Follow TV Tropes


Imperiled in Pregnancy

Go To

Women Are Delicate. Children Are Innocent. A pregnant woman combines these two ideas in one to create a woman whose condition rates as so vulnerable, so precious, that you never want to see anything bad happening to her.

But... what's happening? She got hurt! Worse, she's injured in a way that threatens her unborn child's life! How much more brutal can a story get?

Often used to add drama and show how ruthless the bad guys are. In most societies a pregnant woman is, for good reason, treated with courtesy and concern. She's carrying the life of another, innocent human being: protecting women like her is something we have to do, in order for our species to survive. Seeing a pregnant woman at the receiving end of violence is especially shocking for most viewers/readers.

Often turns out all right in the end, as both audiences and creators frequently find it unpalatable to play this trope through to the end.

A Super-Trope to Pregnant Hostage. Compare Traumatic C-Section and Womb Horror. May involve a Maternity Crisis if the child chooses that exact moment to come into the world, or alternatively a Convenient Miscarriage, Forced Miscarriage or Tragic Stillbirth if child is lost as a result. Can also result in Born from a Dead Woman or Death by Childbirth if the mother dies as a result, but the child survives. Often the intersection of Would Hurt a Child and Would Hit a Girl. Overlaps with Pregnant Badass if the pregnant woman is an Action Girl who extracts herself from the peril and Baby as Payment, if the woman is trapped until she gives birth so that she is forced to uphold her end of the bargain.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • A pregnant (not that this was known at the time) Casca is raped by the demon Femto after his creation. This drives Casca insane and corrupts the fetus into a demonic-like grotesque.
    • Emperor Ganishka's demon soldiers are created by dumping heavily pregnant women into an enormous artificial womb that radiates the woman full of demonic energy. The now-demonic fetus rips its way out of the uterus and joins the others.
    • Guts' biological mother was executed/murdered (it's not clear which one) while she was heavily pregnant with him, and he was delivered more or less as a coffin birth. His adoptive parents find him at the feet of his mother's hanged corpse.
  • Buddy Daddies uses this a later plot twist: it turns out that Kazuki's wife Yuzuko, who is hinted to be alive but separated from him because of his hitman job at the beginning of the series, died while pregnant.
  • The pilot of Cowboy Bebop, "Asteroid Blues", has a heavily pregnant woman named Catalina on the run with a man wanted for drug smuggling, with the police in hot pursuit. When the two are gunned down, the belly turns out to be a huge bundle of Red Eye spray canisters.
  • In Vinland Saga, Arneis (a slave) is secretly pregnant with her master Ketil's child. When her former husband comes to take her back — slaying several guards of the farm in the process — and she tries to escape with him, Ketil does not take it well. Just before her punishment, she reveals to him she is pregnant with his child; his response is to suspect that the child isn't his, and beat her half to death. And not only half, as she dies shortly after.

    Comic Books 
  • In the EC Comics story "Squeeze Play" (Shock Suspenstories #13), the word "pregnant" is never used (it was the 1950s, after all), but the story revolves around a man who kills his girlfriend after she informs him that he HAS to marry her.
  • In Sky Doll, the main character, a love doll named Noa has a very graphic hallucination when she is pregnant and her womb rips out. But it's all in a dream... or is it?
  • In Watchmen The Comedian shoots a pregnant woman during The Vietnam War. Doubles as Offing the Offspring, as the child was his.
  • A recurring theme in the 1989 Peter Milligan mini-series Skreemer:
    • In a flashback to the robbery that started Veto Skreemer's criminal career, a woman pleads for mercy by stating that she's pregnant. Skreemer shoots her anyway.
    • In a subsequent flashback, after Skreemer has established himself as a powerful figure, Skreemer's seven-months-pregnant mistress Claudia is raped and murdered by his enemies. Although the murder is thankfully off-panel, the cover of issue #3 prominently displays her pregnant corpse as Skreemer carries her away.
    • In the "present" time of the series, Skreemer's current mistress Gloreen is nine months pregnant and is frequently endangered by Skreemer's enemies. Unlike the previous examples, she safely escapes the attempts on her life, survives the delivery, and makes it through the end of the story alive.
  • A 1991 issue of Wolverine featured an Eldritch Abomination that was targeting three pregnant women on a cruise ship, because one of them was carrying The Chosen One but the demon couldn't tell which one. The demon killed two of the women before Wolverine could save them, but Logan did manage to save the right one in the end.
  • In the 1991 mini-series The Punisher: P.O.V., an eight-months-pregnant woman is attacked and bitten by a mutated villain. She survives the attack, but later dies during the delivery because the bite had mutated her unborn child.
  • In The Punisher MAX X-Mas Special, a gangster's pregnant wife is the target of hitmen sent by a rival gangster out to wipe out her husband's entire family. The Punisher saves the pregnant target from the killers and helps her deliver the which point he himself executes the mother for her own crimes, now that the innocent child is out of danger.
  • In The Metabarons, the Metabaron Aghora has the brain of a male and female body of his twin sister since he was born dead and had his brain implanted into the body of his twin sister who was brain-dead at birth to become a S/he. S/he goes into a Despair Event Horizon after of the death of her pet spider-wolf and gets over this funk by getting her/himself pregnant. This is when enemies of the Aghora strike. Normally able of killing an entire universe, s/he's so badly weakened that she knows she can't win by fighting an army of clones. So she has take a desperation plan that has her sacrificing her quasi-magical sword to fly up into orbit and nuke the planet from safe distance. No other Metabaron except the first who was dying from an incurable disease, has ever shown that level of "weakness".
  • In the Historical Fiction graphic novel The Borgias, one nobleman's unfaithful, heavily pregnant wife is shown enjoying a passionate encounter with her lover before they're both Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by an assassin.
  • Blacksad: In the Arctic Nation album, it is eventually revealed that Chief Karup's greatest crime after he became a white supremacist was to drag his heavily pregnant black wife out of her bed in the middle of the night and leave her behind in the cold winter woods to die. She survived, and his children would grow up yearning for revenge.
