These Studios Tried To Hide Their Leading Ladies’ Pregnancy Bellies but Not All Succeeded

Mon Aug 02 2021

This article was originally published on The Gossip Geek and has been republished on Popular Everything with permission.

Actresses get pregnant all the time, even when they’re contractually obliged to fulfill a movie or TV role. And studios are always coming up with creative ways to deal with one of the main character’s growing baby belly. But as these photos prove, they don’t always do a great job of it.

Some of the best-known actresses have managed to keep their pregnancies a secret in our favorite films and shows. But at other times, it’s been painfully obvious that they’re with child. From hiding behind random objects to relying on clever costumes, here’s how they’ve tried to hide their mommy tummies.

Gal Gadot Was Pregnant For the Most Physically-Intensive Role of a Lifetime in Wonder Woman

We don’t know how actress Gal Gadot managed to film the physically intensive Wonder Woman from 2017. She was a whole five months pregnant, which would have been almost impossible to hide had it not been for the post-production. In some scenes, Gal sported a green fabric across her stomach to better CGI her baby bump.

Gal later admitted: “On close-up, I looked very much like Wonder Woman. On wide shots, I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.” We just can’t believe she was able to perform such a physically demanding role while over halfway through her pregnancy.

Debra Messing Changed Her Style to Better Conceal Her Baby Bump on Will & Grace

A lot of us Will & Grace fans might not even be aware that actress Debra Messing was pregnant throughout season six of the show. Not that the filmmakers did an expert job of hiding it – they mainly relied on the costume department putting her in loose flowing gowns, which lots of fans believe didn’t match Grace’s personality at all.

They also resorted to just having Debra holding random objects in front of her stomach, like the hand towel… Towards the end of the season, they just gave up entirely and decided to write Debra out of the season’s final episodes. She was heavily pregnant after all!

Helena Bonham Carter Was Lucky To Be Dating the Director In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

If you’re lucky enough to be dating the director of the movie while pregnant, you might find the filming schedule to be flexible. At least that’s what we can assume was the case for actress Helena Bonham Carter. She got pregnant after signing on as one of the cast members, so when news of her pregnancy broke they had to make some quick changes.

The scheduling for 2007s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street had to be fast-tracked so that Helena could still act in the movie, and Tim Burton made sure of it. Luckily, the whole film was shot in dim lighting and Helena was wearing thick layers under her corset, so her growing bump was easily hidden away.

Sarah Jessica Parker Couldn’t Adequately Hide Her Baby Bump in Sex and the City

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker gave the costume department for Sex and the City a challenging task when she was pregnant during season five. They tried to hide her burgeoning bump in loose-fitting clothes that still remained stylish, but as you can see for yourselves that was quite an impossible task.

The writers thought that having kids wasn’t in keeping with Carrie Bradshaw, so they tried to cover it up. But there’s only so much that you can do when you’re known for having the tiniest frame ever. If you were ever wondering why season five was both delayed and shortened, it’s because they could only go on pretending for so long.

Kate Winslet Wanted to Re-Film Her Action Scenes Without a Stunt Double for Divergent

Actress Kate Winslet was already five months into her pregnancy when filming started for the 2014 movie Divergent. She found it hard adjusting to the fact that she couldn’t do her own stunts, but the filmmakers luckily talked her out of it. That being said, after she eventually gave birth she wanted to film additional footage of her doing the stunts!

In the end, Divergent’s filmmakers relied on little tricks to try and conceal her baby bump. She wore a buttoned blazer in some shots, sat with her arms over her stomach in others, and even utilized strategically placed iPads and office folders at times. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Jane Leeves Was Given a Compulsive-Eating Disorder To Explain Her Weight Gain on Frasier

It’s safe to say that writers wouldn’t handle an actress’s pregnancy the same way today as they did for Jane Leeves. When she became pregnant at the beginning of season eight, the show decided (rather offensively) to turn her growing belly into a compulsive-eating disorder for her character Daphne Moon.

It allowed her to wear loose and baggy clothes, all under the guise of Daphne struggling with her relationship problems. You might remember that Niles sent her to a weight loss spa or “fat camp” to shed some weight, and we didn’t see her for a few episodes. Not cool!

Claire Danes Wasn’t Averse To Using a Well-Placed Cushion in Homeland

Actress Claire Danes ran into a challenge when she became pregnant right before filming Showtime’s Homeland. It’s a physically demanding show, and with her burgeoning baby bump, it wasn’t going to be easy to perform while concealing her stomach. So they knew that post-production would have to be involved to digitally edit out her bump from scenes.

Besides that, they tried to dress Claire’s character Carrie Mathison in “forgiving” clothes, but even that didn’t always work out. Most of the time, they just straight-up edited her baby bump out in post-production. She later stated: “With Rowan, I was filming during the first and second trimester. So, I got it from both ends. I got the nausea and fatigue, and then the huge belly they had to digitally erase.” 

January Jones Was Put in a Fat Suit To Conceal Her Burgeoning Bump In Mad Men

Actress January Jones was pregnant during filming for season five of Mad Men, and the writers came up with a solution to it. The show hid her baby bump under prosthetics under the guise that Betty Draper had gained a ton of weight. In the show, Betty had acquired a tumor on her thyroid!

January had to wear prosthetics and a fat suit the whole time, which really couldn’t have been comfortable to do while pregnant. You may remember the several scenes they included of Betty eating to her heart’s delight. “When we started filming, I was quite pregnant and had to come into work at 3 am each day for six or seven hours of prosthetic make-up,” January revealed.

