17 Pregnant Superstars Who Did Things We Can Only Dream Of

Serena Williams dressed in yellow hits a ball on the tennis court, Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

Who runs the world? These women continue to prove that they do, bump and all

Rihanna just so happened to announce that she was pregnant with her second child while on the job. Before her Super Bowl half-time show performance was even off TV screens around the nation, social media feeds erupted in shock and awe. Whenever a woman does an impressive thing while pregnant, it seems to make international news. But the truth is, soon-to-be mothers—from star athletes to powerful CEOs—have long been dominating their fields, bump included.

Rihanna performs onstage in a black outfit

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1. Rihanna

Rihanna’s performance during the Super Bowl LVII half-time show, a nonstop 14-minute medley of her greatest hits, should have been impressive enough, considering it was less than a year since she gave birth to her first child. But in true iconic fashion, she used the moment—without a single costume change and while suspended on a glass platform in the middle of the arena, no less—to reveal to millions that she’s pregnant again.

Related: Rihanna Says Being a Mom Inspired Her to Perform at the Super Bowl

2. Amber Miller

A 27-year-old Illinois woman gave birth mere hours after completing the 2011 Chicago Marathon. She said her doctor gave her permission to complete the race, as long as she walked at times, which she did. Even still, she beat her husband’s time in the race and completed it in just 6.5 hours.

3. Amal Clooney

The prominent human rights lawyer went to the United Nations on International Women’s Day in 2017 to encourage the organization to investigate allegations of genocide against ISIS, but publications at the time wrote about how “George Clooney’s wife” was there “showing off her baby bump.” Yes, she was pregnant at the time, but the social media buzz led to a global conversation on how societies view women even as they are doing incredibly important work.

4. Gal Gadot

In addition to battling supervillains on the set of Wonder Woman and Justice League, Gal Gadot was also battling morning sickness. The actress and filmmakers, she told Rolling Stone, went to great lengths to hide her pregnancy on-screen and on-set, where she discreetly filmed intense action scenes. “I didn’t want attention,” she said. “The default should be that women get the job done, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of reprogramming that needs to be done to both genders.”

Serena Williams dressed in yellow hits a ball on the tennis court,
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

5. Serena Williams

She is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and yet it was still a shock to fans when they discovered—after the fact—that Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, which secured her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title, while secretly pregnant. She didn’t publicly announce her pregnancy, with daughter Olympia, until several weeks later.

6. Marissa Mayer

When Marissa Mayer was appointed the new CEO of Yahoo in 2012, it was already notable news: female CEOs at public tech companies are incredibly rare, and at 37 years old, she was also one of the youngest. But, just before her first day on the job, she announced that she was six month pregnant. This trailblazing news made her the first-ever pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 tech company.

7. Keke Palmer

Hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time is stressful enough, but using the monologue to announce your pregnancy? Only Keke Palmer could pull that off so hilariously. The actress “set the record straight” during her SNL debut by revealing her several-months-along baby bump. “It is bad when people on the internet spread rumors about you, but it’s even worse when they’re correct,” she joked.

Related: Keke Palmer Gives Birth to Her First Baby

8. Regan Schreiber

In 2001, Regan Schreiber, who was an all-American swimmer at Penn State in the 1990s, swam the English Channel—which is 30 miles long—while 11 weeks pregnant. She completed the feat in 9 hours and 30 minutes.

9. Kayla Donnelly

The British soldier served in Afghanistan for seven months while unknowingly pregnant in 2010. According to the Daily Mail, she thought she’d been gaining weight from high-calorie army rations. The baby was born just two weeks after Kayla Donnelly returned from service.

10. Alison Hargreaves

The British mountain climber was six months pregnant in 1988 when she climbed the incredibly dangerous north face of the Eiger mountain in the Alps. Her other accomplishments include soloing all the great north faces of the Alps in a single season and for scaling Mount Everest alone without supplementary oxygen or support from a Sherpa team. Although she later died while descending the summit of K2, the second-highest mountain on earth, her son went on to become a record-breaking solo climber as well.

11. Jacinda Ardern

The New Zealand Prime Minister realized she was pregnant just six days before she took office on Oct. 26, 2017, and that was following a political campaign in which she took a firm stance on the double standard women of child-bearing age face when applying for jobs. “It is a women’s decision about when they choose to have children,” she said at the time. “It should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job.” Following the birth of her child, she was the first world leader to take maternity leave, for six weeks, while in office.

12. Aimee Roseborrough

The physical therapist had been rock climbing for 14 years already, so she didn’t think it was a big deal that she kept at the sport, at Joshua Tree National Park, until she was 37 weeks into her first pregnancy and past 34 weeks with her second. “I do kind of get to forget that I’m so huge and, at times, uncomfortable,” she told Good Morning America, noting that her pregnancy hormones aided in her flexibility.

13. Ali Wong

The comedian recorded not one but two hit Netflix standup specials while pregnant, and both were rule-breaking in their own right. In the 2016 taping of Baby Cobra, Ali Wong made previously taboo jokes about pregnancy, miscarriage, and motherhood while seven and a half months pregnant. Then, in 2018, she taped Hard Knock Wife while extremely pregnant, yet she never mentioned her pregnancy in the hour-long performance at all.

14. Alysia Montaño

This Olympian is now known as the “pregnant runner” with good reason. She crossed the finish line of the 800-meter race at the 2014 U.S. Track and Field Championships while 34 weeks pregnant with her first child. Then, she returned in 2017—this time, four months pregnant with her second child—to run the same race.

15. Kerri Walsh Jennings

When Kerri Walsh Jennings won her third Olympic gold in beach volleyball at the London Olympics in 2012, she was also keeping a brand-new secret: after a missed period and feeling “moody and touchy” throughout the games, the athlete realized she was five weeks pregnant with her third child. “When I was throwing my body around fearlessly, and going for gold for our country, I was pregnant,” she told TODAY.

16. Nur Suryana Mohamed Taibi

The Malaysian sports shooter gained international fame during the 2012 London Olympics, in which she competed while eight months pregnant. Although she did not advance beyond the qualification round in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event, she is known as the most pregnant Olympian ever.

17. Beyoncé

Similar to Rihanna, Beyoncé announced her pregnancy on stage, complete with a dramatic mic drop, at the very end of her performance of “Love on Top” at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011. She didn’t stop there: in 2017, when she was several months pregnant with twins, she sang two songs from her Lemonade album—“Love Drought” and “Sandcastles”—in a stunning performance at the Grammy Awards.


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