  • A Love Like Blood: The female werewolf is murdered by Sangrael and Luperci foot soldiers shortly before she was about to give birth to a vampire-werewolf hybrid.
  • Fatale: Hank's pregnant wife Sylvia is brutally murdered by Bishop, who then frames Hank for the deed.
  • Wonder Woman (2011): Diana is trying to protect Zola, who is pregnant with Zeus' final child given his recent death even though Zola had no clue she'd slept with Zeus, from pretty much every god in Olympus or "Hell" besides Hermes and Eros.
  • The 2004 Warren Ellis one-shot Angel Stomp Future begins with a pregnant woman stepping in front of an oncoming train, just to emphasize what a Bad Future this Crapsack World is; her suicide does not figure into the rest of the story and is not even noticed by any other characters.

    Fan Works 
  • Crucible (Mass Effect):
    • A bunch of women who were pregnant with Hybrid babies were kidnapped by the quarians for testing. Luckily for them, Garrus and Avitus managed to find them thanks to the help of one of the boyfriends.
    • In Alt. Future, poor Amata suffered from this twice. The first time she lost her baby son. The second time, she was killed and her daughter didn't survive for long either. And with what Gaius found in the quarians' labs, it was obvious that she wasn't the first mother to suffer this fate.
  • The pregnant Assassins in A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic Hyperemesis Gravidarum have got more to contend with than sore feet and morning sickness. At least one of them is on the hit-list of a murder gang bent on vengeance against her and her wider family. The battle goes to the wire.
  • In Pre-Natal Panic, the fourth story in The Smeet Series, features Tallest Red's wife Lena (who is in the late stages of her pregnancy) is taken hostage by some rioting Vortian prisoners, and soon after goes into labor. Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for the Vortians, her maternal instincts kick in, and she slaughters all of them to protect her child.
  • In Return to Hinamizawa, Rika is offered as a sacrifice to appease Oyashiro-sama. Chaos ensues when Miaka tries to rescue her, unaware that Satoko and Azusa have independently come up with a rescue plan.
  • A New Hope (Danganronpa): Aoi goes through the trauma of the killing game, including getting nearly executed once while carrying Makoto's twins.
  • In the Witcher fic Red Rowan, a pregnant Shani ends up being the focus of an apparent curse, one which makes her - and her unborn child - the target of attack by magic-users. The only way this can be lifted is if Geralt performs a series of (seemingly impossible) tasks for Gaunter O'Dimm, enough to satisfy him into lifting the bounty before Shani's child is due to be born.

    Films — Animation 
  • Charlotte (2021) ends with a visibly pregnant Charlotte being taken away by Nazis. The epilogue says they both died in Auschwitz.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the characters in Apocalypto is a pregnant woman stuck in a deep pit with her elder child. At one point, a wild, hostile animal falls in, and she is forced to kill it with a large stick to defend herself and her son. Then she gives birth while the pit is being flooded with rainwater, and she's got her son sitting on her shoulders to keep him from drowning.
  • 8 Ball Clown: At the beginning of the movie, 8-Ball lures a pregnant woman into his basement, where he knocks her out. When she comes to, he cuts her belly open and pulls the baby out that way.
  • In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Predalien is completely indiscriminate in its victims, invading a maternity ward in the town's hospital and implanting pregnant women with its own xenomorph embryos.
  • The 2002 thriller Angel Blade features a Serial Killer who deliberately targets prostitutes who have gotten pregnant. His Freudian Excuse: After the accidental death of his own pregnant wife, he feels compelled to kill women he deems "unworthy" of pregnancy.
  • Annabelle: The pregnant Mia gets stabbed in the stomach with a knife by one of the Satanists, then gets choked, slammed to the ground, and dragged on the floor by the demon. She survives and gives birth to a healthy baby, though.
  • Ashfall: The pregnant Ji-young at one point is stuck in her car as a tsunami bears down on her.
  • Bird Box: Both Malorie and Olympia are pregnant in a post-apocalyptic society.
  • Blade's origin story from the Blade Trilogy involved his mother being attacked by a vampire when she was heavily pregnant, causing her to die on an operating table and the boy turning into a human-vampire hybrid. Blade swore to find the vampire who killed her to avenge her death. Near the end, Blade discovers that his mother is still alive after the vampire in question turned her, and it was actually Deacon Frost, the bad guy he had been pursuing the entire film.
  • In Blooded, the protagonists are captured by an Animal Wrongs Group, who strip them to their underwear, dump them in the wilderness, and hunt them, so they will know what it feels like to be quarry. The dossier the group prepared on each of their targets contains a disturbing amount of personal information, including a copy of Liv's ultrasound: meaning she is pregnant, a fact that only she knew.
  • Circle: There's one pregnant woman among the group of fifty captives. It doesn't take long for different characters to figure out that either she or the little girl would have the strongest chances of surviving the elimination, as most people would balk at murdering either of them. However, this makes them the prime targets of a group seeking to "level the playing field" to increase their own chances of getting out alive. At the end, one man reveals himself to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing by convincing the girl to step off her own platform as a Heroic Sacrifice while simultaneously voting for the pregnant woman, leaving himself the victor.
  • Contagion (2011): Lorraine is pregnant when she contracts the virus. She does not survive.
  • In Curse of Chucky, a pre- doll transformation Charles Lee Ray is seen stabbing a pregnant woman to cripple her unborn daughter after she rejected his advances.
  • In Deewaar, Anita—though not visibly pregnant yet—is tortured to death by Samant and his men.
  • In Fighting Mad (1976), Carolee is pregnant when goons beat her and her husband up, kidnap them, and murder them.
  • In Five, one of the five survivors of the atomic war is Roseanne Rogers; a pregnant woman.
  • The 1974 Giallo film Five Women For The Killer features a Serial Killer who deliberately targets pregnant women.
