Pregnancy

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms:
Related: Mpreg, Fempreg, Kidfic, Curtainfic
See Also: Safe Sex
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Pregnancy is often used as a story trope both in fanworks and in canon. Most pregnancy stories involve a woman being or becoming pregnant, but mpreg, male pregnancy, is a genre with its own fans.

a rare example of a pregnant woman portrayed in fanworks; interior art by Anne Davenport from the Star Trek zine R&R #15 (Springtime 1981)

Pregnancy fic can be written as a variety of curtainfic, focused on the domestic details of preparing for the birth and its effect on the couple's relationship, and often continuing with kidfic. It may also be used as a plot device to create conflict or drama, especially if the pregnancy is accidental.

Pregnancy in Canon

The pregnancy of female characters in canon often provokes strong mixed reactions from fans. Some fans see many canonical pregnancy storylines as a way of relegating strong female characters to domestic roles. For example, many fans of Tonks in Harry Potter fandom disliked the way her pregnancy seemed to be used to move her out of an active role through most of the final book. Other fans have argued against what they see as the unfair assumption that a character's pregnancy means that she is becoming a less strong or interesting character.

Pregnancy story-lines in tv canons are sometimes prompted by the real-life pregnancy of the actress portraying the character. These may or may not be dealt with well, and depending on the genre of TV, the baby may be done away with in a kidnapping or miscarriage storyline to avoid having to introduce a young child into the storyline.

Some fandoms with controversial pregnancies: X-Files (Scully), Star Trek: TOS (Saavik in the film), The Originals (Hayley)...

See also Pregnant Badass, Deliver Us From Evil, Express Delivery, and Screaming Birth at TV Tropes.

Pregnancy in SciFi/Fantasy Canons

Pregnancy in scifi and fantasy canons is often magical or unusual in some way[1], and may play on horror or science fiction tropes about "demon babies" or forced impregnation by non-human beings. Stay Awake, a fanvid by Laura Shapiro, critiques the forced impregnation trope using examples from several television shows. (It is necessary to join the site in order to view the video; it does not appear that a credit card is necessary when taking the Free option).

Popular fannish characters on sf/fantasy shows who have been non-consensually impregnated by evil forces, had their eggs or ovaries stolen by evil forces, gave birth to children who were then kidnapped by evil forces, or gave birth to children who then magically "aged up" to become evil include [2]:

Pregnancy Tropes

Pregnancy fic has a wide variety of tones and tropes due to the unpredictable nature of pregnancy itself and the way media presents it.

  • Humor or fluff will feature the sillier parts, such as wacky food cravings and weight gain, playful bickering between couples, hormone-induced emotional outbursts, picking names, and feeling the baby kick for the first time. The father will be run ragged or run himself ragged trying to support and tend to his wife, and childbirth usually consists of screaming and hand-crushing before a fluffy scene afterwards with the new baby.
  • More serious fics will focus on difficult and high-risk pregnancies. Sometimes this is based in canon, if a character is prone to illness or physically frail, but other times the smaller one of a couple will be written as such to create drama and hurt/comfort. These fics also deal in the scarier parts of pregnancy: miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, delivery complications, and sometimes even postpartum depression. These fics will also address fertility issues if they're present in canon, or if they want to add even more angst.
  • Rarer are fics involving pregnant pets, where the human couple simply must tend to their animal friend and prepare for the arrival of their offspring (be it live birth or eggs). These tend to be lighter in tone, sometimes even invoking the Your Tomcat Is Pregnant trope for extra laughs when the pregnancy is how they discover the pet is female.
  • Some pregnancy fics are more sexual in nature, with pregnancy being a niche fetish in the adult communities. Such fics will have the pregnant character overcome with need for their partner due to hormones, or their partner finding them even more irresistible as their body grows and changes.

Pregnancy in Fanworks

Example Fanworks

Birth Control in Fanworks

Example Fanworks

Nursing Babies in Fanworks

Example Fanworks

Abortion in Fanworks

Example Fanworks

  • SGA: Side Effects by Jane Elliot. Rare[3]mpreg story in which the pregnant man chooses to have an abortion.
  • Star Trek: TOS: An Abortive Attempt by Paula Smith is a story with the subject of abortion, set in the Kraith universe. Printed in Menagerie #5 in 1975. One fan writes: "...about a Vulcan woman who gets an abortion by a Terran doctor and the consequences of the doctor. Good examination of morality that doesn't have to apply to the 23rd century obviously." [4]

References

  1. ^ lim: SPOILERS for SG-1, Farscape, X-Files, Angel, the 4400 2008-02-28 (Accessed Nov. 8 2008)'
  2. ^ liviapenn: Get a new schtick, boys 2008-03-07 (Accessed Nov. 8 2008)
  3. ^ Mpreg Meta by Jane Elliot, 1 January 2011. (Accessed 8 April 2011)
  4. ^ from Spectrum #19