Emily Blunt Kept Her Pregnancy a Secret From Her Co-Star in The Girl on the Train Until He Guessed Correctly

We had no idea that actress Emily Blunt was concealing her belly all throughout the 2016 movie The Girl on the Train. Ironically, she was playing the part of a confused alcoholic. But she didn’t even let her co-stars in on the secret that she was pregnant with a child.

It certainly was a challenge for Emily: “I think I was really tired, so I became the queen of power naps,” she said. “They’d be like, ‘Emily, you’ve got ten minutes,’ and I was like… out cold somewhere in the corner.” But her co-star Justin Theroux actually guessed correctly that she was pregnant after she “was being really wussy with the stunts.” 

Courteney Cox Ironically Was Pregnant IRL When Her Character in Friends Really Wasn’t

It must have seemed tricky at first when actress Courtney Cox fell pregnant in the final season of Friends. Her character Monica was already established as someone who couldn’t get pregnant, so writing her pregnancy into the show really wasn’t an option at all.

The show more or less relied on a combination of loose-fitting tops, coats and jackets, and a few more headshots than usual. She was pregnant with her daughter Coco, who she had with her then-husband, David Arquette. Courtney was a little over four months pregnant during the filming of the final episode.

Ellen Pompeo Was Put On Bed Rest for Almost an Entire Season of Grey’s Anatomy

You would have thought that scrubs do a decent job of concealing a burgeoning baby bump. But looking at these pictures it would seem that they’re actually pretty revealing. Actress Ellen Pompeo told showrunners that she was expecting a little one, so they worked her pregnancy into the show’s storyline.

Her character Meredith Grey was put on bed rest after donating part of her liver to her father in season six, so Ellen was given an easy time of it. At times when Meredith was on-screen, they used strategically placed folders and blankets to conceal her midsection.

Julia Roberts Almost Broke the Fourth Wall While Filming for Ocean Twelve

Actress Julia Roberts is such a Hollywood heavyweight that the writers of Ocean Twelve wrote in a fake pregnancy segment just for her. If you go back and watch it, you’ll notice how you never see Julia’s belly right up until her character Tess “pretends” to be a pregnant Julia Roberts for Danny Ocean’s heist.

Before the hilarious scene, she’s sitting at a table or filmed from the neck up. And when it’s time for her to assume the role of a fake-but-real Julia Roberts, the movie alleges that they put a fake pregnancy belly on her. But no, her bump was totally real and she was clearly very far along!

Amy Poehler Filmed Two Seasons Back-to-Back During Her Real-Life Pregnancy For Parks and Recreation

It was while filming for season two of Parks and Recreation that actress Amy Poehler told showrunners she was expecting. Her bump wasn’t huge yet, but it was somewhat visible. Nothing that some baggy tops, cardigans, and jackets couldn’t hide. Impressively, she decided to film season three immediately after the filming for season two had finished.

She chose to power through while pregnant, in order for her take to more time off once her baby boy had arrived. The show’s executive producer Greg Daniels joked at the time: “As we get closer [to her due date], Aziz Ansari will be constantly standing in front of her.”

Kelly Rutherford Layered Way Too Many Items To Hide Her Bump in Gossip Girl

When actress Kelly Rutherford became pregnant in 2008 it wasn’t a good time for her character Lily van der Woodsen to be as well. It was more or less left to the costume department to try and hide her growing bump, but viewers were quick to point out that they didn’t always do such a good job of it.

But they did try. They tried to keep her scenes outdoors so she could layer a bunch of clothes on. As we can see on the left, she’s wearing a baggy coat, oversized scarf, holding a newspaper, and strategically holding a bag over her front. But there’s nowhere to hide in a satin pink gown.

Reese Witherspoon Relied on Period Dresses and Poor Lighting for Vanity Fair

It’s a good thing that actress Reese Witherspoon was acting in a Victorian-era drama for Vanity Fair, because it meant that she could wear billowy empire-waist dresses the whole time. It must have been pretty comfortable, too, as there was nothing restrictive on her growing baby bump.

That wasn’t the only thing. Not only were her dresses in dark jewel-tone colors, but the sets were dimly lit almost all of the time. The forgiving lighting was totally key to keeping her baby bump concealed – you wouldn’t be able to make out much if she’s dancing in the shadows.

Mindy Kaling Had To Deal With a Heat Wave While She Was Seven Months Along in The Mindy Project

Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling invited her followers to “see if you can tell” that she was pregnant in the final season of The Mindy Project. She was over the moon with how her costume department and cinematographer managed to conceal the baby bump, which was already seven months along.

Mindy told her followers on Twitter: “I shot the entire last season pregnant and Mr. Sal Perez hid it so well! As did Michael Spiller and our cinematographer, Marco Fargnoli.” She added that at “The finale I was almost 7 months along and it was a heatwave.” We think they did an amazing job.

Halle Berry Was About Ready To Burst Out of Her Super Suit in X-Men: The Days of Future Past

Actress Halle Berry was caught off-guard when she found out she was pregnant in 2013. She told Total Film: “I wasn’t in [the movie] as much as I was meant to be. [Pregnancy] kind of colored what my involvement could be, which was why I was one of the first ones in and the first ones out.”

It was lucky that Halle managed to get most of her filming fast-tracked. “My ever-growing belly was posing a constant challenge!” she admitted, adding “What I could do was getting more limited, so the role I play is so different from what it could have been, due to my surprise pregnancy.”

Marcia Cross Was Built Her Very Own at-Home Set by the Crew at Desperate Housewives

Actress Marcia Cross worked all throughout her pregnancy to film the third season of Desperate Housewives. Her doctor had actually ordered her not to leave the house, so crew members built her a set at home! That way she could continue filming at all times… You have a contract to fulfill, Marcia!