  • Unusual version in The Fly (1986), in that the heroine does not want the child to survive but the antagonist does: In the third act Veronica learns she is pregnant by her lover Seth, and she does not know if the conception came before or after he became a slowly-mutating Half-Human Hybrid. She becomes determined to abort the likely mutant child, but when Seth finds out that what might be the last remnant of his fading humanity is endangered he kidnaps her. Unable to change her mind, he decides to force her to undergo Romantic Fusion with him to create "the ultimate family", leading into the climax.
  • In Gangs of New York, Jenny's baby was cut out of her after she got pregnant from Bill the Butcher, leaving a big nasty scar on her body and her traumatized.
  • In Great White, Kaz tells Charlie that she is pregnant on the beach at Hell's Reef. It is immediately after this that the seaplane is sunk and the group finds itself trapped in a life raft being circled by a Threatening Shark. Needless to say, all of Charlie's protective instincts kick into overdrive.
  • In the French horror movie Inside, a pregnant woman is attacked by a stranger who wants to steal her baby. With scissors. During Christmas Eve.
  • The heroine Becky of In the Tall Grass is six months pregnant while she and her brother are lured into the tall grass. Zigzagged by the fact that she was intending to get an abortion, but had some second thoughts. They end up in a Stable Time Loop where Ross tricks her into eating her own baby, but Travis and Tobin manage to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and prevent them from entering the grass in the first place, whereupon she decides to keep the baby. The original Stephen King novella doesn't end nearly as happily, however.
  • The Killing Gene begins with the discovery of a dead pregnant woman with the mathematical formula "W Delta Z" carved into her belly. It's later revealed that she and her boyfriend had both been abducted by the killer, who had forced the boyfriend to choose between killing her (and their unborn child) or being tortured to death himself.
  • In both the 1956 and 1991 versions of A Kiss Before Dying, the Villain Protagonist murders his pregnant girlfriend, knowing that her rich father will disown her and costing him the chance to get his hands on her money.
  • Occurs in Mad Max: Fury Road with Angharad, who is very visibly pregnant and spends all of her screentime in horrible danger. She ends up slipping off the War Rig and run over by Immortan Joe's car. Both she and her baby end up dying as a result.
  • In Match Point, the protagonist kills his pregnant mistress because he can't choose to leave his wife and sacrifice his cushy lifestyle.
  • A Quiet Place takes place in a world invaded by monsters that hunt based on sound, forcing survivors into near-total silence to avoid being detected. This naturally presents problems considering Evelyn became pregnant before the invasion and ends up going into labor partway in the film.
  • A sixteen year old girl in The Rite was raped and impregnated by her father, causing a demon to posses her. During her exorcisms, the demon causes her body to do very disturbing and unnatural things. She is later sent to the hospital where both she and the fetus are killed by the demon.
  • Saw: Saw IV reveals that Jigsaw's wife lost their unborn son due to a door violently smashed against her belly. This was the Start of Darkness for him.
  • In Se7en, David Mills' wife Tracy is murdered by serial killer John Doe while in the early stages of pregancy. While Doe didn't intentionally target a pregnant woman — only learning of the pregnancy when she invoked it while pleading for her life — he's only too happy to use it as additional ammunition to taunt Mills after the fact.
  • Shoot 'Em Up begins with a heavily pregnant woman being pursued by a hitman. Smith intervenes to protect her and deliver her baby, though the mother is killed in the crossfire shortly after giving birth. The other two surrogate mothers are Killed Offscreen along with their unborn children.
  • One of the Headless Horseman's victims in Sleepy Hollow (1999). Her unborn child gets decapitated as well.
  • In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith a heavily pregnant Padmé goes gallivanting off to Mustafar after Anakin after Obi-Wan tells her Anakin has fallen to the dark side. When Obi-Wan turns up, having stowed away on Padmé's ship, Anakin Force chokes her. Padmé starts dying afterwards, forcing medical droids to induce labor and deliver Luke and Leia.
  • Strangers on a Train: Miriam is pregnant at the time of her murder. (In the book, she has suffered a miscarriage shortly before that point.) Oddly, nobody seems particularly concerned by this fact. She's not yet showing (or if she is, her outfits hide it) so her pregnancy might not be widely known yet.
  • Played with at the end of Taking Lives, the character played by Angelina Jolie is pregnant and gets stabbed in the belly, only to reveal the pregnancy was fake and the cornerstone of an elaborate scheme to catch the killer.
  • The Theatre Bizarre: In "Vision Stains", The Writer attacks a pregnant woman and draws fluid from her womb with a syringe in an attempt to find out what an unborn child sees.
  • In Thursday, Casey has a flashback as to what it was that finally helped him decide to turn his life around from being a drug dealer: during a busted deal, his partner Nick repeatedly shoots an eight-month pregnant woman in the stomach, killing both the woman and the unborn baby.
  • Happens a few times throughout the Underworld series:
    • As explained in Underworld and more thoroughly depicted in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, what started the centuries-long Vampire-Werewolf war was vampire Sonja being sentenced to death by the Council, her own father among them, for having relations with a lycan and becoming pregnant by him. She's then burned at the stake via sunlight exposure.
    • The prologue of Underworld: Awakening has Selene getting captured by human (actually lycans in disguise) scientists and placed in suspended animation; during the interim between this and when she wakes up, it's discovered that she was pregnant with her and Michael's child at the time and gave birth while still unconscious.
    • In Underworld: Blood Wars, it's revealed that vampire Elder Amelia took refuge with the Nordic coven while pregnant with her and Thomas's son, David, to keep Viktor from having them all killed as he would have seen this as a threat to his power and position as the leading Elder. Considering Viktor had his own pregnant daughter executed for similar reasons (see above), it was a wise move.
  • In Warlock (1989), the Warlock threatens to kill a priest's pregnant wife along with the child she's carrying to get the information he wants. Presumably subverted because the priest ultimately caves in to the Warlock's demands, although we don't get to see if he did leave them unharmed.
