Even though a person's a celebrity, life happens and their job has to accommodate them in any way they can. Especially if a celebrity is a woman.
Being pregnant and having a baby are two of the hardest things a woman can do. There is a tendency to be a bit miserable while pregnant, because it can sometimes make women uncomfortable. And let’s be real, women are lugging around an entire human being in their body. The least that can happen is some sort of accommodation, especially in the workplace.
The celebrities on this list ended up getting lucky when they found out they were pregnant. Their producers and showrunners accommodated them by writing their pregnancy into the show and allowing them to show off their natural state at the time. It isn’t always easy for a show to find a way of writing a pregnancy into it, but we figured this gave the showrunners that extra kick they needed to come up with creative and exciting storylines that sometimes veered off the beaten path.
There have been several TV pregnancies going all the way back to Lucille Ball, who is one of the first women to write a pregnancy into a TV show. Fans of the show were so offended that she was pregnant that they had to call it “expecting.” Nowadays, things have changed and pregnant celebrities are adding that extra oomph to their TV shows, even boosting the ratings in some cases. But, don't’ be fooled not every pregnant character we see is pregnant in real life. Here are 20 real-life pregnancies that got worked into a hit show.
20 Cynthia Nixon
When Miranda from Sex and the City was miserable and pregnant in season two of the highly successful show, many of the fans thought it was just a storyline but they quickly found out that the actress was pregnant in real life.
She gave birth to her son later that year named Charles Ezekiel Mozes. The produces of Sex in the City even considered building a nursery on set just to accommodate the mom of now two kids. Instead, she just took a small hiatus and went back to work like any normal working mom would do. The actress has since then had one more child rounding out her blended family.
19 Jenna Fischer
Actress Jenna Fischer was under contract and on The Office at the time of her very surprising pregnancy. The producers decided to run with it and wrote her little surprise into the script for season eight of the wildly popular show. It was kind of perfect actually; Pam and Jim were finally together, happy, and married, so naturally what comes next for most couples? A baby! Of course in real life, Fischer was pregnant by her husband Lee Kirk, not John Krasinski. They now have two kids (one boy Weston and one girl Harper), which kind of seems like the perfect family if you ask me!
18 Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner is now a mom of three kids. However, her first child Violet was born in 2005 while Garner was still on the show Alias. The actress wound up pregnant and the producers were kind enough to write her pregnancy into the show. Her character Sydney Bristow became a mom to a baby girl. Unlike most shows, they actually kept the child in the storyline until the show ended its run a few seasons later. In the long run, it kind of gave Sydney Bristow more depth. It also gave her fans another way of connecting with the character.
17 Alyson Hannigan
How I Met Your Mother was such a popular show, that really the cast couldn’t just take time off when they needed. This meant they had to build their life around the show —babies and all. Actress Alyson Hannigan took this idea to heart when she and her real-life husband, Alexis Denisof wound up pregnant. In turn, it looked like it was time for Marshall Eriksen to become a father.
Hannigan gave birth to her daughter Keeva Denisof on May 23rd, 2012. Likewise, her TV show baby Marvin Eriksen was born May 14th, 2012. Talk about perfect timing, right? The only big difference was the gender, but I think they did that on purpose.
16 Chelsea Peretti
Comedian Chelsea Peretti announced in February 2017 that she and her new husband Jordan Peele were expecting a baby. But, she also had a responsibility to her show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her character being pregnant would be almost impossible. In the season before, she was in a terrible bus accident so how would they explain a random pregnancy? Well, they managed to make it work anyway by having her character Gina heal up quite nicely from her accident and then getting pregnant with Ryan Phillippe's baby. Can this show get any crazier? The couple is notoriously private so no one but friends and family has seen their baby.
