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Maternity Crisis

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Melena: I think today's the day. Look how low I've gone.
Frexspar: Today? That would be like you, perverse and inconvenient. The worst possible moment for my ministry. Naturally.

If a woman in fiction is established as near-term pregnant, and there comes an event that would be the worst possible time for her to go into labor, the baby is going to pick that time to be born.

Doesn't matter if it's drama or comedy, doesn't matter when the baby was actually expected to be due, doesn't matter if The End of the World as We Know It is approaching — it's coming now, and the cast is going to have to deal with it on top of whatever crisis plagues them. A Delivery Guy will have to go into action quickly here.

Its frequency in fiction aside, this is otherwise actually not as unrealistic as it sounds. The stress caused by extreme or sudden psychological or physical trauma can cause a near-term woman to go into labor, and an earthquake, attack by an army of mooks, apocalypse or the like have been known to be very stressful.

The most common exception, oddly enough, is any episode where the mother is already expecting to go into labor any moment and the drama around the birth itself is the point of the episode.

Compare Imperiled in Pregnancy. Super-Trope of Born in an Elevator. Frequently involves Instant Birth: Just Add Labor! and a Screaming Birth. Sister Trope to Away in a Manger, which is a near-term pregnant woman in a Christmas Episode giving birth on or near Christmas. This may overlap with Born During a Storm. Related to Premature Birth Drama.

The Other Wiki has an article on some births that may occur during this trope.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A very real fear in Amakusa 1637, since a heavily pregnant Japanese Christian woman named Yone is placed in a Drowning Pit alongside the local Hooker with a Heart of Gold. In the end Yone goes into labor few after she's taken out of there by Natsuki and Co., but she and the baby are more or less fine.
  • In Barefoot Gen, Gen's mother Kimie goes into labor the day the atomic bomb falls on Hiroshima, after watching her husband and two of her children burn to death. Six-year-old Gen is the only one around, so he has to help. (All of the doctors and nurses are too busy trying to help the bomb victims.) Sadly, baby Tomoko dies shortly afterwards as well, because Kimie (like many people in her community) is starving due to the high cost of food, and because of that, her milk dries up. Gen works to get powdered milk for Tomoko, but by the time he manages to save enough money and buy some, it's too late; Tomoko has starved to death.
  • The climax of the first half of the second season of CLANNAD deals with Tomoya and Nagisa preparing for the birth of their baby daughter Ushio, with Nagisa wanting to give birth at home despite her weak constitution, while Tomoya tries to convince her to give birth in hospital. Nagisa eventually relents, but then they get trapped in their house by a freak blizzard just as Nagisa goes into labour with only Nagisa's mother Sanae on hand to try and help. The baby is fortunately delivered safely, but Nagisa dies.
  • In Coppelion, Ibuki enters into labor when the ordinary humans of the cast desperately need to evacuate. The team attempted to defy this by getting her airlifted to a hospital but can't get a helicopter. Just to make things even more complicated, they can't transfer her out of the sealed trailer because the area is irradiated, and she can't get into a Hazmat Suit while in labor.
  • In the first episode of Tide-Line Blue, the stress of the attack on Yabitsu sends Isla into labor. Bad news: Keel is a Satisfied Street Rat with no medical knowledge whatsoever, despite having a crush on her and hanging out with her regularly enough for her to tell him her due date — next month, so the baby is on the edge of premature. Good news: Keel's twin brother Teen shows up, and he has all the necessary skills to safely deliver the baby. Bad news: he's one of the people attacking the city.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. Zoe is very heavily pregnant and goes into labor in issue #1. However, instead of her picking a bad time to give birth, she has complications from childbirth and starts bleeding internally. Simon doesn't have the equipment to save her, and Serenity is forced to break cover to get her to a hospital, where she's arrested.
  • Spider-Woman: In Shifting Gears, Jessica Drew gives birth to her son while the alien hospital she's visiting is invaded by Skrull. Surviving the situation and the emergency c-section is somewhat justified, given that she is on a hospital and is stronger with better healing abilities than most people thanks to her Spider-Woman powers, but still.

