STFU Parents: The Horror And Hilarity Of Couples’ Maternity Photo Shoots On Facebook

Like a woman who gives birth once a year, it’s time for my 3rd annual WTF maternity pics round-up. In the past, we’ve seen showy examples ranging from “basic” (painted bellies, heart hands, belly kisses) to “boudoir/pin-up/goddess/angel-style” (weird chiffon, close-ups, artsy angles, on the bed, wearing bad underwear, nude/semi-nude/in the bath/omg my eyes/why/why/why) — and yet each year, I still feel like some pregnancy belly submissions have been left unturned. I can only zero in on so many examples for this column, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a big, wide, round world of maternity photo shoot ideas out there. If you took just one look at my maternity pics submissions folder, you’d quickly see that the maternity photo landscape is both vast and growing. People are staging sexy selfies; hiring friends with expensive DSLR cameras and several hundred yards of chiffon to come over and roll around on the bed or in the backyard for a few hours; or they’re paying out the ass (presumably) for professional photos that will last a lifetime. Regardless of the approach, the one thing these maternity photos have in common is that they all get posted on Facebook (and probably Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, too).

That said, the one thing the images don’t all have in common is who’s in them. Sure, 100% of maternity pictures feature the pregnant mother-to-be, but only about half of them picture the dad-to-be, i.e. the person whose chromosomes make up fifty percent of the baby’s DNA. It makes perfect sense that the majority of the photo shoots focus solely on the mother — after all, she’s the one going through a physical transformation and preparing to birth a several-pound parasite — but the maternity pics that do feature fathers have a special je nais se quoi to them that aught not go unnoticed. I’ve posted a few examples on STFU, Parents (who can forget the Atlas God pose? Or this shirtless guy?), but today’s column is totally devoted to couple’s photo shoots and how completely weird, creepy, ridiculous, and/or emotional they can be. Let’s dig in, shall we?

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  • Zettai

    Something’s wrong when the baseball belly is the “normal” one…

  • candyvines

    I really, really wish I knew the baby’s name in #3.

    • Ashie

      I enjoyed the one person’s comment “Such a unique name…”

    • candyvines

      The ellipses say so much.

    • mercury7jg

      I’m assuming ‘Kenoa’ from the comments.

    • candyvines

      Oh, I see that now! It was blocked out when I read the article.

    • EX

      Is that pronounced quinoa?

    • SunnyD847

      “Baby name Keona?” Jesus Christ. It’s not a telegram. You’re not charged by the word FFS.

  • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

    #2 seems oddly sexual, like we’ve happened upon them about to get it on.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      It looks like a pregnancy announcement Jenelle Evans would post.

  • Ursi

    “I did that”???

    Why not just write “We had sex” on the board and be done with it.

    • Cruelty Cupcake
    • SunnyD847

      Ooh, what if they teamed up with the baseball theme and she could have the ball belly and he could be holding a bat that says “I hit that!”

    • SunnyD847

      Or “the condom broke”

    • Spiderpigmom

      I would actually find it funny, contrarily to the actual announcement.

  • wispy

    I got maternity photos done mainly to document that last time our first daughter was going to be an only child. I thought it would be fun. It was at a park and the poses she put us in were mortifying to be doing in public. I really just wanted some pictures playing at the park with my daughter since I’m always the one taking the pictures and no one ever gets pictures of me. There were other people there and at one point I had to lay on the ground and look backwards longingly at the camera. It was like “Is this really happening, am I doing this in public with people watching?” They are funny to look back on now, and I told her I had to approve which ones she was going to put on facebook, but man oh man. I was not expecting that.

  • keelhaulrose

    I never understood maternity photos. I was fat(ter than usual), sweaty in places I didn’t know sweated, and if I wasn’t wearing stretchy pajama pants I was wondering when I got to change into them. There was never a time in my life I wanted immortalized less than when I was pregnant.

    • MomofTwo

      AMEN! I have 2 children and exactly 1 picture of my pregnant self and that is ONLY because I was a godparent for my niece about 1 month before my 1st son was born and I kind of felt obligated to be in the photos at the baptism!

      I had ZERO desire to immortalize my pregnant self in photos. Loved the end results, but the during was certainly not my best moment!

    • ted3553

      I have exactly 3 pictures when I was pregnant. 1 was at work at a presentation wearing all my PPE, one in my yard weeding at 8 months (thank you my dear husband) and one in costume as the bearded lady at a girls camping weekend. the idea of posing for a formal picture like these was weird to me.

  • JenH1986

    These actually make that “Do not open until MM/DD/YY!” photo pretty cute.

  • Kendra

    BRB…jotting these down for future ideas…

  • Wholockkie Head

    When I get pregnant I’m going to do the chalkboard one but it will say: “A team of doctors, eight kinds of drugs, $15,000 and a test tube did that.” Yay IVF.
    Seriously though, these are not only weird but ugly too.

