20 Times Pregnancy On TV And In Movies Was Realistic

Pregnancy is a lot more complicated than decorating a nursery and bringing home a perfectly polished baby.

There’s a lot of things TV and movies get wrong when it comes to pregnancy. For one, you generally have a minute to breathe before rushing off to the hospital.

And when babies are born? They are the size of newborns, not perfectly rounded out 6-month-olds.

There are some things that the media gets right about the moment, like with these TV and movie pregnancies.

1.

It all started with TV’s first-ever pregnant woman, Lucy Ricardo, played by the iconic Lucille Ball. Before her, the pregnancy experience hadn’t even been shared with TV audiences.


Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Lucille Ball became pregnant with her second child during the second season of her legendary sitcom, which posed an issue in an age where you couldn’t even say “pregnancy” on TV. Desi Arnaz worked hard with executives at the network and other professionals so that Lucy could write her pregnancy into the show. It worked and they aired the birth episode the same night that Lucy and Desi welcomed Desi Jr.


NBC / Via giphy.com

Pam’s pregnancy was pretty real in the show’s context too. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy and there are definitely a few ~weird~ feelings about it. Shout out to all the moms that aren’t glowy and perfect throughout all of pregnancy, through Pam they are seen.

3.

Jennifer Garner did the same while pregnant with oldest child Violet toward the end of Alias.


Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

The show totally toned down on Garner’s action scenes so that it was easy for her to keep filming, therefore keeping her character’s pregnancy pretty realistic. 

4.

The birth scene in Apocalypto is so realistic that many people thought the film included footage of an actual birth.

View this video on YouTube


Touchstone Pictures / Via youtube.com

Since the film’s action takes place in a time when medical technology isn’t really a thing, it is one of the rare films that shows natural birth in its most natural form. It’s graphic, but very real given the context.

5.

Rebecca giving birth to the triplets in This Is Us touches on a big fear that parents of multiples grapple with.

6.

Miranda being conflicted about getting pregnant and not falling into the glowing, happy pregnant woman role on Sex and the City was a low-key joy.

View this video on YouTube


HBO / Via youtube.com

Say what you will about Miranda Hobbes in 2022, but she was relatable AF in this part of her character’s story. Her horror at having to tell a baby-crazy Charlotte also shows the reality that women can’t always be immediately happy for each other’s pregnancies when they’re dealing with fertility struggles and it feels like anyone but them can conceive.

7.

Annie Camden finding out she was pregnant with the twins on 7th Heaven was a pretty rare look at an older woman experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.


The WB

A mix-up at the doctor’s office leads Eric and Annie to think that Mary is pregnant. Later, they find out it’s actually Annie that’s expecting. That summer cliffhanger led to a season premiere where the couple discovered they were having twins, which made them being older parents and their financial limitations come center stage as they discuss raising 7 kids, from a pair of newborns to an 18-year-old.

8.

Anne has a relatable reaction when finds out she’s pregnant again 8 months after giving birth on Workin’ Moms.


CBC Television

The struggle she faces is also real. With financial troubles, lots of stress, and two kids already, Anne and Lionel decide on abortion, which is an option you don’t see a lot of married women or women who are already parents take on television.

9.

The Letdown also explores a mom choosing abortion, but this time there were medical factors involved.


Netflix

The reality is that just because you have one healthy child doesn’t mean you can have infinite healthy children. When Audrey found out she was in danger, that and her and Jeremy’s mixed feelings about the pregnancy guided what, for many, feels like an impossible decision.

10.

We see a lot of different, realistic pregnancies in What To Expect When Expecting.


Alcon Entertainment / Via tenor.com

Pregnancy and motherhood don’t look the same for everyone, even when you’re experiencing it at the same time. This also gets an extra salute for being a film that gets real about how birth goes down.

11.

Kristy’s traumatic birth in She’s Having A Baby was a rare reminder that pregnancy is pretty dangerous.


Paramount Pictures

When Jake grapples with the fact that he could lose Kristy, the baby, or both, he has a wake-up call about everything else he found himself grappling with. It took the trauma for him to realize that this was all that matters to him and that’s very real to the experiences of some couples.

12.

Molly Ringwald gives an incredible, raw performance as Darcy, a teen experiencing pregnancy and postpartum, in For Keeps.


Tri-Star Pictures

This teen pregnancy cautionary tale gets a dose of reality. Postpartum depression wasn’t explored widely in ’80s films (or even films today). This was ahead of its time and while things come together a little too neatly in the end, it does have some moments that get it right.

13.

The Back-Up Plan may be a little cheesy, but the scene where Zoe gives birth brings things back to reality.


CBS Films

It shows both the funny and serious sides to labor.

14.

Baby Mama reminds us there’s no shame around what you say when you’re in labor.

View this video on YouTube


Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

Cursing and screaming are 100% on the table, no matter how gentle you intend to be.

15.

Look Who’s Talking also kept it real about how there’s no shame in choosing to get help with the pain.

View this video on YouTube


TriStar Pictures / Via youtube.com

There’s no wrong way to welcome your baby into the world as long as all the decisions were yours. This one is for the moms that had no shame in their epidural game.

16.

Nine Months shows two realistic approaches to labor: Rebecca’s and Gail’s.


20th Century Studios

Gail curses her husband out and kicks the camera out of his hand, while Rebecca is equally frantic, albeit a little more put together about the whole thing.

17.

Knocked Up didn’t lie about how long labor takes most people. Allison (Katherine Heigl) is one of the rare pregnant women in film that knows she has time to make calls, to take a bath and try to find her zen, and to get to the hospital without panicking.


Apatow Productions / Via tenor.com

It’s also awesome to see another pregnant woman yell at an eager video documentarian, not gonna lie.

18.

Jane The Virgin may have not been realistic about conception, but it did capture the struggles of new moms whose babies struggle to latch.


Warner Bros. Pictures / Via tenor.com

Getting baby to latch is just part of the battle, of course. Jane is pretty real as she navigates breastfeeding, springing a leak, and worrying about her milk supply.

19.

Everything Ali Wong has said in her parenting-centric stand-ups has been real AF when it comes to pregnancy and delivery.


Netflix / Via tenor.com

Ali makes light of some of the horrors of pregnancy and motherhood with her super-relatable rants. It’s hard to pick the greatest moment from her two specials, but I think she hit peak reliability when she celebrated her postpartum “Asian pear underwear.”

20.

And finally, Amy Schumer was also real AF about the experience in Expecting Amy.


HBO Max

Amy did a comedy special about her experience through pregnancy, but her docuseries that touched on pregnancy and birth really struck a note. Parts funny and parts real, it didn’t only speak to Amy’s experience but that of so many women out there.

What are some other movies and TV shows that do a good job of showing what pregnancy’s really like? Submit your picks in the comments.

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