Actors and actresses make it their life's work to take their being and transform themselves into movie and television characters that have absolutely nothing to do with themselves. They are magicians at making themselves someone completely different, and sometimes it takes loads of makeup and prosthetics to help them physical become someone else.
Shows are often written around these talented actors and actresses, but in the end, these people are only human. Shows, of course, must carry on no matter what, but life goes on too. Sometimes life throws a little curveball blessing at couples and they suddenly realize that they will be welcoming a baby on board in the next few months. While these undoubtedly feel excitement mixed with apprehension, they also have to let the writers and producers of their show know that they are indeed expected. Some show creators are happy to write in pregnancies for their star actresses, but others have to find unique ways to mask bulging bellies because pregnancy and plot lines do not always go hand in hand.
Over the years, producers have used everything from oversized clothes and large pieces of furniture to new and improved technological advancements in film to keep viewers from noticing baby bumps. These 20 famous mamas had to work extra hard while on set to ensure that their bellies didn't steal the show.
20 Morena Baccarin
Morena Baccarin has had two babies in recent history and been pregnant on two separate hit television shows. She was working on Homeland when she found out that she would soon be a mommy. The shows' producers knew exactly what to do, and they called on specific high tech methods of altering images as well as a really good body double to help hide the facts that Baccarin was toting around a big old belly.
During her second pregnancy, her character on Gotham, Dr. Leslie, also got to enjoy being preggers and the big twist, of course, was the character's baby daddy was the same guy on the show and in real life!
19 Amanda Righetti
You might recognize actress and red-headed siren Amanda Righetti from the hit CBS show The Mentalist where she portrays hardcore Grace Van Pelt. While her relationships on screen have been less than perfection, her real-life romance with husband, director Jordan Alan couldn't be closer to a fairytale.
The pair found out that they would be the proud parents to a baby while Righetti was still filming her show and she spent the fifth season of The Mentalist sitting around at office desks and relying on sneaky camera angles to hide the fact that she was rounding out by the day.
18 Melissa Fumero
Actress Melissa Fumero's character certainly was not ready to become a mommy, but the actress's real-life situation was much different. While she was expecting her son, she continued to work at her television role. The writers ended up having her character go into a penitentiary as an undercover pregnant agent.
This way they didn't have to write a baby into the show nor did they have to try and digitally hid the actress's growing belly. This was a genius move on the creative minds behind the show that gave the pregnant actress and the people responsible for the show's direction the best of both worlds.
17 Keri Russell
Actress Keri Russell and costar Matthew Rhys do a great job at portraying a happily married couple on the television show Americans. Eventually, the secret spies couldn't deny their attraction to one another, and their sham marriage turned into the real deal on their hit show.
It also became the pair's real-life scenario when they got together off-screen and discovered that a baby was on the way. Since Keri's pregnancy wasn't something that the show's writers felt ready to tackle, the creative minds behind the show had to mask Keri's baby bump as best they could.
16 Ginnifer Goodwin
The Once Upon A Time actress might have been beaming with a baby, but she wasn't able to opening glow as she shot her scenes. The show wasn't planning on a pregnancy, so they made sure to layer on the heavy clothing to hide Ginnifer's growing belly. Thankfully the show was filming in chilly Vancouver, thus covering up from head to toe wasn't an issue.
The swingy styled overcoats and big, chunky scarves concealed her pregnancy and allowed her to enjoy her career and her first pregnancy simultaneously. Bravo to the costume geniuses. This mama got pretty big in the belly towards the end of her nine months.
15 Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin was nearly six months along in her pregnancy when the creators of her television show True Blood had to get creative with filming her body shoots. It was during the fifth season of the show that Paquin announced that she would soon become a mother.
The petite actress was visibly pregnant while her character was not. Her stunt double ended up working overtime to fill in for the shots that Paquin could not film herself. The film crew also had to get savvy with shooting particular angles, and costume directors made sure to disguise her growing body as best they could.
14 Halle Berry
Hally Berry has played so many dynamic acting roles at this point in her career, but it might be her portrayal as Storm in X Men: Days of Future Past that tested her boundaries the most. She discovered that she was expecting during the film's shooting schedule, and Storm's custom-made tight-fitting suits didn't exactly jive with an expanding belly. Her scenes ended up getting cut more than initially expected.
Halle was intended to be in a lot more of the action flick than what she ended up being shown in. You would think that they could have found a better way to include such a megastar in a film and work around her condition.
13 Kate Winslet
Fans of the 2014 flick Divergent might remember that Kate Winslet's character, Jeanine Matthews, was never without a folder or an iPad in front of her belly and this was for a very good reason. The actress was five months along with her son when she shot her scenes as the villainous Matthews.
When the intense action scenes took place, Kate's stunt double stepped in and took her spot. The camera crew also made sure to capture Winslet in her most flattering angles, so her pregnancy did not become apparent. Her son Blaze Bear was born shortly after the film wrapped up.
12 Kerry Washington
Graceful and svelte Kerry Washington discovered that she was expecting a bundle of joy as she filmed for her ABC television show Scandal. The writers and producers working on the series put Washington's Olivia Pope behind any and every possible object that they could think of. She spent a whole lot of time sitting behind a table or desk or carrying an oversized purse or briefcase.
Washington herself had plenty of trouble staying true to character as her body grew more prominent by the day. Even the walk that she used for Olivia Pope because a challenge to overcome towards the end of the nine-month stint.
11 Jenna Fischer
Jenna Fischer has had an interesting pregnancy journey both on screen and off. As one of the leading actresses on the television show The Office, she has done and seen it all in regards to gestations. When her character Pam and partner Jim were expecting, Fischer wore a fake baby bump.