Her character Bree Van de Kamp just wore baggy clothes or hid behind strategically placed objects, because writers didn’t want her character to undergo pregnancy. Ironically, in the following season, Marcia had to wear a fake pregnancy belly because her character did in fact get pregnant.

Jennifer Garner Made Everyone at Alias Take a Break Until She Was Ready To Come Back

Actress Jennifer Garner found out she was pregnant while she was filming for the fifth season of Alias. The show was super accomodating however, as they not only wrote her pregnancy into her character Sydney Bristow’s story, but they also gave the entire show a filming hiatus halfway through.

Between December 2005 until April 2006, the show took a break from filming while Jennifer had her baby. By the time they filmed the rest of the season, Jennifer was no longer pregnant and was ready to assume her action-packed role. Then, once they’d finished shooting the fifth season, the actress took another break to spend some time with her newborn.

Jenna Fischer Found Out She Was Pregnant IRL During a Coincidental Scene For The Office

When actress Jenna Fischer fell pregnant, the writers decided to include it in the show. Jenna explained at the time: “Pam and Jim snuck away last season on Valentine’s Day, and they had sex. The story is that they conceived this baby at that time and were keeping it a secret until we come back from the summer.”

This was actually already planned before anyone knew Jenna was pregnant IRL. “When we started shooting that episode, I thought to myself, ‘If everything goes well, this is going to be a very, very convenient coincidence,’” she revealed. “I think I found out I was pregnant when we were shooting that episode.”

Emily Deschanel Divided Fans of Bones When They Included Her Pregnancy in the Show

Fans of the TV show Bones weren’t convinced at first when writers decided to incorporate actress Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy into the show. It meant that the characters Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth were having a child together, in order to explain Emily’s growing baby bump.

Eventually, the show’s fans took to the idea once they saw it play out. The characters ended up having a gifted child named Christine, and it changed their relationship dynamic. It’s refreshing to see the pregnant actress dressed for her figure at least, rather than hiding behind a kitchen counter.

Jane Krakowski Quite Literally Kept Her Bun in an Oven While Wearing a Dog Costume on 30 Rock 

Actress Jane Krakowski’s character Jenna Maroney, that viewers had come to love, would have never had a baby. 30 Rock fans claimed that she would have been a terrible mother, so Jane was forced to try and hide it in plain sight. And that included wearing some pretty ridiculous clothes at times.

Sometimes she’d wear a jacket and a long scarf, hoping it would hide the bump. At other times she was made to dress up in a shaggy dog costume which really couldn’t have been all that comfortable. And we all know how often pregnant women tend to need the toilet… Jane must have had a nightmare constantly stepping in and out of that thing!

Julie Bowen Had a Bumpy Start to the Modern Family Series

Actress Julie Bowen was actually pregnant during the filming for the pilot episode of Modern Family. She was actually carrying twins, which must have made her bump even harder to hide. But looking back at the episode, it seems so obvious that she was in fact pregnant.

Julie’s character Claire Dunphy was either only filmed from the shoulders up, or else there was something in the way of us seeing her properly. Sometimes it was a cereal box, and at other times it was a laundry hamper. We love how an actress’s pregnancy gets everyone super creative.

Lucille Ball Was Allowed To Be Pregnant in I Love Lucy on One Conditon

Actress and comedian Lucille Ball was pregnant for the second time in her life by the time that season two of I Love Lucy rolled around. The most convenient thing for the shoemakers to do was to write it into the show, as long as they made room for one small change.

Back in the ’50s when the show was being filmed, the word “pregnant” was deemed inappropriate to use on national television. In order not to make the show “vulgar,” they went with the word “enceinte” instead. Which is basically just the French word for pregnant. Thank goodness we live in different times.

Isla Fisher Didn’t Even Let Her Castmates on Burke and Hare in on the Secret

Actress Isla Fisher was glowing during the movie Burke and Hare, but it’s not all down to the makeup department. She was pregnant while filming for the John Landis-directed British comedy, and they didn’t feel the need to write it into the show for a very good reason.

It was set towards the end of the Georgian era, and Isla was able to get away with just wearing long, loose, and drapey dresses and coats. Sometimes she even opted for a cape or a giant hand warmer, so there really wasn’t any risk of a baby bump being on show. Even her castmates weren’t aware that she was with child!

Emily Blunt Took To Hiding Behind James Corden In Into the Woods

Before actress Emily Blunt hid her baby bump in The Girl on the Train, she had to hide her belly while filming for the 2014 movie Into the Woods. But we have to call them out for what seems like a lazy effort. Emily’s co-star Meryl Streep even spoke out about the funny solutions that the showmakers came up with.

Meryl revealed that “They were constantly putting James Corden in front of her belly” as well as simply “raising her apron higher and higher.” But our favorite has to be the moment they told Emily to hide her lower half behind a big tree. Maybe the simplest solutions work best sometimes?

Bryce Dallas Howard Didn’t Know She Was Pregnant While Filming Dangerous Stunts

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard was actually pregnant while filming for 2007’s Spider-Man 3, which comes as a total surprise. Mainly because it was very stunt-heavy and Bryce filmed all the action shots herself! It ended up being more dangerous than the studio intended, but she was in the early stages of pregnancy and didn’t know it yet.

Luckily everything went ok with the pregnancy and the baby. “Thank goodness everything was okay,” Bryce told a newspaper shortly after giving birth. Regarding the stunts, she said: “He was just born, and he’s totally healthy. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you’re totally safe, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it during any kind of a pregnancy.” 

Ana Ortiz Just Acted Normal and Carried on Acting

Actress Ana Ortiz makes a surprising appearance on this list because she was actually pregnant during the filming of Ugly Betty. She and her guitarist husband were thrilled to be having a child, but it wasn’t planned and the show didn’t write it into the script. But as you can see below, they didn’t need to.