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting: Discussed, then subverted. Janice tells Jules her sister got herpes because of her pregnancy. Jules retorts that she had it already.
  • In Who Can Kill a Child? and the remake, Come Out and Play, the female lead is 7 months pregnant at the start of the film. Her pregnancy hampers quick movement and ups the drama particularly when she starts believing that the fetus has gone murderous as well. And she might be right.

  • In Acid Row, Melanie is six months pregnant when she gets caught up in a dangerous riot. She nearly gets set alight by a petrol bomb and is punched in the stomach by Wesley Barber, collapsing to the ground and being overrun by an angry mob. She comes close to dying, though luckily her mother, a neighbour and local doctor Sophie are able to revive her.
  • Delicate Condition: Anna has a stalker. After a break-in, she and husband Dex move out of the city and to a friend's house and hire a bodyguard. However, she is terrorized throughout her pregnancy. Right after she goes into labor, she and Dex get into a car crash. He ends up dying of his injuries, but she manages to crawl out of their overturned car.
  • At the beginning of The Sharing Knife, protagonist Fawn has left her home to avoid being shamed for her unwed pregnancy. Then an Eldritch Abomination ground-rips (tears the life-force out of) her unborn child. Things do get better for her, but she has one hell of a woobie-fied start.
    • Invoked at the climax of Horizon by Fawn herself when she, once again newly pregnant and aware of how much Malices desire the grounds of developing unborn children, charges out from cover to bait a flying Malice into range of a field-modified Sharing Crossbow Bolt.
  • Discworld has multiple examples throughout the series, though it's often combined with Pregnant Badass.
    • It turns out that Sybil Vimes, fairly early in her pregnancy, escapes a locked room, climbs out a window on knotted bedsheets and wallops a werewolf with an iron bar in The Fifth Elephant. She also stands up rather bravely under an assault by murderous bandits while on the road to Uberwald, holding it together while being held hostage.
    • In Raising Steam, the Low King of the Dwarves, Rhys Rhysson, who later styles herself Queen Blodwen, is targeted for political assassination.
    • And I Shall Wear Midnight has a decidedly dark example as Amber Petty is beaten by her father, causing a miscarriage/stillbirth.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • In Catching Fire, while Katniss wasn't actually pregnant, Peeta manages to enrage the capitol citizens by claiming that she was right before the 75th Games started, trying to invoke this trope.
    • Possibly Annie when she was held captive and tortured by the Capitol in Mockingjay, since we don't know when her and Finnick's child was conceived.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga novel Barrayar:
    • Alys Vorpatril, while pregnant with the baby Ivan Vorpatril, is stranded in a besieged city held by a pretender desperately looking for distinguished hostages like Alys.
    • Cordelia is attacked with a poisonous gas while pregnant. The aftereffects of the treatment that saved her life drive most of her son's life: Miles, the protagonist of most of the books, was dwarfed and crippled by the effects.
  • Carla Cassidy's Pregnesia: Amnesiac widowed heroine, Good Samaritan hero, bad guys after the baby.
  • This is teased with Elayne in The Wheel of Time, who gets impregnated in the ninth book. Thanks to a prophetic viewing, she is convinced her children can't be harmed and gets into trouble several times, finally coming to her senses after a particular wound runs dangerously close to her womb. Then things get brutal: during the climax of the last book, she runs afoul of a minor villain from previous books who intends to cut out her unborn twins and use magic to keep them alive until they can be offered to the Big Bad. He promises to rape her afterward. A timely plot device saves the day, however.
  • Celine Herondale from The Mortal Instruments, committed suicide while pregnant. The main villain cut open her belly and found the baby alive. That baby is Jace Herondale.
  • Gone Girl: It's eventually revealed that Amy was pregnant when she disappeared... not. She was deliberately invoking this trope to create media hysteria.
    Amy: I knew the key to big-time coverage, round-the-clock, frantic, bloodlust never-ending Ellen Abbott coverage, would be the pregnancy. Amazing Amy is tempting as it is; Amazing Amy knocked up is irresistible. Americans like what is easy, and it's easy to like pregnant women; they're like ducklings or bunnies or dogs.
  • Rizzoli & Isles:
    • A novel has an escaped convict taking a maternity ward hostage. Among the patients is Jane Rizzoli. She's never harmed.
    • Another book has a pregnant woman being abducted by someone who wants to steal her baby. She manages to kill the guy—while in labor— and delivers safely. By the time the cops arrive, she's sitting on the side of the road, nursing her newborn daughter.
  • The Crocodile God has one of the rare times that the peril actually happens. When the Tagalog sea-god Haik meets his mortal wife Mirasol's Spanish employer in the colonial Philippines, their attempt to pass Haik off as another mortal goes wrong due to his extremely NON-Catholic tattoos, and the Spaniard shoots Mirasol in the stomach—so the enraged Haik hulks out into a massive crocodile and eats him. While Haik heals Mirasol, their daughter is stillborn. Mirasol eventually reincarnates into a modern-day woman, but Haik remains traumatized for centuries—not only was this a personal loss of a child, the Spaniard committed Deicide and so clinched the Death of the Old Gods.
  • In the bodice-ripper romance novel And Gold Was Ours, the heroine is abducted by her husband's enemies while 7 months pregnant. The stress of the ordeal sends her into premature labor, but she manages to deliver safely just as he rescues her.
  • In the Sidney Sheldon novel Nothing Lasts Forever, Dr. Ken Mallory decides to kill his fiancée Dr. Kat Hunter when she refuses to have an abortion, because this will interfere with his plans to marry an heiress.
  • In The Rose of Asturia by Iny Lorentz, this is what happens to Ermengarde. She is pregnant while in the middle of nowhere, in early Medieval Europe, on the run from the baby's father, with only two (although admittedly badass) people to protect her. She makes it to safety, eventually.