15 Amy Poehler
During the end of season two and the beginning of season three of Parks and Recreation, actress Amy Poehler was pregnant. Seeing as she basically created the show and stars in it (and has a little pull), it was time for Leslie Knope to becomes a mom. The seasons were filmed back to back, so Poehler was able to take a little bit of a maternity leave before going back to work. During the hiatus, Poehler’s son Abel Arnett was born in 2010. She and her husband Will Arnett have since split up and Park and Recreation has since ended, but everyone's still obsessed with Amy.
14 Emily Deschanel
Emily Deschanel had her pregnancy written into the Bones storyline in 2011. She and her on-screen husband—played by David Boreanaz—were already married in the show, so it was easy enough to write a believable storyline about the couple moving into the next stage of their marriage: parenthood. The ended up having a girl who is so insanely smart, she is gifted. Deschanel and her real-life husband David Hornsby had their child a few weeks after the on-screen couple did.
Deschanel ended up pregnant again in 2014 and the producers also wrote that pregnancy into the show. The on-screen couple now has two adorable kids and Deschanel has two kids in real life.
13 Lisa Kudrow
Remember when Lisa Kudrow’s Friends character Phoebe Buffay was super pregnant with her brother's triplets? Well, she was actually super pregnant in real life. Not with triples, though, just one baby, but one is enough.
Right off the bat, the producers were really excited about her pregnancy and were more than willing to write it into the show. What’s crazier is that she didn’t need a prosthetic bump, her bump was actually that big. The memorable scene where she eats off of her bump was something that Kudrow could actually do, so the producers had fun allowing her to be her perfect pregnant self.
12 Marcia Cross
While on hiatus from filming Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross got pregnant because what else is there to do when you’re on a break from work?! Okay, jokes aside, creator Marc Cherry and Cross tried everything to hide the pregnancy while filming the last few episodes of the last season. But it got to a point where he thought maybe he could use her pregnancy... When the new season returned, Cross was pregnant and due to give birth in real life, and in a short amount of time, too. So in the show, it ended up that she was faking her pregnancy, but in real life, she gave birth to twin daughters.
11 Caterina Scorsone
Caterina Scorsone was seriously pregnant during season five of Private Practice. Both on the show and in real life, her pregnancy was taking over. So of course, Shonda Rhimes wrote her pregnancy into the show and it had a pretty sad ending.
In the show, Scorsone’s character Amelia Shepherd gave birth to a son who had no brain. Fortunately, in real life, the new mom gave birth to a healthy baby girl that she named Eliza. Scorsone has since been pregnant one more time but thankfully Rhimes gave her a break and didn’t saddle her with another tragic storyline.
10 Melissa Rauch
It was about time that someone on The Big Bang Theory had some real responsibility. The character of Bernadette, played by Melissa Rauch, got pregnant on the show, but the actress sadly suffered a miscarriage. She was open and honest about it in a column she wrote for Glamour magazine. She luckily got pregnant again and so did Bernadette. She and Howard welcomed an adorable baby into the Big Bang world. However, because it was close to Rauch’s real due date, she was on bed rest for most of the time and so was her character.
9 Megan Boone
It’s kind of crazy that someone in the situation that character Elizabeth Keen on Blacklist is in would even consider bringing a baby into the world. However, when actress Megan Boone got pregnant, the producers ran with it. They were really accommodating and even “killed off” her character so Boone could have an easy and accommodating maternity leave. It’s always comforting to know that your showrunners and production team are willing to work with you when life slips you those little surprises. Boone was able to take an awesome maternity leave and return to the show, but I won’t spoil it for you.
8 Ginnifer Goodwin
Ginnifer Goodwin met her now-husband, Josh Dallas on the set on Once Upon A Time, so it was only fitting that when the couple got pregnant, the producers would write it into the show. The concept was extremely exciting for fans of the show because Prince Charming and Snow White were finally having a baby.
The actress was already six months pregnant when the season began to film. It's because of this, during flashback scenes they used some clothing tricks and strategic camera placing. The couple left the show before the series ended but at least they were able to make a few fans happy by showing them just where Snow White and Prince Charming ended up.
