Created By: Stanislav on August 3, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on October 19, 2014

Too Easy Pregnancy

A pregnancy that IRL would be fraught with difficulties or complications is shown as no big deal

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Women have been getting pregnant since the beginning, and for many the only problems have to do with Wacky Cravings, the expense of maternity clothes, and telling Aunt Pruthenia you're not naming the baby after her.

But not always. The World Health Organization estimated in 1995 that eight million women had life-threatening complications from their pregnancies in that year alone, and over half a million of those women died.

In fiction, these are ignored. Unless the writer is planning a Very Special Episode about a certain pregnancy complication, the pregnancy will be treated as routine. And to some extent this is justified by The Law of Conservation of Detail — if pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, or ectopic pregnancy won't be making an appearance, why bring them up? However, if a female character is going through what should be a high-risk pregnancy and the risk is ignored, anyone who knows anything about human reproduction will think she and her OB/GYN are idiots.

A second form of this trope comes into play when there is a good chance of the baby having an inherited disease or disability. This one may get a little more play, thanks to Real Life publicity about sickle-cell anemia ((note: many high-risk people get genetic testing done before the wedding)) and Down's Syndrome (more likely to result when the mother's older — see Sarah Palin).

Aversions of the primary form of this trope can often result in Convenient Miscarriage or Death by Childbirth. It's related to Instant Birth, Just Add Water and Out Giving Birth, Back in Two Minutes, in both of which the birth is treated as simpler than it should.


Examples:

Fan Works
  • The Neverwinter Nights 2 continuation fic Silver Wolf established that the Knight-Captain, a female aasimar, was pregnant throughout Mask of the Betrayer from the Optional Sexual Encounter with Casavir in the original campaign. After being queried by PM how she didn't miscarry due to not only fighting crazy battles during this time but also being technically soulless due to the Spirit-Eater curse, the author, a troper, went with the explanation of her being an epic-level character ((note:fluff-wise, starting to transcend the difference between mortals and gods)) with access to multiple high-level wizards and clerics.

Live-Action Television
  • My Three Sons. Katie's triplets. She's a petite woman carrying three full-size, full-term babies. By rights, she should be enormous (and probably confined to bed rest in the late stages), but her baby bump is never unusually large, and she is not even ascertained as carrying multiples until very late-term (assumed twins, surprised by triplets). Perhaps explained by the need of the storyline not to telegraph the possibility of carrying multiples too early on, and the normal practice of using older (and larger) infants to represent the newborns on-camera.
  • On Bones both Angela and Hodgens carry a recessive gene which gives their baby a 25% chance of being born blind, but it comes out fine.

Literature
  • Belgariad. Polgara's pregnancy should trip this, considering that she's over 3000 years old and having her first pregnancy. The potential problems aren't mentioned by anyone, including Polgara herself (who's been acting as a midwife for most of those 3000 years, and should know the issues). One of the prequel novels suggests that sorcerers may mode lock themselves into the physical age they feel is appropriate; her ovaries may still be set to 16 years old. Doesn't explain why Polgara and Poledra just ignore the potential problems, though.
  • Alluded to in The Novice's Tale by Margaret Frazier. When Thomasine overheard (in her backstory) a midwife commenting that Thomasine's hips were too narrow to give birth easily, she takes this as a sign that God always intended for her to become a nun.

Real Life
  • Lon Chaney was the child of two deaf parents. According to one Biopic, his wife Cleva was terrified that their child would be born deaf, so as soon as little Creighton (better known as Lon Chaney Jr) came home from the hospital they tried to wake him with loud noises.

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • August 3, 2012
    Stanislav
    I really don't see anything under Pregnancy Tropes that covers this.
  • August 3, 2012
    Joshy206
    I'm not sure how to add this, but I think it's a good trope and Prometheus should be there :P
  • August 3, 2012
    Shnakepup
    I don't think Prometheus would fit, though, since that clearly wasn't a regular pregnancy. It wasn't technically a "pregnancy" at all.
  • August 7, 2012
    Antigone3
    Polgara's pregnancy should trip this, considering that she's over 3000 years old and having her first pregnancy. The potential problems aren't mentioned by anyone, including Polgara herself (who's been acting as a midwife for most of those 3000 years, and should know the issues). But one of the prequel novels suggests that sorcerers may mode lock themselves into the physical age they feel is appropriate; her ovaries may still be set to 16 years old.

    Stanislav, do you want a hand with a description for this?
  • August 7, 2012
    DracMonster
    We kinda do have this, but in several forms. I think this is a Super Trope to cover things like Instant Birth Just Add Water, Express Delivery or Out Giving Birth Back In Two Minutes.
  • March 16, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Juno: The sole non-mental issue with the pregnancy? Juno threw up once. Granted the point of the movie wasn't supposed to be about the biological issues of pregnancy, but the mental ones, but it was a source of Unfortunate Implications and reactions from Moral Guardians fearing that it makes pregnancy look "cool" and "easy."
  • March 16, 2013
    Antigone3
    Let's see if we can get this one running again.