  • In Left Behind, Hattie Durham discovers that she has been poisoned while she was carrying Nicolae Carpathia's child and fears that the child would be in danger. When her Christian friends get her into a medical facility, she delivers an undeveloped stillborn that was absorbed all the poison meant for Hattie and the medical team dispose of it to prevent further contamination, though the doctor responsible for the delivery ends up contracting the poison that kills him.
  • Malediction Trilogy: Throughout Warrior Witch, Cecile is pregnant with Tristan's child (although she is unaware of that fact for most of the time) and she has to face many dangers, including standing up to the faerie queen and defending a city surrounded by evil trolls.
  • The first two books of The Thrawn Trilogy has a pregnant Leia in the sights of an insane Dark Jedi named Joruus C’Boath, who intends to use the combined force strength of her, her unborn twins, and her brother Luke to Mind Rape and subjugate the galaxy. Of course, Leia is a Jedi herself and throughout most of the series she’s under the protection of Chewbacca, with the Noghri also joining in once they learn who Leia’s biological father was. She gives birth by the third book.
  • In both the novel and film versions of Breaking Dawn, Bella suffers some very traumatic life-threatening complications while pregnant/giving birth to her daughter, Renesmee, due to the child being half-vampire and Edward has to quickly turn Bella in order for her to survive her injuries.
  • An accidental version occurs in Out of the Dust, when a freak accident leads to the protagonist's heavily pregnant mother suffering third-degree burns over most of her body. She manages to survive, horribly injured and in agony, long enough to have the baby, but dies during the birth. The child, a boy, dies shortly thereafter.
  • I Heard That Song Before:
    • Grace Carrington drowned in her swimming pool when she was seven and a half months pregnant; her unborn child died too. It's later revealed her death was deliberately orchestrated.
    • In the climax, Kay, who is in her first trimester, is held at gunpoint by the villain. She is fortunately unharmed.
  • Good Omens: Mentioned in passing as part of Aziraphale's rationale for secretly giving Adam and Eve his flaming sword when they're cast out of Eden. Not only are there wild animals and brutal weather conditions on the outside, but Eve's already expecting, and he couldn't bear to let them leave with no way to defend themselves or their future child.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Mirri Maz Duur tricks the pregnant Daenerys Targaryen to make a deal to save her husband, Drogo, in exchange for a sacrifice. Daenerys thinks the sacrifice is Drogo's stallion, but it's actually their unborn son, Rhaego. She experiences a forced labor during the ritual, passes out, and wakes up several days later to learn that Rhaego is stillborn.
    • While heavily pregnant with her first child, Queen Alysanne Targaryen makes a stop on her royal progress at a bathhouse in Maidenpool, hoping the supposed healing properties of the water will help with her pregnancy. There, three Septas tried to assassinate the queen, fearing the holy waters would be polluted by Alysanne's unborn child of incest. Alysanne's maids threw themselves at the attackers, buying time for the Kingsguard to come to the rescue, but as a result, Alysanne's son, Aegon, was born prematurely and died three days later, and she would forever blame his death on the septas who had tried to murder her.
  • The beginning of the diary of Murasaki Shikibu chronicles the preparations for the Empress's imminent delivery of her first child. Everyone is very on edge, believing the dangers of pregnancy are caused by evil spirits, and have set up all sorts of defenses against them. There are hordes of priests constantly praying, various rituals being enacted night and day, as well as other women pretending to be in labor as decoys. When the Empress births a son with no issues there are several days of celebrations.
  • Two Little Girls in Blue: Norman Bond's ex-wife Theresa was a few months pregnant with twins when she went missing; she actually vanished on her way to her baby shower. Given the circumstances and that it happened seventeen years ago, many people naturally assume something terrible befell her. It's revealed Norman murdered her; he recalls that she pleaded with him to spare her for the sake of her unborn children, which didn't work; given that their own twins died at birth, it's implied this only made Norman want Theresa dead even more.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Tasia goes on the campaign with her troops while pregnant, getting stabbed in the belly by one of her own guards who an enemy mind controls into attacking her, with her baby being killed.
  • In A Day of Fallen Night, Glorian "Shieldheart" Berethnet, the young queen of Inys, has no choice but to get pregnant at the very moment her country is locked in a brutal war with fire-breathing dragons and their spawn. Because Berethnet queens are believed to keep the biggest dragon of them dormant, and her mother is dead, Glorian needs a baby pronto to ensure the seal is maintained. She spends her whole pregnancy moving from one stronghold to another to direct her forces and keep ahead of the dragons and gives birth while under siege in a cavern.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Legend of Xiao Chuo: Yan Yan is pregnant when Xi Yin tries to murder her.
  • The Glamorous Imperial Concubine: Du Wan is executed while pregnant.
  • Bones: Simultaneously subverted and invoked in one episode when a pregnant Brennan is stuck inside a prison during a riot. She gets through a violent mob by simply marching through it, as some of the more morally-conscious inmates actively protect her when they see the pregnant lady in danger.
  • Dark Hole: Ji-hye is attacked by zombies while heavily pregnant.
  • Mouse (2021): Ji-eun is attacked and almost killed while pregnant. Unusually she deliberately put herself in danger and was trying to get killed.
  • Princess Agents: Taken to horrific extremes when Yan Hong Xiao is murdered during her pregnancy.
  • The King's Woman:
    • Ying Zheng puts Gongsun Li through hell when he discovers she's pregnant with Jing Ke's child. Forcing her to fight a duel, almost choking her, threatening to kill her and her unborn baby...
    • Lady Han is murdered while pregnant, because of Min Dai.
  • In the second episode of the short-lived 2000 ABC series Wonderland, a pregnant doctor gets stabbed in the stomach with a syringe by a mental patient.
  • Chernobyl has a housewife of a firefighter exposed to her radioactive husband when she visits him in the hospital. Unaware of the true circumstances of her husband's condition, she chooses to stay with him despite repeated warnings from hospital staff not to physically interact with the patients. She is later revealed to be pregnant through the whole ordeal. As with real life, Lyudmilla Ignatenko eventually gave birth to a baby girl... who lived for a total of 4 hours due to absorbing most of her mother's radiation.
