Cover it up! Try as they might, it is not easy for a mama-to-be to hide her pregnancy after the 20-week mark. Actresses may show off their bumps to much fanfare off screen, but on screen, it depends on the storyline. While some television shows lend themselves to pregnant characters, others rely on their writers to use creative means to hide their stars' growing midsections or joke about weight gain. Two shows will address their lead actresses' pregnancies this Fall — Nashville and Hart of Dixie — but how will they do it? Take a look back at how these and other shows have handled their characters' burgeoning bellies.
Jennifer Garner's  pregnancy with daughter Violet  was worked into her Alias character Sydney Bristow's story line during the show's final season.
Marcia Cross's  pregnancy with twins Eden and Savannah was written into her Desperate Housewives  character's story as a pregnancy hoax.
Shortly after Daphne Moon's marriage to Niles Crane, Jane Leeves became pregnant. Not wanting to add a baby to the Frasier storyline, the writers had her experience significant weight gain due to stress and eventually sent her character off to a fat camp at the end of her real-life pregnancy.
Lisa Kudrow's real-life pregnancy was written into her Phoebe Buffay story line on Friends . Rather than have her give birth to a baby of her own, the writers used the pregnancy to have her serve as a surrogate for her half-brother's triplets.
During the Friends  final season, Courteney Cox's  character, Monica Geller, went through the adoption process after finding herself unable to conceive naturally. At the same time, Cox became pregnant with daughter Coco, but the writers did not want change the story line, so they simply ignored her growing belly as the season wrapped up.
During Gossip Girl 's second season, actress Kelly Rutherford  became pregnant with her second child. The show's writers did not deem it appropriate to work the pregnancy into Lily van der Woodsen's story so they tried to hide her midsection behind coats, designer handbags, and countertops.
While filming the first season of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in excruciating African heat, Jill Scott found herself pregnant. The show's writers and producers did not want to veer too far off from the book's story line so the pregnancy was hidden beneath dresses.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sex and the City  producers did not want to bring a baby into the picture for the show's main character so costume designers added some flowy dresses to Carrie Bradshaw's wardrobe and cut the season short until Sarah Jessica Parker  had given birth to son James Wilkie.
When Lucille Ball announced that she was expecting, she and Desi Arnaz worked the baby into I Love Lucy's script, never mentioning the word "pregnant" on air.
Jessica Capshaw's pregnancy didn't fall into Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Arizona Robbins's plotline, so the writers shipped her off to Africa for a few episodes earlier this year.
When Ellen Pompeo  was pregnant with Stella Luna, the Grey's Anatomy writers opted to cover up her bump with creative camera work and loose scrubs rather than writing them into the story line.
Parminder Nagra's pregnancy wasn't written into the final season of ER. Rather, the writers hid her behind hospital beds and custom-made maternity scrubs.
To accommodate Amy Poehler 's second pregnancy, Parks and Recreation sped up their shooting schedule and simply ignored her growing belly.
Pregnant with her third child, Rachel Griffin's pregnancy was ignored while filming Brothers and Sisters.
Jane Krakowski covered up her first pregnancy on screen during the fifth season of 30 Rock by trading her character Jenna's usually short and tight style for a flowing wardrobe and covering up her belly with props. Jane's pregnancy wasn't written into the script  because the producer said "no child should have Jenna Maroney for a mother."
The writers behind How I Met Your Mother were not ready to make Lily into a mother, so Alyson Hannigan's first pregnancy was covered with loose fitting clothes, hidden behind racks of basketballs or explained as a bloated stomach resulting from a hot-dog eating contest.
When Alyson Hannigan became pregnant with her second child, her How I Met Your Mother character was already expecting, so the show's writers didn't have to change anything, except for the fake bumps they had originally planned to have in the dressing room!
Private Practice star Caterina Scorsone was taken by surprise by her pregnancy, but her show's creator was thrilled with the news. Shonda Rhimes immediately wrote the pregnancy  into Dr. Amelia Shepherd's story line.
The Office's Angela Martin was pregnant during the show's fourth season, but her character wasn't ready to have a child, so she was often filmed sitting at a desk or behind a high cubicle wall.
When Emily Deschanel told Bones' producers that she was pregnant, they were eager to work it into her character's story line. Throughout the 2011-2012 season, her pregnancy could be tracked on the weekly show.
Tina Fey 's second pregnancy was announced during the book tour for Bossypants, but the timing wasn't ideal for the sixth season of 30 Rock, so the show delayed the season premiere from September until January.
A new baby wasn't part of the plan for Betty Draper's character this season, so Mad Men writers went the "she's getting fat" route. They placed January Jones  in a fat suit that covered her baby bump and created a story line about a tumor on her thyroid. For a bathtub scene, they used a heavy stunt double to perpetuate the overweight story.
Kerry Washington's pregnancy had fashion lovers drooling at the bit as they anxiously awaited her maternity style. But Scandal had to get used to seeing the star hide behind folders, notebooks, trenchcoats, and tables as Shonda Rhimes wasn't interested in making the show's star pregnant.
While Claire Danes  was determined to continue filming Homeland throughout her pregnancy, her growing belly eventually got in the way. The show hired a belly double  to step in as CIA agent Carrie Mathison towards the end of Danes's pregnancy.
Homeland star Morena Baccarin, who plays Jessica Brody, learned that she was pregnant with her son Julius right before she began filming the show's third season. The show hid her pregnancy through the magic of post-production and strategic editing.
Hayden Panettiere  surprised Nashville's writers when she announced her pregnancy, but they were quick to work a baby into the storyline of the star's character, Juliette Barnes. When season three started, fans were quickly let in on the character's secret.
Hart of Dixie was quick to work Rachel Bilson 's pregnancy into the storyline of her character, Zoe Hart. Expect to see season four focusing on the town's latest addition.