Taking a walk through the past every now and then, taking notes of the chances that have taken place over the years, can be an enlightening process. We have really come a long way in just a few short years (decades actually!), but that is still not long considering how quickly time passes.
One of the things that have really improved through the years is maternity wear. Years ago it was hard to tell if a woman was pregnant or simply overweight because of the kind of dresses they wore. Today's women show off their baby bumps more than ever, and I think it’s a good thing because there is a certain a appeal about a pregnant woman and it would be a shame to hide it all under an oversized dress or shirt.
I do still like looking at these pics from the past; there is something intriguing about old black and white photos that capture our attention. Sometimes they are even kind of spooky-looking.
We have compiled a collection of baby bump pics from the past and even threw in a few more recent photos to compare them with. I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I did looking for them.
20 1860s - When Young Was The Norm
Here is the photo of a very young looking pregnant girl from the 1860’s. The date range is about the only thing really known about the girl in the photo. You can see that even with the long polka-dotted dress she is still showing quite a large baby bump. The dress is then also covered by a long coat, and even her hat is a very old style.
The way her hair is parted is also easily noticed and this hairstyle used to be quite common for women of those days. What intrigues me the most about this photo is how very young she looks. From her young features, we would venture to guess that she must have been in her teenage years when this picture was taken, but as we know looks can many times be deceiving.
Even in today's society, I don’t think that dress would really be all that bad as it actually looks nice.
19 1890s - Wearing A Corset While Pregnant
This is a photo of a woman named Elizabeth Shewry, taken in 1894 just prior to the birth of one of her eleven children -- except for the Duggars, we don't quite pop out as many anymore! She is wearing a very tight corset over a restrictive dress.
Many pregnant women in those days wore corsets against their doctor's advice.
The woman in the picture has a very strong look about her and so I highly doubt that she would have really cared about the doctor's opinion anyway. You have to look close, but you can see that she is also wearing a pair of gloves. She looks as though she is all ready to go horseback riding, although I don’t think it would be a smart decision for a pregnant woman. But it does make for a good picture.
18 1920s - Always On Trend
Here is a woman from the 1920’s wearing a Maternity Dress with Drop Waist Tie. You have to look closely to see the waist tie which blends in with the rest of the dress. You can tell that this was a period of time that maternity clothing started to follow the woman’s curves a little more, showing more of her figure.
The ruffles going from the waist down really compliment this dress. One thing to take notice of is how many women used to wear hats compared to today. Another notable thing here is that as you can see, women were beginning to show more of their legs than the generations before them. If you look at the bottom left it appears as though someone is trying to photobomb, probably another one of her children.
17 1920s - Everyday Life
Here, standing in the doorway with her daughter, is a pregnant sharecropper’s wife wearing a very homely looking and modest dress. It looks like this dress could almost double as a tablecloth. I think I can recall my own mother wearing dresses just like that one, only not for maternity reasons, I believe she would wear stuff like that to work out in the garden. Although that was not in the 20’s, but actually in the 70’s.
Although there are other children in the photo, it’s unclear whether they are hers or not. The little shack looks like it might be cozy, but then again I guess that depends on how many children she actually has in there. Judging by the looks of everything in the photo they probably didn’t have much money.
16 1945 - Pregnant For 375 Days
This photo is of a woman named Beulah Hunter in 1945. She was well known because her pregnancy lasted 375 days which was documented by experts. Beulah was a 25-year-old girl from Los Angeles and very pregnant.
She holds the record for the longest pregnancy which lasted three months longer than the average pregnancy.
Beulah gave birth to a daughter that she named, Penny Diana Hunter, who to the surprise of the doctors, was perfectly healthy. One of the big differences today is that a woman will have a c-section if the baby is too overdue, which also means that this record set by Beulah will likely never be broken.
Can you just imagine being pregnant for a whole year? To me, I would think it would seem a bit scary because at some point you would have to start thinking that the baby is never going to come out.
15 1950 - Boy Or Girl?
Even though this pic is almost 70 years old, the dress she is wearing really doesn’t seem all that outdated; I can still see older women wearing such dresses. Her hairstyle on the other hand definitely screams 1950.
It looks as though she is carrying quite a big bump. I can’t help but wonder as I look at these old pics like this one, for instance, I wonder if she had a boy or a girl and if both she and the baby were healthy. I also wonder where that child is today, of course, that child would be an adult by now, perhaps even a grandparent already.
I am glad for the sake of today’s women that so much has changed for the better when it comes to maternity wear, healthcare, and aftercare.