    And do we have a general trope for "doing/consuming _____ during pregnancy"? I was about to add something about those situations going under a different trope page, but all I could find was One Drink Will Kill The Baby, which is very specifically alcohol.
  • March 16, 2013
    Antigone3
    Larkmarn -- I don't think Juno would count, unless there was a medical reason that her pregnancy should have been problematic. "You should be suffering during your sinful pregnancy" might be a trope, but it's not this one.
  • March 17, 2013
    Arivne
    Corrected incorrect Natter/Example Indentations and added Namespaces.
  • March 17, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Having already typed these up now I'm not sure if they count.
    • On Bones both Angela and Hodgens carry a recessive gene which gives their baby a 25% chance of being born blind, but it comes out fine.
    • In a Biopic of Lon Chaney Sr, due to his being born of deaf parents his wife is in hysterics over the possibility that their son will also be deaf. When they get him home from the hospital one of the first things Sr. does is try to wake him up with loud noises, which eventually succeeds.
  • March 18, 2013
    Antigone3
    Randomsurfer -- good question. As Stanislav originally wrote this, birth defects wouldn't fit. Do we want to expand the scope of this trope to include them, or split them off into a Sister Trope?
  • March 26, 2013
    Antigone3
    I decided to expand the trope to include "chance of genetic problems/birth defects", but that probably means we'll need to change the name to be more inclusive.
  • March 27, 2013
    peccantis
    Shouldn't have individual cases for Real Life examples. Also, I have trouble understanding how the current one even fits this trope.
  • March 28, 2013
    Antigone3
    As mentioned above, there's been talk of expanding this to include risk of birth defects. I'm willing to pull those examples and put them in a YKTTW of their own, but it doesn't look like there's enough examples of the original form.
  • March 28, 2013
    helterskelter
    I don't agree examples like the Belgariad should count. The answer is basically magic. It's not a good start when you have a Justifying Edit in one of your examples...
  • April 10, 2013
    Antigone3
    The prequels don't come out and say Polgara has the reproductive system of an 18-year old, that's a guess on my part. I can pull that comment, but it'll just be added again by someone else who's read the Belgariad and stayed awake in biology.
  • April 10, 2013
    MorganWick
    Is this effectively Artistic Licence Pregnancy?
  • May 30, 2013
    Antigone3
    Sorry for the delay, I've had a lot of stuff going on. Yeah, effectively this is an Artistic License trope (if we can find enough examples to launch).
  • May 30, 2013
    StarSword
    Would you accept an example from one of my fanfics?

    Fan Works:
    • The Neverwinter Nights 2 continuation fic Silver Wolf established that the Knight-Captain, a female aasimar, was pregnant throughout Mask of the Betrayer from the Optional Sexual Encounter with Casavir in the original campaign. After being queried by PM how she didn't miscarry due to not only fighting crazy battles during this time but also being technically soulless due to the Spirit-Eater curse, the author, a troper, went with the explanation of her being an epic-level character[[note]]fluff-wise, starting to transcend the difference between mortals and gods[[/note]] with access to multiple high-level wizards and clerics.
  • October 16, 2014
    Pichu-kun
    ^^^ Isn't the main character from Juno a teen? If I recall, young moms often have extra difficulties due to pregnancy.
  • October 16, 2014
    Antigone3
    @Pichu-kun — IMDB says the title character is 16, the Wikipedia article on Teen Pregnancy says medical issues are more common in women under 15. At 16, assuming access to decent prenatal care (I haven't seen the movie), she shouldn't have a problem bearing a child.
  • October 16, 2014
    KingZeal
    Common in a Chosen Conception Partner (aka "Impregnation Fantasy") story played for women's fetish. In such a story, this trope severely cuts down on the Fetish Retardant.
  • October 16, 2014
    DAN004
    I dunno if a trope for a lack of something that should supposedly exist in Real Life couldn't have any problems in developing.

    As in, should we list aversions only? Or discussions only? Because this is one common rule of fiction.
  • October 16, 2014
    kjnoren
    Second DAN 004's concerns. As written, this seems to be a magnet for complaining.
  • October 16, 2014
    DAN004
    Needs a better writeup so this won't be "You Fail Pregnancy Facts Forever".
  • October 17, 2014
    Larkmarn
    I don't really think this is a trope, as-is. It's covered by Perfect Health and a lot of the examples are meeting it more than halfway (The Bones example, for one. It's too easy because the baby doesn't have a statistically unlikely disease?)
  • October 17, 2014
    DAN004
    The fact that a slender woman somehow manages to sire triplets and doesn't have that much bulge in the stomach may be convincing enough for this trope, though.
  • October 17, 2014
    hbi2k
    ^ I'd be pretty impressed if a woman of any weight managed to sire children.
  • October 17, 2014
    Larkmarn
    ^^ The way it's worded makes it sound like she just looks plain pregnant, not pregnant with three kids. Which could conceivably be truth in television, depending on the size of the kids.
  • October 17, 2014
    DAN004
    Wrong wording, I know. Stop bothering me.
  • October 18, 2014
    Antigone3
    "Needs a better writeup so this won't be "You Fail Pregnancy Facts Forever"."

    A lot of the Artistic Licence Medicine tropes use the Real Life - In Fiction comparison format, but I'd be willing to rewrite the description if anyone has an idea for a different approach.

    @Larkmarn, 25% chance doesn't sound "statistically unlikely" to me ... granted, the professor who taught that statistics course I took in college was a twit.
  • October 19, 2014
    kjnoren
    ^ Then a better trope name would be Artistic License Pregnancy, and perhaps also focus on the everyday pregnancy related troubles that are often elided in fiction (off the top off my head: heartburn, swollen feet or legs, pelvic girdle pain, back pains...).

    Also, the current write-up beats around the bush too much. First going for "no medical problems", then going full-bore for life-threatening ones.
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