    Comic Strips 
  • Baby Blues: When Wanda and Yolanda get pregnant around the same time (Wanda's third and Yolanda's second), the two families decide that when one needs to go to the hospital, the other family will watch the kids. So, of course, Wanda and Yolanda end up going into labor at the exact same time in the middle of the night. Darryl and Mike have no choice but to drop both sets of kids off with their other neighbor, Bunny (who was not informed that she was "Plan B"), before taking their wives to the hospital.
  • Safe Havens:
    • Rain starts coming down in freezing weather, leading to iced roads. So of course Ming and Jenny go into labor at the same time. Somewhat downplayed, as Ming had always planned to give birth at home anyway, but still. To be fair, Dave shouldn't have tempted fate like that.
      Dave: I don't want to think about being iced in with two pregnant women on their due date.
      Jenny: Ug. This party dip makes my stomach hurt...every ten minutes...
    • Samantha ends up going into labor right as the crew of Fastrack One lands on Mars. This, by technicality, makes her daughter Maria a Martian.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Nix in the Mill-Pond", the main character's mother gives birth right before her husband is tricked into promising a nixie "that which has just been born in [his] house".

    Fan Works 
  • In Apprentice and Pregnant, Hollypaw gives birth to her kits in the middle of an attack.
  • The Arithmancer: Fleur goes into labour in Chapter 67 of the sequel Lady Archimedes, just after her husband and several other family members escaped from Malfoy Manor during a mission gone wrong and in the middle of a war. She had to have a home birth in fear of Death Eaters guarding St. Mungo's hurting them.
  • Inverted in Extended Stay when the Warden and the Mistress get married while Mistress is eight months pregnant. However, just as they are about to kiss and wrap up the ceremony, her water breaks in front of everyone. A chapter later, she gives birth to mixed-gender twins.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero: Kyon was born during the Watanagashi festival ceremony. This was a heavy weight on his mother because, due to the birth's timing and the meaning of the festival, some of the Hinamizawa villagers believed Kyon to be the representation of his mother's sin.
  • As flashbacks in Offspring show, Mipha laid her eggs while out with her husband Link visiting Hyrule Castle. As a result, the eggs were hatched far from Zora's Domain.
  • Restraint: Azula and Ty Lee's daughter Azusami was born during a militia's attempt at taking over their city.
  • In Chapter One of the Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic A Rose and a Thorn 2: Eclipse, after a perfect day, watching a perfect sunset, a nervous Shadow is trying to give Amy his carefully planned wedding proposal when she goes into labour on the beach. It wouldn't be so bad, if not that he's apparently been trying to get up the courage to do it for weeks now. After the birth, everybody's too tired and stressed.
    Shadow's train of thought came to a full stop, "Uh... You what?!" The baby was coming? The baby was coming! Shadow's eyes widened and his mind raced to find an appropriate response and course of action. Finally, after several long seconds of deep thought, the trap-like mind of the Ultimate Lifeform came up with a brilliant plan, "We need to get you to the hospital!"
  • In Pre-Parental Panic, the fourth entry in The Smeet Series, Lena, who's in the last term of her pregnancy goes into labor when she's being held hostage by Vortian prisoners.
  • In Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future, all the main characters are out camping in the woods. Cindy begins to go into labor while Jimmy and the rest of the group go into the woods to find Junior after he goes missing. Tammy has to deliver the baby while everyone else has to rescue Junior from the SpongeCog robots.