Ana wasn’t in the later stages of her pregnancy, and so was able to get away with not looking pregnant on the show hardly at all! She simply continued to wear the colorful outfits that the costume department had planned on anyway, and none of us were any wiser.

Penelope Cruz Relied on Her Sister To Fill In for Her With Stunt Work

Actress Penelope Cruz was pregnant during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which was released in 2011. When she wasn’t wearing a stomach-cinching corset, she let her growing belly hang out while around on set. And she had a very good plan for what to do when it came to performing stunts.

Her sister is actress Monica Cruz, and the pair look almost identical as they are. Instead of using another body double, they simply employed Monica to be Penelope’s stunt double for scenes that we’re a little more risky or active. That’s what sisters are for!

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Burst Into Tears When Jerry Seinfeld Suggested a Weight-Gain Plot

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus was such a great character on Seinfeld during the nineties, that when she fell pregnant the producers knew they didn’t want to just write her out the script for a while. Julia continued to act while pregnant and relied on the oversized jackets and coats of the nineties to conceal her bump. It was especially obvious when she filmed a scene while holding a huge box in front of her.

“I was about three or four months into my pregnancy, and Jerry, I remember vividly, pitched to me… ‘Hey, how about this for this season, how about we write it in that Elaine just gets fat?’” It didn’t go down well. “I burst into tears. Just started to bawl, uncontrollably. I was so humiliated and horrified. In his defense, I think it’s actually a great idea. I was just so self-conscious about getting huge that there was no way that was going to happen.”

Scarlett Johansson Made More Money While Pregnant on the Avengers Than Ever Before

Actress Scarlett Johansson was pregnant during 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and we had no idea. But it was quite a challenge for the Black Widow actress, who usually enjoyed her active part. She didn’t end up taking as much of a physically demanding role as intended, and it still wasn’t easy.

Even though her stunt double was doing all the dangerous stuff, Scarlett still had to do everything else while dealing with morning sickness. She admitted in an interview that “I made more money pregnant than I’ve ever before.” She was getting almost $20 million for her role and didn’t feel right about taking too much time off.

Angelina Jolie Played the Part of a Grieving Mother When She Decided To Have More Kids

Actress Angelina Jolie was filming for the harrowing movie The Changeling in 2008 when she found out she was pregnant. She already had four children with actor Brad Pitt, and she decided to keep it a secret on set. After filming, she welcomed her twins Vivienne and Knox.

Despite playing the part of a grieving mother in the film, it made her realize that she wanted more children. Luckily for Angie, her stick-thin frame didn’t show a thing. Even then, she was wearing the looser up-and-down fashion looks of the roaring twenties, so it was altogether impossible to tell.

Kerry Washington Knows That They Didn’t Do a Good Job Hiding Her Baby Bump

Actress Kerry Washington was pregnant during the sixth season of the political thriller Scandal and it wasn’t difficult to guess. It wasn’t written into the show, but Kerry admitted that you could easily spot when they were hiding her burgeoning bump: “You could play a really fun game for the first… five episodes of ‘find the bump.'”

“Our crew is amazing,” Kerry stated. “They did such a good job of taking care of Olivia. Because even though I was pregnant, Olivia was not.” Thanks to them, Kerry was able to hide her baby bump “behind flowers, behind Prada purses, behind big coats, and capes.” Now that she says it, it’s pretty obvious.

Zooey Deschanel Went Away on Jury Duty When She Became Pregnant on New Girl

Actress Zooey Deschanel was pregnant while filming for the fifth season of New Girl, and it didn’t get past many viewers. Her character Jess was given an alternative plotline that required her to sit behind a wooden half-wall. Jess had jury duty, and that was that.

The showmakers also had another trick up their sleeve. They hired actress Megan Fox for the period in which Jess was away on jury duty, in the hopes that it would distract the audience from Zooey’s maternity leave absence. Either way, she returned to the show shortly after giving birth.

Mandy Moore Couldn’t Play the Part of a Pregnant Grandmother

Actress Mandy Moore was pregnant during the filming of This Is Us, which could have easily posed quite a challenge. Mandy needed to portray both the younger and far older versions of Rebecca Pearson, so there was no way she could be seen with a baby bump. She was playing a grandmother!

Before its release, Mandy admitted that “I’m sure you’ll see Rebecca carrying a lot of laundry baskets and oversized purses… for the next few months.” She was right essentially. The costume department also made sure to give her loads of layering fabrics and loose-fitting clothes to hide the baby bump.

Morena Baccarin Relied on Post-Production When Her Role Became Pivotal

Actress Morena Baccarin wasn’t worried when she became pregnant during the filming of Homeland‘s season two. There was already a plot twist written in that should have given her less screen time. But unexpectedly, her character actually became a focal point of the season.

Luckily, she wasn’t showing too much at the time. But during those moments when it was more obvious, there was a baby on the way, the post-production team came in extra-handy. Her burgeoning bump was deleted in the scenes where you see her whole body.

Keri Russell And Matthew Rhys Weren’t Happy About Her Pregnancy Being Written Out

Actress Keri Russell became pregnant in 2016, right when she was filming for season four of The Americans. She was dating her co-star Matthew Rhys, but the writers still didn’t want to write the pregnancy into the show. In the end, they used the usual tricks of the trade to conceal her baby bump.

Her partner Matthew later explained in an interview that he and Keri approached the writers about their big news. “They went, ‘You know what, we’re going to stick with what we wrote, and I’m sorry to say, you’ll be wearing big coats and sitting holding laundry.'” And that’s exactly what Keri did on the show.

