The 9 movies you have to watch while you're on maternity leave.

Because it’s not like you’ve got anything else to think about… (cough).

Last week my BFF rang, said she’d peed on a stick and at last that second little blue line showed up. It’s familiar imagery for many of us who have done the waiting game, months, sometimes years of hoping.

Then the next round begins of being nervous all over again but now for entirely different reasons, and being so very happy at last. But the waiting part isn’t over, and the next nine months also need to be filled while getting ready for baby to arrive.

Knowing one of my closest friends is about to be a first time mum, I started putting together a list of things to share with her, the books to recommend, the pram suggestions, the spare cot my two-year-old doesn’t need any more and all the films she should watch while pregnant (that is, while she still can!)

Going back and looking through my diary from baby-free days, I also remembered that it actually took me a while to find movies I really wanted to watch and that now I could happily recommend to expecting friends.

This list can in fact count for two important tasks when getting ready for a baby, the first is to relax and the second is to scout out exactly what kind of parent you do or don’t want to be.

So here’s a list of the 9 baby films I watched while pregnant and why I want to recommend them to all the mums in waiting out there:

1. Babies

I want to say this is the must see on the what to watch while pregnant list.

Babies follows the first year of four different babies from Namibia, San Francisco, rural Mongolia and Tokyo. This film is just so sweet and very well made and 100% captivating. The differences and similarities of the babies were especially interesting, both in physical developments and in cultural nuances. Just loved it.

2. Waitress

This film is one of my all-time favourite ‘strong female lead’ sort of films, and follows a story about a woman who gets pregnant with a man she’s not so keen on being the dad, has a fling instead with a really good guy, but in the end knows the best thing is for her to be a single mumma and take care of that baby how she really wants to. It’s a funny, beautiful and inspiring film.

3. Away We Go

This one is great, it’s an enjoyable and relatable film about families and friends and all the choices we can make about the kind of parents we want to be.

The film follows Verona and Burt as they decide to look for a place to settle down before their baby comes, by visiting lots of different friends in different cities. This is one of those upbeat kind of trendy comedies around at the moment and I can also highly recommend this one for couples too.

4. Transylvania

An older classic for the list, Tony Gatlif’s Transylvania is a cult film that follows Zingarina, a pregnant Italian woman who is living in France as she looks for the Romany musician father of her baby.


Fantastic music and beautiful colours are the stand out attributes of this film but it also shows another experience of pregnancy — love and motherhood — which is intriguingly different from most other films out there.

5. Gayby Baby

I just saw this documentary recently but couldn’t rave more about it — such a beautiful parenting film. Home grown, this Marla House production follows four different families with gay and lesbian parents and shows us both the very ordinary as well as more unique experiences they deal with every day.

Simultaneously heart warming as well as honest to the point of bringing me to tears more than once!

6. Baby Mama

This film made me laugh, and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are comedy goddesses. Looking at motherhood and pregnancy through a surrogacy lens, this film has great actresses, hilarious jokes about wanting a baby, about pregnancy and about the delicate scenario of having someone else have your baby.

Likely to be more relevant to a growing audience, it’s nice to see surrogacy on screen, and to watch Fey and Poehler’s comedy gold work wonders on the topic of motherhood.

7. Three Men and a Baby

Come on, you know it makes sense… A Hollywood classic and very much the flip side of Baby Mama, with three unsuspecting bachelors finding themselves taking care of a tiny baby and fast becoming protective ‘daddy bears’.

The best way to describe this film is to think of whatever that phenomenon is where daddies out with their babies seem to get those nodding smiles. Whatever it is about the charm and loving cuddliness of a big burly man and a wee baby is the stuff this film is made of.

8. Juno

Not actually one of my favourite films, but this list wouldn’t be the same without Juno. It’s a nice film about a young woman who is accidentally pregnant to a seemingly even younger man and decides to find a family who will love and welcome the baby in a way she can’t.

Following a teen pregnancy also proves for some unexpected laughs, like when Juno can’t keep down the blue icy drink because of morning sickness and just leaves it in a hallway vase of her stepmother.

9. A Happy Event

This one is a French feel-good film about identity and love. It’s a great film that chronicles the ups and downs of both pregnancy and having a new baby, and the self-discovery journey this is for mums too. It reminds me of a combination of both Anna Goldsworthy’s Welcome to Your New Life and those French parenting books we all love to read.

Anything to add? What did you watch when you were on maternity leave?

For more on pregnancy and motherhood:

This is for every mum accused of ‘double dipping’ into Government maternity leave

‘There has been so much loss on my journey to motherhood.’

10 things about pregnancy nobody tells you (and that weren’t in the brochure)