✘ An Eddie Guide: How to Roleplay a Pregnant Character
We all have that first character that we roleplayed that we really truly got into, right? And then looking back, you see hundreds of ways that you could have done it different and better. Well for me, that character was a pregnant teenager. She was my first real role and I still play her today, but I often wish I could go back in time to redo her pregnancy. So, to prevent this from happening to any of you beautiful people, I’ve written up this guide on ways to play a pregnant character. (Please like this if you’ve found it useful!)
The first thing I want to say is that pregnancies differ from woman to woman. I’m going to go into detail mostly of what a healthy pregnancy will be like, but I’ll also add a little bit on some bad things that can happen. Although no one wants to have a premature baby in real life, it can certainly make a roleplay interesting.
Your character had unprotected sex and could be pregnant, what do you do now? → For this, it depends when you pick up your character. It could say in their biography that they’re pregnant, but you could also have your character sleep with someone and then find out they’re pregnant. If your character is already pregnant when you start, maybe you could do a flashback para on finding out they’re pregnant. The ways you find out are obvious; you can do an at home pregnancy test or go to the doctor and they’ll have one administered. Here’s something to remember: at home pregnancy tests are not 100% accurate.
If you’re pregnant, you must be showing symptoms, right? → This is another way your character could discover they’re pregnant. By the time women are six weeks into their pregnancy, 7 out of 10 women will have had symptoms. Of course, for some it could come right away. One of these that could be fun to roleplay is food aversions. This is when a woman is absolutely revolted at a certain smell, whether it be something like fruit or a cup of coffee. There isn’t a definite cause for this, but some people believe it’s because of increasing amounts of estrogen in the system. Other symptoms you could use are bloating, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea, a heightened temperature for a long time, or a missed period.
You’re definitely pregnant, now what? → Now you need to calculate a due date. We traditionally think of a pregnancy being nine months long, but in reality it’s closer to 40 weeks. Since this is for a roleplay and not the real world, I’m not suggesting you wait nine months, but you could if you don’t want her to have the child any time soon. It could be anywhere from a week or two to three months or more. If I were going to do my character’s pregnancy over again, I’d probably do around two or three months to fully explore the character as a pregnant woman (especially if they’re a teenager) before exploring them as a mother. Now, in real life you’d find doctors, most likely an obstetrician. You don’t need to do this in a roleplay though, unless one of your characters is a doctor and you want to explore that.
Pregnant women have to be good to their bodies, considering there’s a human growing inside them. → Most women will take some sort of prenatal vitamin as they’re preparing their body. Doctors strongly recommend prenatal vitamins because it’s hard for a woman to get all of the nutrients she and the baby need. Especially if your character is a vegetarian or vegan, smokes, or is having twins, they’ll need prenatal vitamins. Some other things that are good for pregnant women’s bodies are exercising and getting plenty of sleep. There are some obvious nos for your pregnant character; alcohol and cigarette smoke. Some others include trying not to have too much caffeine and no recreational drugs.
How do you tell people? → Especially for teenage pregnancies, this can be a big deal. Their family and friends would probably disapprove of them being pregnant, so how will she tell them? You could just text the entire town, but I wouldn’t suggest that. I think you should do it in paras, so you can really explore your character’s emotions. If they have parents in the roleplay, start there. If not, a best friend. If the father doesn’t know yet, maybe start there? When I did it, I started with the father’s mother, because my character’s parents weren’t around and she was really close to the father’s mother. In real life, this is a big deal, so make it one in your roleplay too.
Briefly find out what’s next. → Your character shouldn’t dive into this headfirst and neither should you. The character could pick up some books at the library, or simply do an online search. I found this fairly brief overview of a standard pregnancy. Now that your character knows she’s pregnant, she’ll probably start thinking of names at every chance she gets. You could have her flipping through a baby name book as a starter of a para or just simply asking around for ideas.
First Trimester →
As you probably know, pregnancies are divided into three trimesters, the first one being about 13 weeks.
The first time you see the baby; the first ultrasound. → Between six and ten weeks, your character should have her first ultrasound at her medical practitioner’s office. An ultrasound, if you don’t know, is a test that uses sound waves to create a visual image of the baby, placenta, and uterus. This may be the first time you hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Miscarriaging is sad, but does happen. → You could have a plot for you character be getting pregnant and having a miscarriage. If that’s the case, you can stop reading after this. Miscarriages happen in the first twenty weeks of a pregnancy, but 80 percent happen in the first 12 weeks. For specific pregnancies, most doctors do not have the means to do a full-scale test of the woman’s body unless they miscarriage multiple times. There are a couple things that put people at higher risk for a miscarriage including older age, a history of miscarriages, a chronic disease, infections, medications, and obesity. Some signs that a woman is about to have a miscarriage are vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, or pain early in the pregnancy.
Showing evidence of the baby. → At around 12 weeks, the top of the uterus will have grown up and out, causing a baby bump to form. This can of course happen much earlier or much later, it’s different for everyone. If your character is a teenager, they probably won’t have money for maternity clothes, so they’ll probably be seen wearing their baggy sweatshirts or even their boyfriend/husband’s clothing.
Second Trimester →
The second trimester is generally the 14th to the 27th week.