  • Marjorie Wayne has her labor induced by Strange during the Batman: Arkham City fanfic The Last Laugh moments after she and her husband are arrested.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 20 Days in Mariupol: In this documentary about the early days of the siege of Mariupol during the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February-March 2022, journalist Mstyslav Chernov spends some time in a maternity hospital, where childbirths happen while the city is shelled and Russian tanks start rolling in the streets and shooting at buildings.
  • In Apocalypto, Jaguar Paw's wife Seven goes into labor while at the bottom of a pit that's filling with water from the heavy rain.
  • Ashfall: Ji-yeong's labor starts just as the hospital she makes it to starts crumbling due to an earthquake. She later has to give birth in a medical tent.
  • Children of Men: Kee, who is carrying the first human baby to be born in 18 years, starts going into labor while her escorts Theo and Miriam are trying to smuggle her through a refugee checkpoint. It is very important that Kee's pregnancy not be discovered by the wrong people, so when a guard notices Kee's obvious distress, Miriam is forced to create a diversion and is subsequently arrested and escorted away, never to be seen again.
  • Cyclone (1978): Tour boat passenger Monica is about seven months pregnant when she gives birth while Lost at Sea, with no medical instruments and little food and water to go around. She, her baby, and even her husband all survive without many ill effects.
  • Subverted in Die Hard when Holly requests a sofa for her pregnant secretary. Hans begins to roll his eyes at the situation, but Holly tells him that the baby isn't due for another few weeks. The baby is not born during the events of the movie.
  • Father of the Bride - Part II features two concurrent pregnancies of George Bank's adult daughter Annie, and his wife Nina so gets to play this for comedy and then for drama. Annie's waters break on the same night George has managed to accidentally knock himself out with sleeping pills leading the family and Franck their party planner/interior designer friendnote  scrambling to get to the hospital whilst George is out of it. Then on the same night Nina's waters break earlier than expected and she has to have an emergency c-section.
  • In Final Destination 2, the main characters believe that they won't have to die if the pregnant woman gives birth, so the police pick her up and keep her in a jail cell to make sure that she is safe. Cue her water breaking and the cop driving her to a hospital... It turns out that she can't save them because in the initial timeline, while everyone died, the pregnant lady actually survived.
  • Subverted in Mad Max: Fury Road. Angharad clutches her stomach and gasps in pain while hiding from the Rock Riders, but it turns out that the baby is just squirming and kicking painfully. A brief shot of her bare stomach during the ensuing chase shows him kicking so hard that her skin stretches.
  • In On the Buses, Olive begins going into labour on the way to the hospital for a checkup but runs into trouble when the sidecar she's riding in detaches from Arthur's motorbike. Luckily a bus is passing by and as the driver is a mate of Stan's, Olive is able to safely give birth at St. Luke's Maternity Hospital.
  • A Quiet Place: Evelyn goes into labor on an isolated homestead when her family is out fishing, then makes a noise that attracts one of the vicious alien predators with Super-Hearing that have overrun the planet. She's stuck desperately trying to remain silent during her contractions while the monster prowls the house, until her husband sets off fireworks as a distraction.
  • Star Trek (2009): James T. Kirk's mother goes into labour during Nero's attack on his father's ship. His father gets the news of his son's birth just before he gets killed.
  • Taxi 2 starts with the protagonist driving a woman in labor and her husband to the hospital.

