15 Stars Who Were Really Pregnant While Playing a Pregnant Character

15 Stars Who Were Really Pregnant While Playing a Pregnant Character
Image: ABC


When an actress gets pregnant while filming a TV show or movie, there's usually a rush to hide the growing belly. But every once in a while, pregnant stars get to let it all hang out on camera, and a baby bump is worked into the script -- creating comic or dramatic gold (think Jennifer Garner as a kick-butt spy on Alias or at worst the many weird and wacky ways they hide pregnant bellies behind plants). We've put together a list of some actresses that not everyone might be aware were pregnant when the character they played on the show was pregnant too. 

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Look, it happens. A TV show is shooting for the season and the star actress gets pregnant before the season starts, which means she will have a very noticeable bump by the season's end. So what's a show runner to do? Well for these shows, they decided to tackle their lead's pregnancy head-on ... by giving them the craziest and weirdest explanations for their pregnant bellies. And guess what? Sometimes the stories that were created because of these pregnancies were actually pretty interesting (Phoebe from Friends having her brother's triplets, anyone?), and other times, well, they were sort of weird (Phoebe from Friends having her brother's triplets...). 

These 15 star moms performed double duty as moms-to-be when their real-life pregnancies became part of their on-screen stories. Talk about taking the kids to work!

  • Lisa Kudrow


    Image via Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

    When the actress became pregnant over the fourth and fifth seasons of Friends, so did Phoebe, Lisa Kudrow's character. The always-unconventional Pheebs carried triplets for her brother and his wife as a surrogate mom, while in real life Kudrow gave birth to just one baby: a son named Julian. 

  • Hayden Panetierre


    Image via Mark Levine/ Disney ABC Television Group

    When you're an off-kilter singer like Nashville's Juliette, life will only ever get crazier. Panetierre's real-life happy pregnancy turned into her character's newest complication on season three, when she couldn't figure out who the dad was. On the bright side, Juliette's maternity wardrobe was amazing. 

  • Jenna Fischer


    Image via NBC

    How convenient! Plans for Pam and Jim to have a second child were already in the works when Fischer was making her own plans to start a family with husband, Lee Kirk. Unlike the first time, when Fischer wore a prosthetic belly for Pam's first pregnancy, there was no need for a faux baby bump the second time around!

  • Alyson Hannigan


    Image via Eric McCandless/FOX

    While the producers of How I Met Your Mother hid Hannigan's first pregnancy, the second turned out to have perfect timing. Loveable couple Lily and Marshall were set to have their own bundle of joy on season seven. Fun fact: Hannigan still had to wear a pregnancy pad because Lily was further along than she was in real life.

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  • Molly Ringwald


    Image via Randy Holmes/ABC Family

    On a show where surprise babies are the norm, what's one more? Producers at The Secret Life of the American Teenager probably didn't blink when Ringwald told them she was with child. Instead her character, Anne, already mom to a teenage daughter with an unplanned baby, got one of her own.    

  • Jennifer Garner


    Image via ABC

    Talk about a challenge! How do you hide the growing belly of a star whose character wears skin-tight clothes as a butt-kicking CIA spy? If you're Alias, you don't. Instead you have the character, Sydney Bristow, discover she's pregnant during a mission, then have her deliver while she's literally under fire. Yowza! 

  • Emily Deschanel


    Image via Fox

    Visits from the stork are not an issue at the TV show Bones, which will incorporate a second Emily Deschanel pregnancy into the show's storyline in the fall of 2015. The first was back in 2011, when Deschanel gave birth to her son, Henry, and the show's titular character bore a daughter. 

  • Rachel Bilson


    Image via The CW

    Co-star Jamie King cut short her own maternity leave so Hart of Dixie could speed up filming once its star, Bilson, revealed her pregnancy. For fans, the onscreen baby was the sweet culmination of series leads Zoe and Wade's romance, but the series, which lasted four seasons, was canceled before fans were able to learn the baby's name. 

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  • Bethany Joy Lenz


    Image via The CW

    For One Tree Hill star Lenz (then known by her married name of Galeotti), both her real and fictional pregnancies in 2011 were bright spots at the end of an era: Just one year later, Lenz and her husband would divorce, and the show would see its last season.



  • Ginnifer Goodwin


    Image via ABC

    Once Upon a Time's Ginnifer Goodwin was able to hide her own pregnancy -- and her character, Snow White's -- while fillming season three, thanks to her loose winter clothing. When the show returned for its second half in the spring of 2014, fans were shocked to find out that one of the most beloved TV characters was going to be a mom again. 



  • Jenna Elfman


    Image via CBS

    It was a case of life imitating art. After signing on to star in Accidentallly on Purpose as a film critic who gets knocked up after a one-night stand and decides to keep the baby, Elfman figured it would be a great time to have her second child with husband Bhodi. She gave birth to Easton in March 2010, just as her character on the short-llived show was about to do the same.

  • Salli Richardson-Whitfield


    Image via Marcel Williams/SyFy

    Moments like this are one good reason for shows to work with and not around real-life pregnancies: During Eureka scenes with her onscreen love interest (played by Colin Ferguson), Richardson-Whitfield's baby would kick whenever Ferguson touched the actress' belly. TV magic!   

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  • Katey Sagal


    Image via YouTube

    When Married...With Children's Peggy Bundy announced that she was pregnant on the first episode of season six, fans prepared for big laughs as they followed the show's onscreen answer to Sagal's real-life pregnancy. But when Sagal sadly miscarried, the plotline was revealed to be a dream of Al's. The show worked around her subsequent pregnancies.  

  • Julia Roberts


    Image via YouTube

    See if you can follow this one: In Ocean's Twelve, Julia Roberts plays the non-pregnant wife of a conman who decides to participate in one of his schemes, requiring her to pose as a pregnant Julia Roberts. Got it? Very meta, and very in the self-conscious vein of the Ocean's series. 

  • Caterina Scorsone


    Image via ABC

    Scorsone's pregnancy was great news for her, but sad news for her Private Practice character, Amelia. While Scorsone thankfully went on to give birth to a healthy baby girl named Eliza, Amelia suffered a tragic loss: Her unborn baby had no brain, and she made the brave choice of carrying it to term in order to donate the baby's organs.

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