Jessica Capshaw Had To Hide Her Growing Belly Because Her Character Didn’t Want Kids

Actress Jessica Capshaw had to carry on acting during the seventh season of Grey’s Anatomy, even though she was carrying a child. This is particularly funny, considering how her character Arizona was staunchly against having children herself. So there wasn’t any way they could write Jessica’s pregnancy into the show.

What the writers decided to do was send Arizona off to Africa for a little trip. She still had scenes to film before she left though, and for that, the writer deferred to the costume and prop department. You guessed it; Jessica was wearing loose and flowing clothes and suspiciously holding big boxes.

Alyson Hannigan Had to Pretend She Ate Too Much in How I Met Your Mother

Actress Alyson Hannigan was pretty heavily pregnant by the time they were shooting for season four of How I Met Your Mother. The writers didn’t want that for her character, so they resorted to the cheap tricks of the industry to hide her growing baby bump.

Aside from hiding her behind various inanimate objects like a guitar, a basketball, a big bag, a world globe, and even a cooler, they allowed showing Alyson’s belly for one particular scene. The show pretended that Alyson was just really full after winning an eating contest! You couldn’t make this stuff up…

Gillian Anderson Was Given a Weird Storyline For The X-Files

During the second season of The X-Files, actress Gillian Anderson was given the strangest storyline to explain her baby bump. Her FBI agent character Scully was kidnapped and abducted by aliens, where she was allegedly experimented on. And that’s what resulted in her character’s on-screen pregnancy.

It’s unique, we’ll give the show that. But it’s also slightly creepy if not totally disturbing. Apparently, Gillian was terrified of telling the producers that she was expecting, and for good reason. They actually considered recasting her character, before choosing to stand by the actress.

Alanna Masterson Had To Put Up With Some Lazy Tricks In The Walking Dead

Actress Alanna Masterson had commitments to keep when she found out she was pregnant in 2015. She was a recurring cast member on AMC’s The Walking Dead, playing the part of Tara Chambler, and the writers weren’t willing to write her pregnancy into the show.

But just because they didn’t write her pregnancy into her character’s story doesn’t mean that they had a sophisticated way of hiding her baby bump. Take a look at the props that the show resorted to – sometimes they had Alanna sitting backward on a bar stool, sometimes they had her hiding behind a dish rack.

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Real Life Pregnancy Came at a Good Time For Once Upon a Time

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin had a spot of good luck when filming a few scenes for Once Upon a Time. She was pregnant with her co-star husband, Josh Dallas, right at the same time that her character was too! The couple had met on set, so the whole thing was pretty full circle.

They didn’t have to hide her baby belly for a majority of her scenes, but they did need to conceal her bump for flashback moments. And for that, they relied on big, billowy, period clothing that did a questionable job. Still, we got the point.

Rachel Bilson Assured Fans That Hart of Dixie Didn’t Stop Because She Was Pregnant

Right towards the end of the series Hart of Dixie, actress Rachel Bilson was pregnant. People thought that the show’s cancellation was somehow linked to her approaching motherhood, but she assured fans that that wasn’t the case.

Her character on the show, Dr. Zoe Barnes, was also pregnant towards the end of the season. But there were episodes that Rachel still had to film showing her pre-pregnancy. The show opted for baggy clothes and props to put in front of the camera for those earlier scenes.

Michelle Pfeiffer Works Hard But the Wardrobe Department For Dangerous Minds Works Harder

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer already had a tiny frame when she was filming for the 1995 movie Dangerous Minds. And for the entirety of the shoot, she was actually pregnant with her son John Henry. Luckily, she was so far along that it was noticeable when wearing loose-fitting clothes.

But her wardrobe wasn’t the only thing that was relied upon to hide her belly. Specific camera angles and close-ups were also leaned on to give the costume department a break. Ultimately, they did a pretty good job. She was the lead actress after all and had the most screen time!

Cobie Smulders Poked Fun at Hiding Her Belly on How I Met Your Mother

When actress Cobie Smulders was pregnant on How I Met Your Mother, the show poked fun at the fact that they were trying to hide it. Either she had put a big purse on her lap when she was sitting down, or else she was hiding in the distance behind a great big lampshade.

Naturally, they also put Cobie in baggy or chunky clothes to better conceal her burgeoning baby bump. And one time they stuck her behind a fruit bowl. Plus, for other major storylines concerning Cobie’s character, the show simply put off filming for them until later on.

Megan Boone Was Six Months Pregnant While Filming For The Blacklist

Actress Megan Boone was still shooting for NBC’s The Blacklist while she was six months pregnant. Luckily, her character was pregnant too, so she didn’t have to hide behind things. Megan’s character and her TV husband were expecting all the same.

Plus, the show hired a stunt double for Megan for when scenes might have been too much. Which was a good idea considering how she was only a few short weeks away from giving birth. When Megan needed to disappear for maternity leave, they wrote her character out of the show.

Melissa Rauch Could Celebrate Her Happy News on The Big Bang Theory

Actress Melissa Rauch would have been dearly missed had she not been present for a large part of The Big Bang Theory. Which is why we’re extra thankful her pregnancy was written into the show. Her character Bernadette was expecting her first child with Howard.

Sadly, the actress had suffered a miscarriage before the pregnancy she experienced while filming the show. She spoke openly and honestly about her feelings surrounding her big news: “…. all I could think about was another woman mourning over her loss as I did, worried she would never get pregnant again, and reading about my bundle on the way.”

America Ferrera Worked Her Influence To Include Her Pregnancy on Superstore

Actress America Ferrera has been starring in NBC’s Superstore since 2015, so when she became pregnant there was no way they could just send her character away for a season. She was expecting her first child with her husband Ryan Piers Williams in 2018.