  • In The Bible, the stress of hearing that her husband died in battle and the Ark of the Covenant was lost is enough to not only kill the already very old High Priest Eli but also send his daughter-in-law into labor.
  • Discworld:
    • In Night Watch, Lady Sybil goes into labour just as Sam Vimes returns from a trip to the past. But Sam returns naked. He has to run across the city in the nude to be with her. He also has to choose to be with her over and above hunting the villain who was returned with him. Sam decides Carcer the villain can wait.
    • Referenced in Monstrous Regiment, when Lieutenant Blouse is let in on the secret that everyone in the squad is pulling a Sweet Polly Oliver and one of them is expecting a baby, and he has to be hastily reassured that it's not expected to make an appearance for several months.
  • In Middlesex, one woman gives birth during the great fire of Smyrna, surrounded by fellow refugees crammed up against the harbor. She and her baby most likely died.
  • Patriot Games: Cathy Ryan goes into labor as the family home is being invaded by Irish militants. Luckily, she able to be evacuated to the hospital in time.
  • The Someday Birds: When Ludmila was nine, her mother went into labor during the Siege of Sarajevo while the family was hiding in the basement of their apartment building. She left to go the maternity hospital, which was bombed shortly after she arrived. She and the baby never made it out.
  • When wyrms attack the Silver Isles in The Summer King Chronicles, the gryfon pride's heavily pregnant females are marched through labyrinthine underground tunnels to hide, and it's implied that the stress is what causes them to go into labor.
  • Not really a "maternity" crisis, since in this case the birth is an egg hatching, but seen in the third book of the Temeraire series. Of all the times for a baby dragon to hatch, it would have to be just as the cast is on the run through enemy territory with almost no food, right?
  • Austin Family: In The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle, Victoria Austin goes into labor on Christmas Eve and has no way to get to the hospital because a blizzard has made all the roads impassable. Fortunately, her husband is a doctor with plenty of obstetric experience, so he helps her deliver the baby at home and all goes well.
  • Warrior Cats: A heavily pregnant Sorreltail goes into labor when ThunderClan is being invaded by badgers, who fully intend to kill every one of these uppity newcomers. She and her litter survive, but Cinderpelt gives her life protecting them. She gets better, though.
  • Wicked begins with Elphaba's unfortunately timed birth. Her father must go to another town to preach on that day. The first lines of the first chapter even revolve around discussing this.
  • Kitty Warren from Wicked Good was working through the Perfect Storm when she unexpectedly went into labor and gave birth at the bar.
  • In Wings of Fire, a variation occurs in the Lost Continent arc: Blue and Cricket decide to steal an egg from the HiveWing hatchery to prevent Queen Wasp from stinging it with her mind-control poison. The egg hatches right as they start going on the run into the incredibly dangerous Poison Jungle, both endangering their escape (as they must protect the hatching egg) and meaning they must now traverse a treacherous jungle with a newborn dragonet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children:
    • Brooke goes into labor while trapped in a wrecked car after an accident.
    • Desperate to reconcile with his pregnant wife Gloria, Adam kidnaps her and takes her to a cabin to plead his case. He's actually making progress until the stress sends her into premature labor and the baby dies.
  • Bella and the Bulldogs: It's bad enough that the Bulldogs' playoff game is moved to the same day as Pepper's mom's baby shower, which Bella said she'd attend. No problem, they just smush all the activities into half the time and get out with plenty of time to spare. Cue Pepper's mom going into labor...with her husband fishing at the lake... and only Bella, a hyperventilating Pepper, and a fainting Sophie there to help her. And the only one not in labor with even a driving permit is Bella... meaning a 15-year-old girl who's had one ("technically one and a half") driving lesson is driving a woman in labor to the hospital... and trying to finally get to the playoff game.
  • Bones:
    • Brennan goes into labor while investigating a homicide inside a prison.
    • Angela and Daisy both go into labor in the lab during Murder case investigations.