The baby’s kicking for the first time! → Sometime between weeks 16 and 22, babies will kick for the first time. Some women have described the feeling of a baby kicking as popcorn popping or butterflies fluttering in their stomach. Maybe when the first time your character’s baby kicks, they’re with someone they care about; the father, family, friends. It would definitely make for a cute para. Sometimes babies will kick a lot one day and then none the next, don’t worry, that’s normal.
Your next ultrasound is a big one! → All women have a standard mid pregnancy ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks. During this, the doctor will monitor the baby’s heartbeat and check the size. This is also when they’ll see if there’s more than one baby, so if your character having twins, now is when they’d find out. They will also check for physical abnormalities during this, like birth defects or Down syndrome. The doctor will also try to determine the baby’s sex. You could have your character know so they can buy clothes, decorate a room, and just be ready, or you can have it be a surprise.
Deciding how to give birth. → It’s traditionally during the second trimester that a woman will decide how she’s going to give birth. The choices are obvious; a cesarean or natural labor. Quite honestly, either is hard to roleplay when the time comes, so don’t stress about this decision, it doesn’t really matter!
Third Trimester →
The third and final trimester lasts from the 28th week until they give birth, somewhere around the 40th week. Women visit their doctor every two weeks during the third trimester.
Throwing a baby shower. → Sometime after 30 weeks, your character will have a baby shower. This is perfect because you can use it as an event in your roleplay; have a chatzy or a neatchat or something and invite everyone. Baby showers can be co-ed or just for women, and the future mother can plan it or a best friend could plan it, it’s really up to you. Another way to have this is to make it a gender reveal baby shower. This is a way for the couple to tell everyone who’s close to them the gender of the baby all at the same time. I’ve seen people bake cupcakes with the middle filled either pink or blue; I think that’s adorable. The details of the baby shower are up to you; you could have activities, a theme, games, anything!
Getting ready for your new family member. → The third trimester involves a lot of waiting. Women sometimes feel false contractions, but that’s nothing to worry about. Your character might be sick of being pregnant and be very emotional about it. Now is a good time to have the character spend time with their boyfriend/husband; they won’t have much privacy in the future. You can also have them paint/decorate the baby’s room, go clothing shopping, do some last minute reading about newborn babies. Make sure your character has a bag packed for when they go into labor.
Going into Labor →
How do you know when you’re going into labor? → The most common and traditional way of finding out you’re going into labor is when your water breaks. Water breaking can be a gush of water or even just a couple drops. They could also spot a lump of blood.
Going into labor is a fairly different approach for a self-para and might be too much for some people to read. If you’re going to do one, I recommend you put it in a read more. You could also do this as a two way para where someone else is present, maybe the partner, the best friend, or the mother of the character.
Don’t forget that going into labor is painful. → Some women describe labor as the worst pain they’ve ever experienced. It’s a very unforgettable pain. For some women, it can be the contractions that are the most painful, but for some it’s the actual labor. If your character is having a cesarean, they won’t feel anything when the baby comes out of them because they’ll be put under, but they might have trouble walking for a few days afterwards. I’m sorry, but I’m not going into details about natural birth because I’m sure you learned about it in health class and honestly, I don’t know how much detail you’ll want to go into when you do this.
It can be painful psychologically as well. → At this point, I can likely assume your character is a teenager, because let’s face it, not very many of us will play a full grown adult who’s going into labor. For a teenager especially, their emotions will be all over the place while they’re having contractions and going into labor. You can have your character shouting at the father of the baby, or just shouting in general. You can have a flashback or a flash-forward.
Your child has arrived. → After all the pain, physically and emotionally, the child is finally alive and in the world. When the mother sees her child in the flesh for the first time, it’s bound to be an emotional experience. They could easily laugh, cry, or do both. The baby won’t look pretty, don’t let births on tv fool you. It will be red or purple, be bloody, and tiny. More likely than not, the mother will still find their child the most beautiful thing in the world.
Premature babies. → I think this is a very interesting plot for a character, but it’s sad. Studies have shown that teenagers between 14-17 are more likely to give birth to premature babies than older women. One way to prevent this is to get good prenatal care. Younger women won’t be as focused on this, but to make sure the baby will be okay you have to. If you’ve chosen for your character to give birth prematurely, make sure your character did something wrong to cause it. Maybe they didn’t have good prenatal care, maybe they smoked, maybe they starved themselves? Premature babies will be born very small, generally weighing less than two pounds. When born, their skin is wrinkled and red; it’s also so thin that you can see the blood vessels underneath. If your baby is born before 25 weeks, they will almost definitely have a serious lasting disability. When your character gives birth to a premature baby, they will feel very guilty about it, because it’s usually their fault. Make your character feel guilty, but don’t make it control their entire life. They should be thankful that their child is alive. The child will be living in the NICU for a long time, maybe hooked up to a machine breathing for them.
Braxton Hicks contractions. → Well, this isn’t exactly a complication but it’s something you and your character should be aware of. As you get closer to your due date, the painless and infrequent Braxton Hicks contractions will become relatively close together and even painful. These may fool you into thinking you’re going into labor, but in reality they don’t cause anything. Unlike real labor contractions, the false ones are rhythmic. They’ll come at irregular intervals and vary in length and intensity.
So by now, your character will have a child or you will be ready for your character to have a child. This took me a really long time and a lot of effort to compile what I already knew with research. If you have any questions whatsoever, I’d be more than happy to answer them. Please like or reblog this or message me if you’ve found it useful, I’d be so grateful.