14 1960 - A Timeless Lady
Here is a picture of Jackie Kennedy and her daughter in 1960. Jackie was, in my own opinion, one of our most beautiful first ladies. She married John F. Kennedy in 1953, who was then assassinated in 1963. Until his demise, she had been able to enjoy a short ten years with her husband.
Jackie passed away on May 19, 1994, and was buried May 23, at the Arlington National Cemetery, Va. She had four children but only two of them survived. One of them was stillborn and the other was born with Respiratory Distress Syndrome and passed away 39 hours after being born. I can’t help wondering who those two children would have turned out to be.
There is so very much info out there about her life that you may find very fascinating and I would highly recommend studying up on some of her bio.
13 1970’s - The Hippie Culture
This picture of a beautiful young pregnant girl was taken at the Isle of Wight Festival but the identity of this young beauty is unknown.
She is seen here standing in the middle of a hippie campsite. You can see how at this time in history the dresses are starting to go up a little higher to allow the women’s legs to be seen more, which is a good thing because it is such a shame to cover up such beauty.
I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like a Coca-Cola can up on one of the tents, which is one thing that has not changed; people have been drinking coke for generations already! It is nice to see something so recognizable in an old photo. The photographer is actually looking for help in identifying the girl in the photo.
12 1952 - Casting An Eyeball
For many people, the couple in this photo probably looks familiar. It is a photo of a pregnant Lucille Ball, and her husband Desi Arnaz, in 1952. Lucy was born in 1911 in New York and left us in 1989 in California at the age of 77.
She had two children with Desi and they got married in 1940 and were divorced in 1960. She married again in 1961 to a man named, Gary Morton with whom she was married to until she passed away. Lucille had three miscarriages while she was with Desi. The first was in 1942, and then the second one was in 1949, and the third one was in 1950. It was reported that Desi was aggressive to Lucy and if this is true - could that have played into the miscarriages? Fans can't help but wonder.
11 1965 - Raising Their IQs
Here is a very strange picture from 1965 that show three pregnant women sitting in chairs wearing a special suit, and next to them a suction pump that is supposed to lower the pressure inside the suit and as a result somehow ease childbirth and they even go as far as to say that this can raise the intelligence of the child.
Each woman also has a gauge in front of her to monitor the pressure.
I wish my mother had one of these, maybe I would have done much better in school. Throughout the years' many people would try almost anything in the name of medical science. The lady on the left doesn’t look as though she is monitoring anything, it looks more like she is just taking a nap. I guess it also helps you sleep better.
10 1969 - Oversized Glasses
This is a photo of a pregnant woman in New York City in 1969. I see on the right there is a Love Bug car. I still see them once in a while today, but not nearly as much as back then. She is wearing a very modest dress and huge oversized glasses.
She really doesn’t look all that happy, maybe it is the busy New York streets, they can get you aggravated sometimes. The only thing that looks strange in this pic is that it appears as though she is carrying two purses. Minus those glasses, she looks very pretty. She is holding a package that is wrapped up in plain paper. There is a woman in the background behind her that definitely has the 60’s hairstyle. Her baby bump doesn’t look all that big but you can see it’s there.
9 1971 - How To Test For Pregnancy
Here is a woman with a large baby bump in 1971 wearing a short dress that you probably would not have seen just ten years prior. In the 70’s before we had the pregnancy tests that we have today, a woman’s #1 would be injected into a rabbit and if the rabbit were to perish then that would mean that the woman was pregnant. I don’t know if that test was ever really accurate or not. I just wonder if somewhere away from the public eye there are a bunch of half human, half rabbits running around. And that may be where Bugs Bunny came from. Well, for the woman in this picture, there sure is a baby in her belly. And she doesn’t look all that happy about having her picture taken.
8 1960 - 'We Deserved To Twinkle'
This is a picture of a very young and very beautiful pregnant Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, she would never see this baby because this would turn out to be one of three miscarriages. Marilyn was born June 1, 1926, in California and she died August 5, 1962, also in California. She left us at such a young age from a barbiturate overdose.
"We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle." - Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn made quite a name for herself in the short time that she had here. She had been married three times and one of those times was to the baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio from 1942-1946. Joe played for the New York Yankees for 13 years. In 1942 he apparently hit his biggest home run by stealing the heart of the beautiful Marilyn. Two very iconic figures, but unfortunately that marriage only lasted 4 years.