  • In Breaking Bad, Skyler goes into labor at the exact time Walt's frantically trying to pull off a massive drug deal with Gus, and he ends up missing Holly's birth while her boss Ted takes his place.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Lights Out", Amy goes into labor while attempting to help coordinate the police response to a citywide blackout. She (badly) attempts to hide the pain of her contractions for so long, that when she finally admits she can't handle it anymore, she's forced to give birth in the precinct because she doesn't have time to reach the hospital.
  • Call the Midwife, being about midwifery, features its share of such situations. Notably:
    • A woman falls while hanging the laundry. She has a concussion and is in labor, nine weeks early, with her 25th child... and the only people home with her are children too young to help.
    • A Jamaican woman who can't get through to the midwives by phone walks all the way to the steps of Nonnatus House, then gives birth in the hallway.
    • The daughter of a Swedish sea captain lives in a cabin so tiny that there's no room to spread her legs to give birth. The midwives have to take a rowboat and then climb a rope ladder to get to her.
    • A woman goes into labor as her father is dying and refuses to leave his side or lie down on a bed. She gives birth kneeling on the floor while Nurse Leigh lies on the floor to catch the baby.
  • Castle: Ryan's wife Jenny goes into labor at the same time her husband and Esposito become trapped in a burning building. In a twist, the mother is taken care of without a hitch; the crisis here is whether Ryan will survive the fire (he does).
  • Both of Piper's pregnancies in Charmed (1998):
    • She gives birth to Wyatt while all magic on Earth is temporarily disabled; her sisters are forced to fight a pizzeria full of demons with makeshift weapons while Piper herself is tended by a demonic midwife who intends to abduct Wyatt and raise him for evil.
    • She goes into near-premature labor with Chris while the moralities of the world have been reset. Her home reality (the Good world) has become a world where the slightest indiscretion is punished by death (Phoebe is shot and left to bleed out for double-parking), and she herself has been brainwashed to the point that her difficult labor and risk of Chris being stillborn warrant little more than a "drat, but oh well."
  • Criminal Minds:
    • The unsub in "The Gatekeeper" has been murdering "bad influences" to prove to his pregnant estranged wife that he can be a good father to their new son (their older son was accidentally killed by a friend while fake wrestling when he stepped out of the room, for which they both blame him). She's already slightly overdue when he breaks into her house, murders her brother, and holds her hostage to show her his scrapbook of victims, so it's no wonder she promptly goes into labor.
    • Averted with main character pregnancies. JJ takes maternity leave in plenty of time for both her sons, who are born without much fanfare. Callahan's niece is abducted by human traffickers while she's heavily pregnant, and while the effects of stress on the baby are raised and it does keep her out of the field, at no point is her actually going into labor suggested.
  • Eastenders has an episode in which a woman goes into labor on a tube train that's being held at a signal.
  • Being a show about paramedics and hospitals, Emergency! has this crop up on occasion. The Pilot Movie even specifically points out that the rescue squad keeps an obstetrics kit on board for such occasions.
  • ER: Carol goes into labor while she's on the subway, having just left the hospital. She's in so much pain that she can't simply switch to another train to go back and when she manages to, a well-meaning passenger almost pulls the emergency brake (which would have stranded her and made things even worse). Just as she finally makes it back to the hospital stop, she collapses and has to be carried the last few feet by her co-worker Luka.
  • Family Ties: Elyse, singing a song during the fundraising telethon for her husband's PBS television station, goes into (early) labor live on the air. Her high note becomes a cry of pain. Steve, stuck watching at home because of a plumbing emergency, thinks she's never hit it better. Only when she abruptly stops singing and apologizes to the audience does he realize something is happening. Oh, and naturally there's a big snowstorm going on, making it impossible to travel to the hospital. She has to give birth at the station, while Steve struggles to even make it there in time.
  • The Farscape episode "The Peacekeeper Wars, Part 2" has Aeryn going into labor in the middle of a war zone. She initially doesn't stop shooting her enemies for it either ("SHOOTING MAKES ME FEEL BETTER!"), but she eventually (and reluctantly) has to turn the gun over to Crichton.
  • Firefly probably tops every example in this category by having a woman deliver a child in a bordello while the local mob boss and his hired thugs are shooting the place up. On the plus side, the Delivery Guy is Simon, who's a doctor (albeit not an OB/GYN) and therefore knows what he's doing.
