Risks of not knowing
There are several risks involved in having a baby if the mother didn't know she was pregnant for so many months. The baby hasn't been monitored properly, so doctors don't know which type of delivery would be safest; a large baby might be better served by a Caesarean section.
Doctors also wouldn't know about any abnormalities and complications associated with the fetus or the mother. The mom may need to take antibiotics for a bacterial infection, for example.
A mother who doesn't know she's expecting likely hasn't been monitored for hypertension, which was especially relevant for Prentice. On the day she went into labor she had ecclamspia, seizures that may result as a complication of pregnancy; high blood pressure is a risk factor.
The Amandas say they would have done things differently if they had known they were pregnant. Burger wouldn't have drunk alcohol or smoked and would have taken prenatal pills and seen a doctor. Prentice doesn't smoke or drink, but she would have watched her blood pressure more.
Burger noted that her first pregnancy was also somewhat abnormal. She was 19 years old and didn't experience any symptoms then, either. She found out she was pregnant when she was five-and-a-half months along. Her son Benjamin was born at 32 weeks.
"I've never really had a 'real' pregnancy," she said. "I have two kids and no real pregnancy."