was far too thick to see the signs, understand the congratulatory euphemisms, or notice the ''outright statements'' of his soon-to-be fatherhood, and in fact only fully understood after someone congratulated him on his new job due to RuleOfFunny.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* During the reign of Louis XV of France, a young woman who gave birth to his stillborn child was charged with infanticide because she had hidden the pregnancy. Remember that as this was a classical European monarchy, and France, she was unlikely to have been stigmatized for this. The King's mistress, Madame du Barry, pleaded with the King to spare the girl's life; her request solidified his love for her because it was the first time she had ever asked him for anything, and it was for someone else. Later on she asked him for quite a bit for herself, to put it mildly.
* Sex columnist Dan Savage notes in his book ''The Commitment'' how his parents got married after a brief engagement and in a borrowed wedding dress because they were expecting, and didn't want their Catholic families to know they conceived a child out of wedlock.
* In older times, this was often inverted by adoptive mothers who would fake ''being'' pregnant because they didn't want their families and friends to ask too many questions.
* In the late 1990s, a woman made the Seattle news after she went to the hospital with terrible stomach pains and delivered a healthy 6-pound baby girl. As her periods had always been light and irregular, and she continued to spot throughout the pregnancy and had no baby bump at all, she had no idea she was pregnant until she gave birth.
* ''Nobody'' outside UsefulNotes/SarahPalin's immediate family knew she was pregnant with Trig, her fifth child, until she was seven months in. For a forty-something, mother-of-four governor, that's not unimpressive. Unfortunately for her, this just gave ammunition to her political opponents, who accused her of faking the pregnancy to cover up premarital hanky-panky by her teenage daughter. No actual evidence exists to support the claim, but when has that ever stopped people from making accusations against political figures they don't like?
* There is a new TLC show called ''Secretly Pregnant'' which deals with women that hide their pregnancy for whatever reason. For example, one woman hid her pregnancy because she was 40 years old and pregnant by a 19-year-old.
* There are at least two stories about foreign au pair servants in London circa the 1980s who turned out to have been hurriedly sent onto new employers, who were found to be heavily pregnant (one who ''went into labour'' within 24 hours of being hired). They tended to speak little English, had no home but their jobs, and were usually afraid of being sent home if they spoke up (and employers decided the easiest way was to foist them onto other households). Another girl held in her 'bump' with a wide leather belt until her employer worked it out a few weeks before the birth (she'd gone to England hoping to keep her pregnancy secret from her family and have the baby adopted; eventually, she couldn't give up the baby, and her employer helped her reconcile with her mother).