  • Played with in Desperate Housewives. A pregnant Bree gets stabbed in the belly. However, no blood appears because it's a fake belly. But it does threaten to uncover the truth.
  • Ezel: In a particularly disturbing example, amoral antagonists Cengiz and Temmuz plot to circumvent a temporary truce between Ramiz and Kenan by exploiting a loophole: they can't kill a person, but no one said anything about foetuses. Temmuz takes the pregnant Azad hostage in a supermarket while taunting a frantic Ali over the telephone; what he specifically does to her isn't shown, but it's enough to make her bleed. Fortunately her baby survives the encounter, but she is understandably shaken by the incident and hospitalized afterward.
  • NUMB3RS: In "Backscatter", one of the bank workers being held hostage is pregnant.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Friday's Child", a usurper named Ma'ab kills Aka'ar, the Teer (tribal king), in an attempted coup. He then demands Aka'ar's pregnant wife Eleen and her unborn son killed, as the unborn son is the true heir of succession, and Kirk, Spock and McCoy have to go on the run with Eleen to keep her safe.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • The NCIS Christmas Episode "Newborn King" had the team defending a very pregnant Marine from mercenaries trying to get the baby, due to it being, if male, the only surviving heir to an Afghan tribe. (She'd fallen in love with the previous heir, who was later killed by the Taliban.) A Maternity Crisis ensues and Gibbs ends up delivering the baby in a gas station while Ziva fights off the mercs in the next room.
  • Happens to Aeryn in Farscape as she is tortured and repeatedly threatened with both her death and the child's. Contrary to the usual trope her pregnancy is not visible at the time.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • A pregnant character is stabbed multiple times in the belly at one point, leading to the death of both her and her child. For bonus points, the character is a Canon Foreignernote  so the producers only added the pregnancy storyline for drama and gore points.
    • Daenerys is imperiled multiple times during her pregnancy, first by her brother, which completely breaks their tenuous familial bond, and later by a wine merchant who seeks to poison her. She ends up miscarrying when the witch Mirri Maz Duur casts a spell that keeps Daenerys's husband alive but brain dead, at the cost of her unborn child.
  • House of the Dragon: While not physically imperiled, the stress of the news of her father's death and The Coup of House Hightower tragically send Rhaenyra Targaryen into premature labor, killing the child.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • As Teyla nears the end of her pregnancy, Michael kidnaps her to use her son as a testbed for his human-wraith hybrids. One Alternate Universe shows that had he finished his experiments, he would have created an army that would have effectively taken over the Pegasus Galaxy, but Teyla never saw it. In the proper time, the team manages to save Teyla and her baby.
    • In another episode, Teyla is using her limited psychic skills gained from her Wraith DNA to temporarily People Puppet a particularly strong Wraith Queen, who are the psychic heavyweights of their vampiric race. Trapped in her own mind, the Queen wonders how Teyla is suddenly so strong that she could pose a challenge for her until she realizes that Teyla's unborn son is helping her, and the Queen nearly kills the child in return with her mental powers before Teyla has Sheppard shoot her.
  • Stargate SG-1: Vala is chained outside for three days without food or water while heavily pregnant as punishment for supposedly conspiring against the Ori. It turns out to have been a Secret Test of Character by the anti-Ori resistance to ensure they could trust her.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Amy is once kidnapped while pregnant because the Silence's boss thinks that her unborn child could be a Time Lord. Not to mention all of the situations she ends up getting into with the Doctor, including her husband dying. Something like ten times.
    • In the episode "Amy's Choice", one fake version of Amy is pregnant and trapped in a small town with aliens disguised as the elderly (again) ready to disintegrate everyone, but mostly her family. To get away, she drives a van into a cottage. And her husband dies. Three times. In one episode.
  • In Grimm, one of Sgt. Wu's Filipino friends gets attacked by an aswang, which nearly kills her fetus while she was sleeping. Nick and Hank were able to resolve the situation and save her again from the monster.
  • In Sons of Anarchy, Tara is kidnapped in the second season. When one of the kidnappers tries to kick her in the stomach, she begs him not to because she is pregnant. He stops and hits her in the face instead.
  • Rizzoli & Isles has Jane helping a teenage witness survive while trapped in a warehouse with a hitman. She is far from delicate and survives many perilous situations while pregnant, but Jane later loses the baby after the hitman hits her in the stomach with a pipe.
  • Similar to above, in Chicago P.D., Officer Kim Burgess, who's pregnant with her partner's child, goes into a crime scene alone to rescue a teenage sex trafficking victim from being murdered by a violent pimp. She gets assaulted for her effort and, while she's able to shoot the pimp dead in self-defense, miscarries the baby as a result.
  • In the pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire, a pregnant Margaret is beaten so severely by her Domestic Abuser husband that she miscarries.
  • Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter: Aspiring actress Greta begins an affair with a Gestapo officer to protect her Jewish boyfriend. Later in the war she confronts him by revealing that he has gotten her pregnant and should provide for his out-of-wedlock child. He responds by beating her so severely that she miscarries, then has her arrested.
  • Containment features a nine-months-pregnant teenager who is trapped in the cordoned off section of the city with the virus that kills people within 48 hours.
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • Lori goes through a lot of angst in season 2 upon discovering she is pregnant. She tries to decide whether to even keep the baby, since they are living in the apocalypse, and fails to keep it a secret from the group. The unborn child becomes a source of conflict between Rick and Shane, who argue over who is the father. Then early in season 3 Lori finally gives birth to the baby in an emergency C-Section, but although the baby lives she herself does not survive the procedure.
    • Maggie, along with Carol, gets taken hostage by some of the Saviours whilst pregnant. Fortunately, both of them manage to kill their captors and escape.