Pam and Jim's second baby ended up perfectly timed with Jenna's real-life pregnancy, so that was a nice little gift for the hard-working actress. Before revealing her own pregnancy, she spent quite a bit of time trying to conceal her growing belly that seemed to expand a lot faster than Fischer had anticipated.
10 Claire Danes
Beautiful and talented actress Claire Danes did an excellent job masking her pregnancy while she worked on her hit television show, Homeland. The crew managed to work around Claire's growing bump by using advanced technology such as CGI to slim her waistline down as well as intricate camera angles to downplay her midsection's rapid expansion.
At one point the show's creators even called in a body double to take over the more physically demanding stunts so that the show's leading lady kept her gusto and the actress kept her baby bump safe. In the end, it all worked out. Homeland never skipped a beat, and Clair delivered a healthy baby.
9 Kristen Bell
Every gal's favorite actress, Kristen Bell, portrayed Jennie van der Hooven on television's House of Lies. She was pregnant not once, but twice during the show's run. The second pregnancy was written into the script, making it much easier to work around, but the first pregnancy had to be concealed. Bell even had to shoot some racy scenes with onscreen love interest Adam Brody at seven months pregnant!
The good-humored actors didn't let something like a massive belly bump get in the way of their art. As for making it look like Bell wasn't carrying a baby, again high tech advancements like CGI were called upon.
8 Ellen Pompeo
The Grey's Anatomy writers and producers have made hiding their actresses baby bumps an artform over these last few years. More than a few of the show's leading ladies have had to mask their growing bellies for the sake of staying in character.
The show's star actress, Ellen Pompeo, worked through her nine months by only being shot from the chest up. When it became time for Pompeo to take some time off for maternity leave, the writers wrote in a storyline that she donated part of her liver to her estranged dad and therefore had to stay laid up recovered for a chunk of time.
7 Zooey Deschanel
When Zooey Deschanel discovered that she was expecting her first baby, the writers on her hit television show The New Girl got creative with their storylines so that they didn't have to switch gears in regards to the overall direction of the show.
Deschanel's character got hit with jury duty once her belly became too big to tastefully mask behind large coats and handbags, so she spent some episodes sitting in a courtroom. Megan Fox was also brought onto the show as a replacement character of sorts for a spell while the new mom went on her maternity leave.
6 Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot is a wonder of a woman. While she was filming her epic movie as Wonder Woman, the most iconic heroine of all time, she was also five months pregnant with her second baby. Because Gadot didn't want any special treatment for her delicate condition, she didn't tell a soul on set that she had a bun in the oven. She spent the first few months shooting her scenes and then running off into a corner to vomit.
Somehow between the migraines and nausea, she managed to pull off the stunt. At five months along, she had to shoot her reshoots for scenes, so producers draped her bump in green cloth that could later be digitally altered to make her appear taut. She openly joked that she looked like she was pregnant with Kermit the Frog.
5 Rachel Bilson
Before Rachel Bilson gave birth to her daughter, little Brian Rose, she had to hide her bump while on the set of her television show Heart of Dixie. Not only did costume directors put Bilson is baggy and oversized clothing, but they had her standing behind large objects like counters and giant stereo systems.
She spent a lot of time making sure her belly didn't give away her and boyfriend Hayden Christensen's little secret. Thank goodness for those sneaky cameramen and creative directors who worked so hard to help Bilson stay in character even when she was undergoing drastic physical changes.
4 Jamie King
Famous model turned actress and mommy Jaime King was overjoyed to discover that she would be having a baby. She has been nothing if not open about her struggles in her pregnancy journey. When acting on the CW show Heart of Dixie, she felt nothing but protected when surrounded by her fellow cast members. They took great care of her it seems.
When she left for her maternity leave, the show's writers decided that her character, Lemon Breeland, would go and stay with her Grandmother for a spell. The twist in plot helped explain King's sudden departure from the show without permanence.
3 Alyssa Milano
Actress and mommy Alyssa Milano and her husband David Bugliari found out that baby number two was already on its way when Milano was filming her ABC drama called Mistresses. The show creators went the "old school" route and chose to conceal Alyssa's belly behind large, bulky objects like purses and overcoats.
She joked around that masking her pregnancy had become comical, almost like a Saturday Night Live Skit. Regardless of how "convincing" her bulky overcoats and massive briefcases were, the cast stuck with this approach for as long as they could. Sometimes the show simply must go on, baby or no baby.
2 Ana Ortiz
These days actress Ana Ortiz is a wife to musician Noah Lebenzon, and together the pair has two children. When Ana Ortiz became pregnant with the pair's first child, her Ugly Betty character Hilda did not follow suit. Her condition posed a bit of an issue for the show's writers who had to keep Hilda baby free while accommodating Ortiz's condition.
How would they explain to viewers Ortiz's expanding figure? Loose fitting clothes and interesting camera shots to the rescue yet again! The writers and producers did what they could to hide the fact that Ortiz would soon be joining Club Mommy.
1 Yvonne Strahovski
This expectant actress's television character on The Handmaid's Tale could not get pregnant, how is that for some irony? Because it would not have made much sense for Yvonne's character Serena to be with child, she had to keep her condition under wraps while filming. The Aussie actress was in her first trimester as the second season of the show wrapped up, so masking the baby bump wasn't all that challenging.
The mom-to-be did have to work around some strange pregnancy symptoms though. She dealt with excess spitting and even had to carry around a little "spittoon" while on set. Yuck! Eventually, she let the cat out of the bag and told everyone on set that she was indeed expecting. Blessed be the fruit!