For the third season of the show, the writers wrote her pregnancy into the storyline. They must have thought that trying to hide her baby bump just wasn’t worth the fight! Perhaps that was also because America worked as one of the show’s executive producers…

Rosamund Pike Was Under Tom Cruise’s Protective Wing

Actress Rosamund Pike is better known for acting as the villainous Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. But before that played out, she had starred opposite Tom Cruise in the 2012 movie Jack Reacher. It was an action-packed movie, and Rosamund filmed the whole thing while pregnant.

“It’s amazing the baby’s come out so chilled. He probably thought the world was going to be truly terrifying,” she admitted in hindsight. She was five months along, and apparently, Mr. Cruise was nothing short of a gentleman: “He could not have been more supportive. Certain stars would have – or might have – said, ‘Get someone else, she’s pregnant!’ That sort of thing goes on in this day and age.”

Katey Sagal and Her Very Public Heartbreak

Actress Katey Sagal learned of her first pregnancy while filming for Married with Children, and it came as a totally unexpected surprise. The show ended up writing in this pregnancy, but more would soon come. Katey ended up having three separate pregnancies while portraying Peggy Bundy.

Sadly, her first pregnancy resulted in a stillbirth, and the show had to rewrite her character’s storyline. They decided to write that Peggy’s whole pregnancy had just been a dream. You’ll be glad to hear that Katey went on to have two beautiful children after her subsequent pregnancies.

Leah Remini Kept Cycling Through Various Bathrobes

Actress Leah Remini was pregnant during the filming of King of Queens, season six. Luckily for her, her character was going through an unemployment phase. This meant that she could wear dressing robes and sweat pants basically most of the time.

In fact, there are several scenes in which Leah’s wearing a fuzzy, bulky bathrobe. She appeared to have them in all sorts of colors, too. Pink, blue, white – you name it. Still, the few times she was seen wearing clothes, the studio came up with some way to hide her bump…

Parminder Nagra Was Given the Classic Studio Treatment

Actress Parminder Magra found out she was with child when she was filming for the fifteenth season of ER. It was 2008, and the studio had some pretty imaginative ways of concealing her burgeoning bump… Only joking. They relied on the usual, less than impressive “tricks.”

If you watch season 15 back, you can see Parminder wearing her scrubs a little bit looser than usual, sometimes wearing a great big lab coat, and standing conveniently behind tables and countertops. In the end, however, it got the job done.

Phylicia Rashad Wasn’t Fooling Anyone With These Props

Actress Phylicia Rashad is best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the NBC show The Cosby Show during the eighties. But perhaps you didn’t realize that the gorgeous actress was actually pregnant for a large chunk of the third season.

The sitcom decided not to write the actress’s pregnancy into the script. As you can see, however, they didn’t hide it too well. Clair was always suspiciously covering up her stomach – sometimes with broadsheet newspaper or sometimes with sofa cushions.

Jill Scott Was Pregnant at the Start of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Actress Jill Scott does a lot more than just act. She’s also a celebrated singer, songwriter, model, and poet, who was pregnant during the filming of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. But it’s very hard to tell, thanks to the loose-fitting clothes she wore.

The clothes also had a lot of patterns to distract us from her burgeoning bump. And we’ve got to stay, we had no idea that she was carrying a child during all of season one! Her son Jett was born in April 2009, and only two months later she had broken up with the father of her child.

Rachel Griffiths Hid Her Belly Under Nate Fisher’s Hands

Actress Rachel Griffiths is missing from a few episodes of season three’s Six Feet Under because she was just too pregnant to hide it on screen. It was her first pregnancy, and she wasn’t showing too much for the other episodes – the studio just found ways to cover her stomach so it wasn’t obvious.

In a later season she fell pregnant again, and this time the show decided to write it into her character arc. And would you believe, she actually had a third pregnancy while on the show. But for the last one, the writers decided against another pregnancy.

Caterina Scorsone Was Much Luckier Than Her Character

Actress Caterina Scorsone was pregnant in 2012, right when she had to film for the ABC medical daytime drama Private Practice. The creator of the show, Shonda Rhimes, included the pregnancy in Amelia Shepherd’s story, so Caterina didn’t have to do any hiding.

While Caterina’s child was born healthy and happy in July 2012, her character was not so lucky. For Amelia, she was written as having given birth to a baby boy, but he had been born anencephalic and didn’t survive. Yep, that’s dark.

Angela Kinsey’s Pregnancy Was Hardly Hidden At All

Actress Angela Kinsey was pregnant during the shooting for season four of The Office. The show did attempt to hide it, but there’s very little chance that you wouldn’t have known. They had some borderline ridiculous ways of hiding her baby bump from sight.

Take a look at Angela hiding just her belly out of frame on the left, making sure to keep only her belly behind the wall. If that doesn’t work, you always have the scene where she’s conveniently standing behind a huge ice sculpture of two kissing swans.

Jennifer Garner’s Emotional Instability Helped Her Performance

Actress Jennifer Garner was busy starring in the little-known movie Catch and Release in 2006. She and her then-husband Ben Affleck had gotten pregnant with their first daughter, but luckily it was still in the early days of the pregnancy and she didn’t need to do much.

Basically, they tried not to put her in anything too figure-hugging or constrictive, and Jennifer was good to go. In fact, pregnancy might have helped her performance: “It was actually perfect timing. It was in between nausea and getting big, and I felt really emotional, so I could cry easily if I needed to.”

