How would you suggest hiding the bodily transformations a woman undergoes when she's pregnant? A lamp? Fat camp? A trip to Africa? These are just a few of the wacky solutions invented by the writers of shows as they scrabble to realistically accommodate their actresses' changing figure into the script.
Here are 10 actresses who underwent such a physical shift and the wild ways their TV program twisted the show as a result:
9. Jane Leeves In 'Frasier': Fat Camp
The Frasier writers didn't want to add a baby to the storyline. The solution? They wrote in that she'd had a significant weight gain because of stress, eventually getting sent off to fat camp to cover her real-life maternity absence.
8. Debra Messing In 'Will And Grace': Smoke And Mirrors
Messing's Grace Adler in Will and Grace also wasn't able to become pregnant in the show. At first the bump was hidden easily behind sail-like pajamas and billowing tracksuits, but eventually the transformation began to affect Messing's face too. The big giveaway for the audience was when Grace started trailing oversized muumuus.
7. Jaime King In 'Hart Of Dixie': Blockers
King's lead role as Lemon Breeland couldn't have a character path swerve either. The show used an increasingly creative resource of objects to block her blossoming bump from the camera including: flowers, baskets, cups, and tables.
6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus In 'Seinfeld': Retro Coats
When Louis-Dreyfus told Jerry Seinfeld he suggested that, like Jane Leeves, they write her a fat story. This, perhaps predictably, did not go down well, and she broke down in tears. Instead they provided her with a wardrobe of baggy '90s coats and when baby time arrived in Season 4 they shipped her off on a trip with her psychotherapist-boyfriend. Louis-Dreyfus later told Jerry that in hindsight she should have taken the fat story.
5. Phylicia Rashad In 'The Cosby Show': Nearly Headless
Rashad spent a lot of time behind or under things as her bump got bumpier, meaning she was essentially a floating head hiding behind objects and the edge of the camera for most of Season 3. She also took a lot of "business trips" to escape detection.
4. Lisa Kudrow In 'Friends': Triplets
Kudrow's pregnancy was embraced whole-heartedly by the Friends writers: They filled Phoebe's belly with no less than three little 'uns, and from her brother to boot.
In other Friends news, Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) was never actually pregnant during the show, while when Courtney Cox (Monica) was with child as the final season came to a close producers just ignored it.
3. January Jones In 'Mad Men': Weight Gain
Season 5 of Mad Men saw creator Matthew Weiner also making the most of a pregnant woman's changing body by having Jones's character, in an image-obsessed world, becoming suddenly comparatively overweight. This worked with Jones's wishes as she didn't want to hide her tummy and becoming pregnant wouldn't fit the plot. Betty had to undergo "7 hours of prosthetics" according to The Hollywood Reporter.
2. Sarah Jessica Parker In 'Sex And The City': Cut!
Throwing a baby into the city sex would have been too outrageous for the show's lead so costume designers used the old technique of big dresses, and producers even cut the season until after Parker had given birth.
1. Jessica Capshaw In 'Grey's Anatomy': Africa
Grey's Anatomy producers couldn't have Capshaw's character Dr. Arizona Robbins become pregnant, so instead they flew her off to Africa for a few episodes while she had her child.