7 Rachel Bilson
During the end of filming of Hart of Dixie, actress Rachel Bilson fell pregnant. The show was canceled shortly afterward and the cast and crew had to fight off rumors that the show got the axe because of Bison’s pregnancy. It became increasingly hard to believe that rumor when Bilson’s character Dr. Zoe Barnes also ended up pregnant. The pregnancy was written into the show and she gave birth during the series finale. At first, the pregnancy was not going to be written into the show but they found it hard to keep finding ways to hide Bilson’s pregnancy. They essentially gave up and that’s how her character ended up pregnant as well.
6 Holly Marie Combs
When the actress became pregnant with her first son while filming Charmed, writers decided to hide the bump in seasons five and six because where the current storyline was, it wouldn’t really make a lot of sense for Piper to be pregnant. However, they just couldn’t hide the bump much longer and wrote the pregnancy into the beginning of season six. The showrunners even did a six month time jump to accommodate the pregnancy and push a storyline that would somewhat fit into the craziness of an unexpected pregnancy. Luckily for Combs and the rest of the team, everything worked out.
5 Chandra Wilson
Chandra Wilson found out she was pregnant with her son Michael which was kind of perfect for Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. She had already planned on creating a storyline focusing more on Wilson’s character Dr. Bailey’s personal life. So obviously this was the perfect time for Wilson to announce she was pregnant. Her character also had a pretty insane birth. While Dr. Bailey was giving birth her husband was having brain surgery and to top it all off, there was a freaking bomb in the hospital that could have exploded at any minute. Of course, Wilson’s delivery was far less dramatic than her TV counterpart.
4 Candice King
No one ever thought that anyone on Vampire Diaries would ever end up pregnant seeing as basically everyone of childbearing capabilities had basically been turned into a vampire. So, when Carolina ended up pregnant, everyone was wondering why the writers would go this route. The actress who plays Caroline, Candice King, was actually pregnant in real life. So they decided to roll with the punches and write it into the show. Her storyline was a bit much but fans were happy that for once, Alaric might actually have a happy ending. I mean, what more awfulness could fall to this guy?
3 Hayden Panettiere
Actress Hayden Panettiere ended up getting pregnant just ahead of filming the 2014 season of Nashville. So of course, her character Juliette Barnes soon found out she was also pregnant. Oh my god, what a coincidence! The good thing was at least Hayden Panettiere knew who the father of her child was, unlike Juliette who wasn’t sure if Avery (her longtime partner)was the father of her child or her gross manager, Jeff Fordham. The actress gave birth to a daughter in real life. Like many women out there, though, she then suffered from postpartum depression and became very vocal in how it affected her life. So naturally, this was also written into the show.
2 Gillian Anderson
Initially, actress Gillian Anderson wasn’t going to have her pregnancy written into X-Files. In an entire season was filmed with styling department doing whatever they could to hide that the actress was pregnant. Then closer to her due date, the producers had the bright idea of writing in a deliciously twisted storyline that ended up being one of the best seasons of the show. Anderson’s character Dana Scully gets abducted by aliens who experiment on her and then impregnate her with an alien baby. You can only imagine what happened next... Anderson had a healthy, human baby in real life but Scully’s baby was a little more… eccentric.
1 Sarah Drew
Actress Sarah Drew had her second real-life pregnancy written into Grey’s Anatomy. Her character, April Kepner, and on-screen husband Jackson Avery were expecting a bundle of joy but they later find out that their child had a brittle bone disease and would not survive after birth. The couple had to struggle with whether to go to full term with the baby or terminate the pregnancy. On the show, she decided to give birth and 10 hours after she filmed that scene, she went into labor giving birth to a healthy daughter named Hannah. That really seems like life imitating art.
References: People, Vulture, Hollywood, Wikia, Wikipedia, AccessOnline, Wikia, Hollywood Reporter, Cinema Blend, People, Hollywood, She Knows, Wikia, Monday Monday Network, Glamour, DailyMail, E! Online, IMDb, Babble, E! News