7 1977 - Liv Tyler's Mama
Here is a picture from 1977 of Bebe Buell when she was seven months pregnant with her daughter Liv Tyler. She is wearing a beautiful flower covered dress with what looks like sunflowers. It looks like a nice summer dress.
In 1974 Bebe was the November playmate of the month in PB Magazine. She was also a fashion model.
Her daughter Liv is an actress and model, and Liv’s father is Steven Tyler, lead singer of the band Aerosmith. She was born July 1, 1977, in New York.
For whatever reason, she is another woman who just does not seem very happy at the time that this picture was taken. Looking at her eyes, she appears to be a million miles away or trying to put herself anywhere but there.
6 1982 - The Most Photographed Woman In The World
Here is a very familiar face for many. This is a picture of Princess Diana, taken on June 6, 1982. Here she was pregnant with Prince William. Diana was born on July 1, 1961. She died on August 31, 1997, in an automobile accident that devastated the nation.
Diana was a member of the British royal family through her marriage to Prince Charles. She had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. She had gotten a divorce from Charles in August of 1996 and was killed in Aug of 1997, a year later.
Diana was very involved with many wonderful charities throughout the years. She had a very big heart for children and humanity in general.
Definitely, a wonderful woman who can never really be replaced, or equaled.
We have looked at some beautiful baby bumps from the past and now we would like to look at a few more recent bumps so as to be able to compare the differences through the years. Here are five more baby bumps that are a little more recent.
5 1998 - Still Posh As Ever
Victoria Beckham is showing off her baby bump in an almost silky looking dress that really shows off her curves. Although in this pic she looks like she may have lost her step or something. She was born in 1974 in England.
If you were at all familiar with the group, the Spice Girls, you would have known her as Posh Spice. A group that my daughter and I used to listen to together all the time.
I took notice of the high heels. I cannot understand how pregnant women can possibly walk in those. Here you see an obvious change in the times because a couple of decades before this you would not have been able to see all those beautiful curves. Fashion has greatly improved so much throughout the years.
4 1991 - Highest Paid Model With A Bump
Here is a pic of Yasmin Le Bon in London at the Friends of the Earth ballet with her husband Simon.
Yasmin was born in October of 1964 and in the 1980’s she was one of the highest paid models. She has three children, Amber, Tallulah, and Saffron Le Bon.
Here she is wearing somewhat of a plain looking dress, but she makes it look good. The jacket over the dress is beautiful. Not to put anyone down but she really does make her husband look good by being by his side.
The earring her husband is wearing is also easily noticeable as men still wear them today, but not nearly as much as they did back in the 80's and early 90's. But that will probably change again some trends go around in circles.
3 1999 - Keep Smiling, Mama
Patsy Kensit is shown here in 1999, wearing something I really don’t know how to describe. It almost looks like the top of a nightgown attached to a skirt. Patsy was born in 1968 in the United Kingdom. From 1983-1989 She was the lead singer of the group, Eighth Wonder.
She has two sons, Lennon Gallagher, and James Kerr. The baby bump in this picture would have been Lennon. Patsy was married four times. Two of those marriages produced a son, her marriage to Jim Kerr, and Liam Gallagher.
I think I had a tablecloth once that looked just like the skirt she is wearing, but it looks so much better on her than on my table. One of her very noticeable features is her beautiful smile. And she is really smiling in this pic.
2 2017 - How Far We Have Come
Here Kelly Rowland shows us that even with that growing baby bump she still looks good enough to flaunt it. Wearing very short cut-off jeans, and a sheer cover-up. Kelly was born in February of 1981 in Atlanta Ga.
In 1992 she joined the group Destiny's Child, and then in 2002, she released the album Simply Deep which was her first solo album.
On November 4, 2014, she gave birth to her son, Titan Jewell Witherspoon. Which is who is in her belly in this picture.
This was the last of our baby bump pics and you can clearly see all the wonderful changes that have come about through the years. Women are so beautiful and today they can show it off like never before. You never buy beautiful art for your home and then cover it so nobody can see it, you show it off.
1 To Be Continued
I am not sure about the context of this photo, but the reason I added it to this list is that I thought it was such a beautiful picture that I wanted to share it with others. The beautiful red dress this girl is wearing proudly shows off her baby bump. And right next to her on the left is a plant. She is standing next to a window, it seems, so the daylight shines in on her dress.
This is such an innocent looking pic. You can't see the whole expression on her face but, we can assume, she looks very happy to be carrying her child. Either way it just really caught my attention. There is also a certain peaceful look on her face.