Betsy Brandt’s Pregnant Belly Was a Substitute For Her On-Screen Sisters

Actress Betsy Brandt was pregnant during the filming of Breaking Bad’s season two. Her character wasn’t, so it had to be disguised. But the funny thing was her on-screen sister Skylar White, played by Anna Gunn, was pregnant! And funnily enough, Anna had to wear a fake baby belly…

When Betsy was on-screen, the studio used their tips and tricks to encourage the eye anywhere but her baby belly. Even if she had to stay sat behind countertops. But interestingly, when the director needed a close-up of Skylar’s belly, they used Betsy’s real one as the stand-in.

Kaitlin Olson‘s Pregnancy Was Worked Around For One Obvious Reason

Actress Kaitlin Olson was pregnant for a great many episodes in season six of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Her character, Dee, was given a pregnancy too, and they ended making several episodes centered around the baby bump. But the writers came up with a way to still have her experience pregnancy and not have to keep the child on the show.

Dee had become a surrogate, but it wasn’t revealed until right at the end of the season. Then again, it might have been easier for Kaitlin to work the show around her pregnancy than we first considered. After all, she’s married the co-creator and executive producer of the show, Rob McElhenney.

Nana Visitor Couldn’t Rely on Modern-Day CGI

Actress Nana Visitor fell pregnant during the filming for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She played the part of Kira Nerys, and the writers really didn’t want her character to end up with a child on the show – it just wasn’t time. So they did what any respectable writer does these days…

They wrote it off as a surrogacy to explain why Kira wouldn’t have a baby around after giving birth. It meant that they could work the pregnancy into the storyline and have her appear on screen still, without bringing an entire child actor to the show.

Anna Paquin Relied Her Body-Double More Than Ever

Actress Anna Paquin had a growing baby bump during season six of True Blood. The show didn’t want that for her character and asked the stunt double to fill in for the scenes where she needed to show her body. Her co-star Todd Lowe revealed at the time: “I know that her stunt double has had more work than needed before.”

He continued: “I know that and they’re pretty creative with staging and costuming.” At the time, this was a bit of a season six spoiler, and fans were beside themselves. But as we can see, True Blood wasn’t averse to using a well-placed cushion, too – we only wish they made it a little less obvious.

Candice King Didn’t Have To Hide Her Belly Away

When actress Candice King first revealed that she and her husband, Joe, were expecting a child, fans of The Vampire Diaries were wondering what that meant for her character on the show. They got a big surprise when they realized that the writers went with it and included it on the show.

So throughout season seven, you can see her baby bump slowly getting bigger as the episodes go on. For her character, she had fallen pregnant with Alaric’s child after an affair, and later it was revealed that her character Caroline was actually carrying twins.

Amanda Righetti Wasn’t Fooling Anyone By Standing Behind a Water Cooler

Actress Amanda Righetti had season five of The Mentalist to film when she became pregnant. But since writers didn’t want to include it on the show, you can often find her character Grace standing behind random objects a lot of the time, or just sitting with her hands in front.

But it didn’t fool anyone watching the show. She was covering her belly with bags, boxes, and even awkwardly stood behind a water cooler. Her body was changing and it was apparent for everyone watching. Especially in one particular episode.

Kristen Bell Had the Power of Technology on Her Side

Actress Kristen Bell’s pregnancy wasn’t going to change a thing for her character on House of Lies. So it was up to the director to figure out exactly how they were going to fool the audience, and he decided that a few different options were needed.

The costume and prop department wasn’t solely relied on, but that’s probably also because Kristen was seven months pregnant! Sure, she wore baggier clothes, but she also had the help of CGI to digitally remove her baby bump from scenes.

Alyssa Milano Joked That Hiding Her Pregnancy Was Like an SNL Skit

Actress Alyssa Milano had to film for Mistresses when she was pregnant in the second season of the show. It was her second pregnancy, and she explained a bit what acting at the time felt like: “Hiding the pregnancy is kind of always like a Saturday Night Live skit.”

Alyssa continued: “My purses just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.” There was in fact a lot of hiding for the actress before she decided to throw in the towel and not return for season three when the filming location changed. “I just can not uproot my children and separate the family by moving away.”

Ivana Milicevic’s Pregnancy Saved Her Spot on a Show

Actress Ivana Milicevic was pregnant for the fifth season of The 100, which was especially funny because her character Charmaine Diyoza was supposed to die. But the show decided to use that and wrote the pregnancy into the script, and in turn, keep her character alive for longer.

In fact, her character survived right up until the final season of the show. In an interview with TVLine, she told them: “My son coming into this world gave me three years of awesome work on an awesome show.” It’s not often that someone’s pregnancy actually brings them more money!

Charisma Carpenter Had a Terrible Time on Set

Actress Charisma Carpenter was starring in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series called Angel when she was pregnant. It was season four, and the show went to great lengths to hide her baby belly from sight – right up until they didn’t.

Cordelia, Charisma’s character, ended up giving birth to “The Blessed Devourer” known as Jasmine. But in early 2021 the actress took to Twitter to reveal that the show creator Joss Whedon was emotionally abusive to her because of her pregnancy, and ultimately dropped her from the show because of it.

Chelsea Peretti’s Pregnancy Was Turned Into a Mysterious Plot Point

Actress Chelsea Peretti became pregnant with her and husband Jordan Peele’s baby during season four, and the show had the option to hide it. But instead, they decided to include a pregnancy on the show and took the opportunity to create a new mysterious spin.

Just who was the father of Gina’s baby? Eventually, the show revealed that Ryan Phillippe’s character’s cousin Milton had an affair with Gina, and was the father to her unborn child. Despite all of this, the show still dressed her in loose comfy clothes that somewhat conceal Chelsea’s baby bump.