    • Later on, Maggie is among the cast members who end up at Negan's mercy, and this is after they've spent most of the episode trying to get her to a safe place with a doctor because she's started having complications. After coming close to death and watching her own husband and father of the unborn child get brutally murdered right in front of her, it's a miracle she didn't have a miscarriage.
  • The second season of Veronica Mars starts with a bus crash that kills everyone on board except for Meg Manning who's later discovered to be pregnant. She later succumbs to her injuries, but they're able to save the baby.
  • In the Marple episode "The Blue Geranium", an adaptation of the short story from The Thirteen Problems, a six-months-pregnant woman is strangled...and that isn't even the primary mystery!
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where Martin Short plays the villain of the week, it's revealed that one character is not her child's mother at all. She assaulted a woman very close to giving birth, and cut the unborn fetus out of her body to steal it, killing her in the process. The child is returned to his grieving father by the end of the episode.
  • In the fourth season finale of The Flash, the Big Bad of the season attacks Cecile (Who temporarily gained psychic powers and was using them to help defeat him), while she is close to giving birth. Thankfully, he is stopped before he can cause any significant damage.
  • The average Soap Opera is bound to put at least a third of their heroines through varying versions of this. As the World Turns's Emily was even kidnapped and was off-screen for several months to make allowances for the actress's maternity leave, being found just in time for the delivery.
  • Motive: In "The Dead Hand", Det. Mazur (who has just learned that she is pregnant) is one of the detectives in the squad room when a woman with a bomb walks in and threatens to blow the place up. Angie, knowing that Mazur is pregnant, arranges for her and Lucas to be released to investigate the woman's case. Mazur is later ashamed that she accepted so readily and left Angie to face the danger alone.
  • Miami Vice: Crockett's second wife Caitlin is six weeks pregnant at the time of her murder. Crockett doesn't find out about the pregnancy until her autopsy.
  • Several Without a Trace episodes featured the disappearance of pregnant women. Ironically, in no instance was the baby's father responsible, note  even though in one instance, the man was abusive (the woman was trying to escape from him).
  • An episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation had the team investigating a mass shooting at a diner. One of the victims is an employee who's discovered to be pregnant in her autopsy. The shooting is initially thought to be a mob hit until they discover the employee hadn't told her parents about her pregnancy and find out the diner's owner, also the baby's father, shot everyone starting with her.
  • In a Law & Order episode based on the Chandra Levy case, it's revealed that the Levy Expy was pregnant and both refusing to have an abortion as well as threatening to go public, which would have destroyed the politician's marriage and reputation. It turned out his WIFE hired a hitman to kill the girl in order to kill two birds with one stone — get rid of her and frame her husband.
  • Riley in Sense8 has several flashbacks throughout the first season where she relives the tragic car accident that took her husband's life while she was in labor. She had to have her baby in a turned upside down car, during a snow storm, with her husband's corpse lay next to her. The baby then died of exposure to the Icelandic winter while Riley was trying to hike them to safety.
  • Underground: Rosalee, due to continuing her slave-rescuing work while heavily pregnant, is endangered more than once. The father, Noah, is furious when he finds this out.
  • The Barrier:
    • The pregnant mistress of a minister who died in a suspicious accident has a pregnancy complication while preparing to go on the run from the authorities. This results in the protagonists moving her from her apartment to theirs rather than taking her to the hospital. While in her new temporary hiding place, she spots the photo of a little girl who lives in the appartement. This, combined with the scare of losing her own child, results in her spilling out the secret because of which she's at risk for a She Knows Too Much death.
    • Manuela, who is in a relationship with her employer's son, catches the deadly virus that going around after being established to be in an early stage of pregnancy.
  • The Rookie (2018): Angela's kidnapped to Guatemala in the Season 4 opener while six months pregnant. This is somewhat subverted as her kidnapper doesn't want to harm her (or more specifically her unborn baby) and provides her with great medical care and her own personal home as her captivity placement (to have her avoid stress in her pregnancy). However, the entire point of her plan is to exact revenge on Angela by taking her baby and raising the child as her own, disposing of Angela as soon as the baby is born.
  • Midnight Sun (2016): Jenny-Ann, who's nearly full term, is put in harm's way multiple times. First she's knocked against a table on her belly when a fight breaks out near her (but thankfully the baby's fine). Later she's targeted for death with her child by the killer, but is rescued by the Sami.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Aiel woman Tigraine, while full term, manages to fight multiple men before being stabbed in the side. She nonetheless gives birth to her son (Rand), who is unharmed, before dying.
  • Lost:
    • Claire Littleton was eight months pregnant during the plane crash that kicks off the series. She briefly experiences contractions during the initial chaos but they appear to have been triggered by shock as they go away once things calm down. She's then kidnapped by The Others who hold her captive for a few days. She escapes and makes it back to her fellow survivors in time to give birth to her son.
    • Ana Lucia was a cop who got shot in the line of duty which caused her to miscarry her unborn child. Once she recovers and is back on patrol she hunts down the man responsible and kills him, her last words to him being "I was pregnant".
  • Keep Breathing: Liv is stranded in the Canadian wilderness with no one to help and facing the perils which this brings when in the early months of pregnancy. The most dire situation is when Liv falls into a crevice where she gets trapped, then falls down a mountain and goes in the river on a log where she nearly drowns.
  • Mayfair Witches: After it turns out Rowan's pregnant by Ciprien, Lasher tries to use her baby as a "doorway" into the world so he won't remain as a spirit anymore.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • When Lita was carrying Kane's baby, they ended the angle when Gene Snitsky knocked Kane into Lita which made her fall off the apron of the ring, losing the baby.
