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5 Ways Being Pregnant In the Movies Is Nothing Like Real Life

Photograph by What Howard Did

I’ve always been a sucker for a good chick flick. Add in a pregnancy-theme, and it pretty much doesn't get any better in my book. I found myself having the urge to re-watch all the pregnancy comedies during my second pregnancy. I sat down with my bowl of ice cream and pickles and expected to appreciate the hilarity of these flicks even more now that I’d experienced baby bearing first hand. However, what I found was a lot of scoffing and me chuckling to myself about how unrealistic most of these films were.

I now realize that there are many, many ways the movies get pregnancy wrong. VERY WRONG. In case you’re a first-time mom or thinking of starting the journey to motherhood, I’ve made a list of ways your pregnancy might go down a bit differently than the movies.

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1. You might look like a cow

Nothing makes pregnancy look more appealing than watching a non-pregnant model/actress play an expecting mother in a movie. There they are with their adorable basketball bellies, long slender arms and legs for days. And there you are watching them in all their fake pregnancy cuteness, getting more and more depressed on the couch sitting on your constantly widening ass while balancing potato chips on your belly.

2. Your pregnancy freak-outs might not be cause for laughter

Ever notice how when a pregnant mama-to-be in the movies loses her shit it’s over the tiniest, silliest non-issue? Well, that part is accurate. The part where people around said mama-to-be find this meltdown comical? THAT is a rarity. Oddly enough husbands and significant others don’t find it endearing to be yelled at by their sobbing, snotty faced partner EVER. Pregnant or not.

3. You might have an uneventful labor

I don’t mean to disappoint anyone, but you may just start feeling contractions over the course of a few hours rather than having your water burst while standing in the middle of a crazy public situation or on a stage somewhere. You also may be driven to the hospital under fairly calm circumstances where near-death driving experiences, running red lights and police escorts are not particularly necessary. It’s even possible that you could make it to the hospital with plenty of time to be admitted, hang out in your room for an hour (or 30) and then FINALLY be told it’s time to push rather than almost birthing your child in the car. These circumstances are not only possible, but likely. However, that’s NEVER the way it goes down in the movies.

These circumstances are not only possible, but likely. However, that’s NEVER the way it goes down in the movies.

4. You might not be surprised

Countless movies have ladies comically getting accidentally knocked up at the most inopportune time. This sets the stage for a series of hysterical mishaps watching these people try to prepare to be parents. While this does set the scene for some very comical moments, it’s not super realistic. I suppose charting ovulation and counting down the days to your missed period would make for a boring comedy, but rumor has it, some people DO get pregnant on purpose.

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5. You might not cuss out your doctor/nurse/husband while you push

No film with an expectant mother would be quite complete without the obligatory scene where she begins crowning or pushing or experiencing crazy painful contractions and starts screaming bloody murder at the stupidity of her doctor or the fact that her husband had the nerve to knock her up to begin with. It just so happens though, in real life, you may not develop a sudden onset of rage/the need to cuss like a trucker. More likely? Grunting, sweating and sounds emerging from you that are reminiscent of a farm animal.

Or you might just be completely quiet, focusing on the task at hand: getting the kid OUT. Either way, the likelihood that you'll have the mental wherewithal to spew an alphabet of swear words is highly unlikely.

Honestly, probably no producer would pay millions of dollars to make a movie showing the reality of a typical birth story. It may be boring, not that pretty or funny and possibly days long. But the truth of the matter is that each story is different and amazing and a real life miracle—car chases and cuss words or not.

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