  • Averted in Full House: Becky goes into labor during Michelle's birthday party, but mostly remains calm as she gets to the hospital. The worst thing that happens is that Michelle and her birthday guests are left alone for fifteen minutes, leading to them eating the birthday cake with their bare hands.
  • General Hospital: Lucy decides to go to a spa to relax in the last days of her pregnancy. She's carjacked on the way and manages to make her way to an abandoned cabin. Sure enough, her labor pains begin. Pal Scott finds her in time, but as he's not a doctor, she's still not out of the woods.
  • Zig-zagged in Good Luck Charlie. In season 1, the flashback to Charlie's birth has Amy fairly casually get up and get herself to the hospital. In season 3, for the 5th baby, Amy is a week late and wants the baby out. She tries to induce labor the day before Charlie's birthday, so the two youngest children didn't have to share a birthday. Naturally, she goes into labor the next day. Lampshaded at the beginning of the episode: "Wouldn't it be horrible if the baby came tomorrow?"
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Serena goes into labor while in No Man's Land. She is forced to deliver in a barn; and she does not fully trust the only person available to help her. And she is afraid that if she goes to a hospital, the Wheelers will find her and take her baby, as they do not think a widow is a fit mother.
  • In Highlander, Dr. Lindsey goes into labor after being caught in a tunnel collapse. Duncan ends up helping her deliver.
  • Thrice in How I Met Your Mother:
    • Once in the most awesome moment of television ever (in-universe) in Robin's so-early-it's-still-late morning show.
    • Once at Marshall and Lily's wedding (the harpist).
    • Then Lily herself, when she's sent Marshall off for a relaxing night of drinking and gambling in Atlantic City to get him out of her hair.
  • M*A*S*H: In the episode "The Kids", a pregnant teenage Korean girl is shot while making her way to the 4077. The doctors and nurses have to perform an emergency C-section to save both the baby and the mother. Luckily, they're successful, and Hawkeye gives the baby the Purple Heart he stole from Frank.
  • Midnight Caller: Devon goes into labor in the middle of her wedding ceremony, causing the priest to rush through the rest of it as quickly as possible. By the time he says, "You may kiss the bride," everyone has run out of the room.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Joy goes into labor with the baby she's surrogating for Liberty and Ray-Ray while Earl's old friend Frank holds her hostage in her own (formerly Frank's) trailer and makes her move the stove to get the money he hid behind it several years ago.
  • 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). To make matters worse, there's a power outage that knocks out the cell towers. Gibbs ends up delivering the baby in a gas station while Ziva fights off the mercs in the next room.
  • Happens during the Grand Finale of The New Normal with the surrogate mother Goldie going into labor with Bryan and David's son during their wedding.
  • In a season-ending two-parter of Night Court appropriately tiled "Hurricane", four expectant mothers are hauled into court due to the rookie cop mistaking a birthing video for porn. Because of the hurricane cutting off contact with the outside world, the staff has to deliver four babies at the same time.
  • The Partridge Family: Shirley goes into labor with Danny during a picnic, two weeks before he's due.
  • Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: Imogen begins having contractions as she gets chased by A, and her water breaks while fighting him off at her home.
  • "The Rookie": A criminal breaks into Nyla's house during her water birth. She takes him down alone and delivers her daughter.
  • In Rookie Blue a pregnant cop goes into labor shortly after another female cop is kidnapped and the entire precinct is mobilized to look for her. The pregnant cop gets to the hospital without much hassle but the baby's father is in charge of the search so she forbids anyone to call him so he will not be distracted.
  • Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace:
    • Ruyi goes into labour as the servants fight to extinguish the fire at Yihuan's palace.
    • Yanwan goes into labour after her mother is arrested. Yexin brings her the news of her mother's death while she's still in labour.
  • Saving Hope: Alex goes into labor while doing her surgical boards. Since it would be impossible to get them rescheduled and she can't imagine doing another year as a resident while being a new mother, she manages to finish the oral exam before rushing off to the hospital. Fortunately, Maggie leaves before the end of her exam to help; it's a good thing, too, since there are some complications which Maggie, as an OB/GYN resident, is uniquely qualified to handle.
