How to Look Pregnant

Three Parts:Choosing ClothingGetting the BellyWearing the Belly Convincingly

You’ve just gotten the role of a lifetime, but you have to appear to be pregnant. In addition to the pregnant belly you’ll need to wear, you’ll have to be aware of the different ways of walking, sitting, and standing that typifies pregnant women as they get close to delivery. Put together the physical markers of pregnancy and work on your movement – you’ll be able to convince your audience that you’re actually pregnant.

Part 1
Choosing Clothing

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    Look for maternity clothing. Even though it’s possible to look pregnant with some other styles of clothing, maternity clothing is best suited to the shape you need to be. Check thrift stores for maternity clothing, which will probably be the cheapest. If you don’t have any luck, both Walmart and Old Navy sell cheap maternity clothing.
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    Modify existing clothing. Some of your own clothing might work for looking pregnant. If you have a pair of pants you’re willing to sacrifice, you can even convert your pants into maternity wear. Look through your closet and choose pieces with the following attributes, all of which could be worn successfully with a fake belly:[1]
    • Shirts or dresses with an empire waist
    • Tent dresses or muumuus
    • Drawstring pants
    • Loose skirts with an elastic waist (that can be pulled below the belly)
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    Try on the clothing with a fake pregnant belly. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, consider taking some clothing to wad up under the maternity clothing as you try them on. If you’re at a store that sells new maternity clothing, it’s possible that they will have a fake belly. You can then try on the clothing with the belly underneath to get a sense of how it’s going to fit. Since your weight is going to be in the belly and breasts, those are the areas that need to be loose.

Part 2
Getting the Belly

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    Think about buying a belly. If you’re going to purchase a belly, you’re going to have a number of choices. On the cheaper end, many novelty and costume stores have cheap pregnant bellies that you can get. They’re easy to find around Halloween. If you’re wanting to spend more – if you are working for a costume shop and know it’s going to be used multiple times in different productions – there are a few different options.[2]
    • If the belly is going to be seen, it’s probably best to purchase a silicone model. It will look realistic and be the right texture and color.
    • If it’s going to be under clothing and worn for long periods, a fabric belly will probably most comfortable.
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    Gather material for making a belly. If you work in a costume shop and are familiar with sewing and/or modeling, you can make a very convincing belly. If you’ve decided you’d rather make a belly, you have a few options available. Sewing a fake belly model is a good option if you’re handy with a sewing machine. If you are skilled at making latex models, it might be easy for you to make a fake belly yourself.[3]
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    Make a belly out of items around the house. One way to do this is with a tank top that’s a few sizes too big and a basketball. It’s not going to stay in place that well but can work if you’re not moving around much and just need a brief sight gag.
    • Place a basketball under the singlet
    • Stretch the singlet to cover the whole basketball
    • Pull your pants up and stretch it completely over lower part of the singlet containing the basketball
    • Wear a shirt over the singlet and top part of pants containing ball
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    Create easy pregnant breasts for men. An Australian rules football can make a realistic set of breasts. To use the football, tie up the singlet with string or elastic in between the Australian Rules football and the basketball, to secure the Australian Rules football.
    • If you can’t find a football, use a large-sized bra to stuff with fabric or polyester filler. This can also make very convincing pregnant breasts.

Part 3
Wearing the Belly Convincingly

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    Get the physicality right. Watch pregnant women for clues. If you don’t know any, check out some online videos of pregnant women. Depending on how far along they are in their pregnancy, women may have some of the following traits:[4]
    • Walking with shoulders thrown back for balance
    • Standing with hands pressed to the lower back (because of lower back pain)
    • Hands often resting on the top of the belly
    • Difficulty getting in and out of chairs, couches
    • Swollen and painful feet and ankles
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    Work on acting out the hormonal changes. Pregnancy affects women's mental and emotional states, and this will be key to your portrayal. For some women, pregnancy is a nine month-long emotional high leading to the birth of a baby. For others, hormonal changes can make small problems seem huge, anything sentimental worth crying about, and just exaggerate emotions in general. Consider your role and whether pregnancy and its mental and emotional challenges might be an integral part of the character.
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    Practice while wearing your pregnant belly. Get other people to watch you and offer suggestions. If the part calls for specific physical gestures that might be difficult or different for pregnant women, practice those parts with more frequency and consider videotaping yourself to critique your performance.
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    Wear the belly at every rehearsal. You need to get used to the way it feels and how it physically changes you. As rehearsals continue, you need to become more and more comfortable with it. The others actors need to work on their own reactions to it and its physical presence on your body can help.[5]

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Categories: Acting