  • In IWA Puerto Rico, Genesis had a habit of ducking out of matches with La Amazona. She was injured, she was sick, ect. When she came to Amazona with "I'm pregnant", well Amazona did not seem to believe her, slapping Genesis after giving her congrats, causing EMTs to swarm to Genesis's aid before Amazona could do anything else
  • Later that same year (2008), Portia Perez went after mom to be and SHIMMER co founder Allison Danger. Unlike La Amazona, there was no mitigating circumstance, Perez knew exactly what she was doing, taking the opportunity to end the career of a rival (who was still nursing a collar bone broken by Cheerleader Melissa) and aiming to end something else along with it. This incident is also largely why the Eagles Club Audience loves referee Bryce Remsburg.
  • Thankfully subverted the next year in WSU when Princess Jana snapped and beat the stuffing out of her Soul Sisters partner Luscious Latasha, who had revealed she had been avoiding tagging in because she discovered she was pregnant. After getting back from the hospital it was revealed Latasha was not pregnant. Latasha was still upset with Jana because she wasn't lying, just mistaken.

    Video Games 
  • This trope is pretty much the entire point of Cayne, where your pregnant protagonist finds herself in a space facility with monsters hunting after her, while being stalked by enemies who wants to steal her baby.
  • Machine Hunter have the alien-occupied hospital level, converted by the invaders into becoming a bio-lab. Like every other stage you'll need to rescue the hostages present, and many of the hostages in this particular stage are pregnant women, trapped in rooms containing hostile alien monsters or are otherwise incapacitated.
  • Star Trek Online: In the Foundry mission "Bait and Switch" one of the slaves kidnapped by the Orion Syndicate is a six-months-pregnant Romulan. She and her husband get rescued by the Player Character.
  • In the opening of Valkyria Chronicles Martha is about nine months pregnant when the Empire invades Bruhl, and she and Isara held at gunpoint by a pair of Imperial troopers. Welkin and Isara manage to kill both troopers, but naturally the baby chooses that exact moment to show up.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: The conclusion to one questline involves you tracking down the woman pregnant with the first human child to be born in the Andromeda galaxy, in the hopes of averting this trope This turns into a Maternity Crisis when you catch up to her and find that she's in labor, just in time for a kett battalion to show up followed by a Roekarr ambush. Thankfully, the child lives.

  • The carnivore supremacy terrorist group N.O.P.E. end up turning their attacks on the pregnant Lindesfarne Dewclaw in Kevin & Kell after the termite she spared because she was full ratted them out. It doesn't help that she's an insectivore and was expecting a half-hedgehog, half-bat who technically has some human ancestry too. Long story.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: In the Distant Prologue, an Apocalyptic Gag Order intially causes The Plague to be officially a week-long virus from which recovery is fairly easy, but with possible complications for pregnant women. One of the female characters of the Finland segment is pregnant, which makes her situation worrying even before the Apocalyptic Gag Order gets lifted in the later part of the segment.

    Web Videos 
  • 7-Second Riddles: Several riddles involve pregnant women being put in danger, either because of stupidity making them do dangerous things, or for the audience to solve riddles surrounding the circumstances. Either way, if a pregnant woman is involved, she'll most likely be in trouble.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: "Lady & Peebles" sees the two titular characters search a dangerous ice cave to find a lost Finn and Jake, with Lady being quite fretful about possibly never seeing Jake again. When they discover the main culprit, Ricardio, has poisoned Finn and Jake, he takes Lady and ties her in a knot. A couple days later, while everybody's recovering in the hospital, Princess Bubblegum apologizes for putting Lady in danger after seeing several other dots on Lady's heart monitor. Lady then tearfully reveals to Jake that she's pregnant with puppies.
  • Gender-inverted in the first season finale of Human Resources (2022). Maury gets caught in a flooding bathroom after finding out he's pregnant, and it's up to Connie (the baby's other parent) to save him, despite them fighting over whether he should keep the baby or not.
  • Solar Opposites: Cherie ends up pregnant from her sexual relationship with Tim, which she unfortunately finds out while hiding out in a toy ship from a crazed mother possum with limited food and water with only the Duke to keep her company. She manages to survive the nine months and traverse the dangerous backyard alone, but goes into labor alone while stuck inside a Pez dispenser that Jesse is currently using, and only avoids getting eaten by sheer luck.
  • Although not revealed until the Distant Finale, in Star Wars Rebels, Hera was certainly pregnant with her and Kanan's son while she imprisoned by the Empire, as Kanan dies during her rescue.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury or death for pregnant women, with most experts agreeing that the third trimester is when a woman is most likely to be beaten or murdered by her partner, particularly if the relationship was already abusive and/or the pregnancy is unintended/unwanted. This is such a prevalent issue that evaluation for domestic violence is a legally mandated portion of prenatal care in the US. Notorious examples include Grace Brown note , Reyna Angelica Marroquin, Carol Stuart, Cherica Adams, Laci Peterson, Lori Hacking note , Jessie Davis, Anna Sharpe and Shanann Wattsnote . Michelle Baker survived her boyfriend's actionsnote , but her child was stillborn at 28 weeks.
  • In an accidental case, Rose Bard, a fishing boat technician, was horribly injured in a freak accident (a piece of machinery activated while she was standing inside it to clean it, causing her legs to be caught in the machinery) just hours after learning she was pregnant. Bard ended up losing both of her legs but survived, and her baby was born healthy seven months later, having miraculously suffered no ill effects from his mother's ordeal.
  • While incredibly rare, there are cases of people who have attacked pregnant women in order to steal their babies and pass them off as their own.
  • In a more mundane example, pregnancy itself can lead to potentially life-threatening medical conditions (such as eclampsia or abnormal blood clots). Most of these are rare and/or treatable with modern medicine, but a small percentage of women do still die every year from complications of pregnancy or birth.
  • The diary of Murasaki Shikibu includes preparations for the imminent delivery of Empress Shōshi's first child. Everyone is very on edge, believing the dangers of pregnancy are caused by evil spirits, and have set up all sorts of defenses against them. There are hordes of priests constantly praying, various rituals being enacted night and day, as well as other women pretending to be in labor as decoys. When the Empress births a son with no issues there are several days of celebrations.