  • Sense8: Riley's backstory involves a particularly tragic version of this. She went into labour during an Icelandic snowstorm and in their rush to get to a hospital her husband lost control of the car and crashed. He was killed instantly, and Riley was left to deliver their daughter alone in the overturned car. Once the baby had been delivered, she broke the car window and set out to hike back to safety, only to get lost in the mountains. By the time a rescue party found her, the baby had frozen to death in her arms.
  • Sisters: Second-youngest sister Georgie, nine months pregnant with the baby she's carrying for youngest sister Frankie, gets into a car accident and promptly goes into labor. It's not clear if she would have gone into labor regardless or if the accident triggered it.
  • In Squid Game, one of the factors behind Gi-hun's divorce is the fact that he wasn't there when his wife went into labor, forcing her to crawl for help; apparently, if she hadn't gotten medical attention in time, it might have killed both her and the baby. Of course, it's not the only reason, given that the divorce didn't happen until the daughter was about seven years old.
  • Lampshaded by John Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis when the city goes into quarantine and he is trapped with a heavily pregnant Teyla. (It's ultimately subverted in this case, but only because there's an even worse situation later: Teyla gives birth while trapped on an enemy ship.)
    Sheppard: It's just that every time one of these things happens in the movies, the pregnant woman goes into labor.
    Teyla: I am still a long way from my due date.
    Sheppard: Yeah, it's the same thing in the movies and then, wham!
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Keiko, wife of Miles O'Brien, whom has been established as pregnant in prior episodes, goes into labor in "Disaster", in the middle of a shipboard crisis resulting from a collision with a random Negative Space Wedgie, stranded in Ten Forward and with only Worf available to be the Delivery Guy. This gets a hilarious Call-Back in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Accession", when Miles and Keiko tell the rest of the crew that she's having a baby and a visibly alarmed Worf exclaims "Now?" Upon learning that it won't be for seven months, he decides to avoid this one by making plans to be away from the station at that time... far away... visiting his parents... on Earth.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • A sci-fi version appears in "Before and After". Kes is moving backward in her own timeline, and time-jumps into her earlier self just as she's giving birth on a shuttle that's about to rendezvous with a severely damaged Voyager which is under attack by a hostile alien species.
    • Averted in "Deadlock", in which the baby is born and then everything goes to hell.
    • B'Elanna Torres, the ship's chief engineer, goes into labor as "Endgame" is starting. However, this turns out to be false labor. She actually goes into labor right before they launch their mission, again depriving them of their chief engineer at a critical time.
  • Strong Medicine: Lu goes into labor while trapped in the rubble of a house explosion. To make matters worse, she has to talk her husband (who has zero medical training/experience) through doing a C-section. Luckily, a colleague arrives to take over.
  • The X-Files:
    • In "Agua Mala", Mulder, Scully, and a few other people are trapped in a flooded building with no power and an invisible jellyfish that liquifies people. As if there weren't enough problems already, a woman goes into labor.
    • "Existence" is the exception mentioned above — the entire episode revolves around Scully leaving town to give birth, hiding from the Super Soldiers who want to kidnap the baby. However, while in hiding, her water breaks right after "killing" Billy Miles and having the rest of the Super Soldiers descend on the abandoned town.
  • Yellowjackets: Shauna goes into labor while outside in the woods during a blizzard, far from shelter.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: One questline ends with you having to protect the woman pregnant with the first human to be born in the Andromeda galaxy as she's being attacked by the kett. To make it worse, after you stop the kett, the roekarr decide to show up. Thankfully, the child lives.
  • In Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Sybil goes into labor while the cast is about to return giant demonic Max to normal. Even Max, hedonist though he normally is, suddenly decides to help Sybil, which convinces Max's beleaguered and ignored superego that there is some genuine good in Max after all.