Naomi Watts Wasn’t Fitting Into Her Clothes Anymore

Actress Naomi Watts was near the beginning of her pregnancy when she was filming for the thriller movie thriller Eastern Promises. She tried her best to keep her pregnancy a secret from the rest of the cast, which she managed. But she couldn’t keep it from everyone.

While dealing with the tiredness that comes from being pregnant, her body was beginning to change. And the director’s sister was the movie’s costume designer, so she was the first to know: “My sister knew before anyone else because she’s the costume designer. She said that Naomi’s not fitting into her clothes anymore.”

Chyler Leigh Had To Pretend That She Had Been Stress Eating

Actress Chyler Leigh was also a pregnant actress on the set of Grey’s Anatomy. She was portraying Lexie Grey, and the writers decidedly did not want her pregnancy in the show either. Luckily, they could rely on the loose-fitting hospital scrubs to cover her belly, but sometimes they needed more.

So they just threw a little jacket over top or had Chyler carry or stand behind random objects. But the actress also had gained some healthy pregnancy weight, which the show decided to explain away as “stress eating.” But that probably wasn’t necessary…

Teri Hatcher Had a Problem With Pierce Brosnan’s Insensitivity

Actress Teri Hatcher had a hard time on the set of the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Teri had only just become pregnant but was still experiencing the symptoms. And Pierce Brosnan wasn’t feeling sympathetic: “I got very upset with her, she was always keeping me waiting for hours.”

He continued: “I must admit I let slip a few words which weren’t very nice.” It seems that Teri didn’t let that slip, and when it came time to film opposite each other, she chose to give a little more oomph to her on-screen slapping of James Bond. It must have been pretty tense there.

Chandra Wilson Got the Show To Include Her Pregnancy On-Screen

Actress Chandra Wilson was pregnant on the set of Grey’s Anatomy too, but this time the showrunners decided to do something a little bit different. It was season two, and they decided to write Chandra’s pregnancy in. It turned out to be a good idea as fans loved the famous birth scene.

Characters George and Bailey had a hilarious birthing scene, which still remains to be a firm fan favorite after all these years. It was also significant as the only real-life pregnancy that the show had included, and it stayed that way for a while.

Melanie Scrofano Was Relieved That She Didn’t Have To Hide

Actress Melanie Scrofano was pregnant for the entirety of Wynonna Earp’s season two, and it was included on the show. But it was only revealed that she was carrying a child in the fifth episode, which totally caught fans off guard. But that’s not even the best part.

Despite being heavily pregnant, Melanie did a lot of her own stunts for the show… how was that even allowed? Melanie later spoke about it: “As an actor, there’s nothing worse than having to hide anything, because you’re just so aware of it… It feels like [the show] would have suffered.” Good call, Wynonna Earp!

Vanessa Morgan Felt Grateful to the Show for Their Response

Actress Vanessa Morgan had season five of Riverdale to film when she was pregnant with her baby. She plays the part of Toni, and had some kind words to say on Instagram about how the show was dealing with it: “feeling grateful to my showrunner & producers for being so accommodating & writing my pregnancy into the show!”

Vanessa added that she was “Also proud of my body for allowing me to still work almost 9 months preggo.” Fans were surprised by this but had more questions than they did criticisms. They just wanted to know how the plot was going to change from the original plan.

Melissa Fumero Had to Deal With Swollen Ankles On-Set

Actress Melissa Fumero had to film for Brooklyn Nine-Nine when she was pregnant, as she played the part of one of the leading cast members, detective Amy Santiago. But it certainly wasn’t an easy task: “My ankles would get really swollen,” Melissa told People Magazine.

Melissa continued: “[Our baby] was born, like, five days after we wrapped. I don’t recommend it.” We’ll take your word for it. It was season seven and thankfully the writer’s included her pregnancy in the show. At the very least, she didn’t have to hide her huge belly!

Cynthia Nixon’s Looked Pretty In Purple As a Pregant Miranda

Actress Cynthia Nixon was carrying a child when she was filming for season four of the hit sitcom Sex and the City. She was in a fortunate position, as the show included her pregnancy in the story line and Miranda and Steve ended up having baby Brady.

Interestingly, during season five Sarah Jessica Parker would fall pregnant but have it hidden on the show. And as a result, that season only had eight episodes because Sarah had to take her maternity leave. Still, it’s nice to know that when Miranda was pregnant on the show, it was all totally real.

Blake Lively Had To Do Almost All of Her Own Stunts While Pregnant on The Shallows

Actress Blake Lively was filming for the shark attack movie The Shallows, which came out in 2016, while she was pregnant with her and actor Ryan Reynolds’ baby daughter Inez. It was no mean feat, as the actress had to perform all kinds of risky stunts for the majority of the shooting period.

After the film was released, she revealed the reality of what she experienced: “They didn’t hire a stunt double till the last two weeks of shooting.” Yikes. Someone needs to get HR involved. “Every single day there wasn’t a single scene that wasn’t stunt-heavy,” Blake added. Amazingly she barely showed any baby bump, even in a bikini! But there were scenes where they tried to hide her stomach, like with a surfboard.

Lisa Kudrow Remembers Everyone at Friends Talking to Her Baby Bump

Actress Lisa Kudrow was actually the first out of the main cast to fall pregnant during their filming schedule. They were going to shoot the fourth season, and the show makers decided to just go with the pregnancy and include it on the show. Of course, they gave Phoebe Buffet an interesting story to go along with it.

It wasn’t originally planned, but Phoebe ended up carrying triplets for her half-brother on the show. Which means that her huge baby bump was the real deal. It ended up becoming one of the core storylines of the season and lead to some of our best-loved moments. Lisa later recalled how everyone around would tell her on-set: “Have a great show, love you, love you, love you, little Julian!”