  • Hominids: Zona when she is in the middle of fighting Eetori and his goons. Just as she gets the upper hand, her water breaks immediately after an earthquake.
  • Kevin & Kell:
    • Danielle happens to go into labor on Election Night — however, the unprecedented amount of people going to the polls leaves her stuck in traffic, and she ends up giving birth at the house of, of all people, her brother Kevin's opponent in the school board election.
    • Lindesfarne's water breaks while she's being rescued from the carnivore supremacy terrorist group N.O.P.E. (as evidenced by one terrorist being sopping wet from it breaking over his head). However, Lindesfarne doesn't realize she's in labor until after the terrorists are arrested and carted off, and after the adrenaline wears off. (In case you're wondering how she missed such a big clue, the terrorists were trying to drown her.) To make matters worse, she's a good distance from civilization, being a counselor at a summer camp, and the only one qualified to deliver babies is busy with other patients from the terrorist attack. Luckily, with the help of Carl and Leona, she safely gives birth to her daughter Turvy.

    Web Original 
  • Ben Loka references this in his "Sitcom Cliches" video.
    "She's having a baby! NOW!"

    Western Animation 
  • Archer:
    • The title character was born this way when his mother went into labor while on the run from enemy spies in Tangiers. Malory had to give birth in a bar with only Woodhouse, who owned the bar in question, to help her.
    • Lana Kane goes into labor in the middle of a Banana Republic that's currently undergoing a coup. The delivery takes place in the airport which is currently acting as the rebels' base of operations. When she starts freaking out about the circumstances Malory brings up her own delivery of Archer to calm Lana down.
      Malory: Oh, please, like you're the only one who ever had a baby in a war zone.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In "Ears-y Rider", the One-Eyed Snakes are in a confrontation with Logan Bush's parents after the Snakes terrorize Logan into giving back Louise's trademark bunny-ear hat. Louise locks the door so that she doesn't miss any action, and naturally that's when one of the One-Eyed Snakes, Mudflap, goes into labor. Luckily for her, Logan's dad is a doctor.
    • In "Roamin' Bob-Iday", Mudflap and her biker friends hold a baby shower at the restaurant for her pregnant friend Goldie. Goldie has been hiding the fact she's in labor and, in a bizarre coincidence, also has her baby at the restaurant, without even a doctor on standby. Bob is out for most of the episode and is shocked, to say the least, to return to the disgusting scene (Gene used hamburger buns to mop up the blood).
  • In an episode of Family Guy, Peter gets into an altercation with a scruffy-looking individual who he punches in the face. Everyone is horrified and gives Peter a What the Hell, Hero? for hitting a woman, although Peter doesn't believe them. It turns out that the person Peter punched really is a woman, and pregnant, because she goes into labor right afterward.
  • Futurama: When Zoidberg goes into a reproductive frenzy, he loses control at a health club and crab-walks snarling into a prenatal aquarobics class. His arrival triggers enough stress to cause one woman to give birth (off-screen, but there's an audible splash and then a baby's cry), and the class's coach to call out for a doctor. When Zoidberg snarls that he's a doctor, more splashes and baby cries follow.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Arnold finds in his father's diary that when Miles and one friend were taking his mother Stella to the village and suddenly get caught in a volcano eruption, the poor woman went into labor — loudly. Luckily, they found shelter in some ancient ruins. The volcano calmed down right as Arnold was born. This goes unexplained. This actually would have been a plot point in the unmade "Jungle Movie": apparently, the eruption stopped right after Arnold was born, so the natives that Miles and Stella were staying with believe him to be some sort of godlike figure. As they're all comatose in the actual Jungle Movie, this doesn't get brought up in the film.
    • A variant: Arnold and his friends are stuck in a stalled subway car with a few other passengers, including a Blind Black Guy whose seeing-eye dog suddenly seems very sick. It turns out to be a case of Your Tomcat Is Pregnant (why a trained seeing-eye dog wasn't spayed is anyone's guess).
  • The Legend of Korra: Pema is pregnant all through the first season with her and Tenzin's fourth child, and yet it waits to be born when the Equalists launch their full attack on the city and Air Temple Island. The baby, a boy named Rohan, is born safely in the end.
  • Martha Speaks: It is revealed in "The Jakey Express" that Mariella went into labour while pregnant with Jake on a snowy day and the car had broken down. They weren't prepared either, as she wasn't expected to give birth until two weeks later.


Video Example(s):


Giving Birth Under Siege

Queen Victoria goes into labor when the palace is besieged by a mob of angry Chartists, and a near-miss by a flying brick causes her waters to break.

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Example of:

Main / MaternityCrisis

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