    • Hokie Beth

      My husband would look at me and ask, “Are you sure it’s mine?” And I would reply, “Are you sure it’s mine?!?!” It would crack us up while everyone else was left scratching their heads. You have to have a sense of humor to get through IVF :-)

    • dy

      all of us IVF moms should do a calendar or something. Just us, holding all of our vials and bottles…

    • allisonjayne

      There’s nothing hotter than a big ol’ sharps container!

    • ChickenKira

      Dibs on October (the month my implantation was) and a photo of me sticking a bottle of synarel up my nose.

    • Meg13

      I always like to joke that my best friend was there when I got knocked up but my husband wasn’t (he was out of town when I had to go in for ET). I agree, a sense of humor while going through IF helps so much!

  • Jessifer

    I have a FB friend from elementary school that just posted a whole bunch of maternity photos with her standing in a bikini top in front of various pieces of construction equipment (e.g. bulldozer, crane, etc…) It was so bizarre. I mean, why? Pregnant women should probably not be on construction sites and if they are, they should ALWAYS wear a helmet and most definitely not be bare belly! Safety first!

    • SunnyD847


    • cabecb

      For a second, I thought you meant she should wear a helmet on her belly.

  • AP

    What’s wrong with just taking a normal picture from an angle where it’s obvious that the subject is pregnant? I’ve seen plenty of those. They’re quite cute.

  • Amanda Jaynes

    I think the best part of #3 is blue’s comment; “epic pic is epic.” Indeed, blue.

  • Kat

    I continue to be thankful I had the presence of mind not to have a maternity photo shoot. The photos from my baby shower where I am sweaty, shiny and grumpy looking were enough to prove to me that I was not shelling out money to document this special time.

  • brebay

    Stitches on a belly do not look like a baseball, they look like a god-awful emergency C-section performed by the clerk at 7-11 with plastic utensils.

  • brebay

    Classy. Why not just point it a little lower and have it say “I tapped that.”

  • JessBakesCakes

    I feel like there’s only one response for #4:

    • IreneSamsoneym

      My Uncle
      Julian got a stunning blue Ford Flex by working part time at home… go to website

    • EX

      Here’s what I want to know. How come it’s always your uncle, or your aunt or your mother-in-law? If this is such a great deal how come YOU (spambot) don’t do it?

  • jendra_berri

    I don’t get number 6. I get the rest… and I don’t enjoy them.

  • Blueathena623

    I will never, ever, ever, ever post them, but I had some HORRENDOUS maternity pics taken. Basically, my mom had a sorta-friend decide she wanted to be a photographer, and my mom tried to be supportive and hired her to come over and take some family pics (my whole family). Since I was also 7ish months pregnant, we did some spur of the moment maternity pics. The shoot was at my parent’s house, so all the “props” were stupid, the lady wasn’t that great a photographer, and I’m big-bonned and at 7ish months I still just looked like I had a flabby beer gut. When my mom and I saw the pictures we cried so hard we laughed and laughed so hard we cried.

  • canaduck

    Perfect timing for another hilarious STFU Parents post. Really needed a laugh today after the Hobby Lobby bullshit.

    • SunnyD847

      Laughing on the outside, still seething on the inside. #FUSCOTUS

  • kmeghan

    These, along with cheesy engagement/wedding photos, need to be stopped!! good grief.

    • OptimusPrime*

      Have you seen the bridal party mooning the photog ones? Creepy.

    • kmeghan

      oh lord no. That’s horrible!!!!

    • KarenMS

      I flat out refused to partake in one of those mooning bridesmaid shoots last October…was called a party pooper, no fun, etc…now that is apparently a trend, I am even happier I stayed out.

  • Savannah61

    I love baseball so much & that picture makes me sad. When I get pregnant, IF we decide to get maternity pictures done, I’m thinking I’ll just wear my Cardinals jersey & my hubby can wear his Royals one. There will be no belly painting involved.

    • lou

      I like belly paints, but not stupid themed ones. A friend of mine paints landscapes and designs onto their bellies and they look very cute. No stupid baseball junk!

  • scooby23

    So I guess since I donated some coins into the cancer research fund box at Burger King, I’m responsible for making millions of sick people better? WHERE THE FRACK IS MA TROPHY?!?!?!?!

  • DunceCapMoms

    I have a special reminder from my maternity days. I like to call them kids.

  • wmdkitty


  • Anonymouslyyours

    “I did that”…O_O Are you sure? We need a paternity test over here… :P Ugh, it’s not cute, it’s just flattering the man for something that took two minutes at most.

    Also, I have a breastfeeding ‘Nazi’ report for the faithful followers of STFUP who’ve seen all the “judgmental breastfeeders” posts: another rage-inducing story: Last week, my SIL delivered her second child. The first pregnancy had led to severe post-partum symptoms that kept her bedridden. This time, my SIL nearly died due to “retained afterbirth” (placenta that hadn’t been completely delivered), along with traumatic shock that required her to go to the ICU for IV treatment and two units of blood transfusion. After she recovered enough to hold my new nephew, my SIL fed him formula from a bottle. A lactation consultant walked in and, per my brother, ‘literally’ asked “why are you feeding him formula?” My brother rightly called her a ‘dick’–normally I’m not into strong language like that, but it’s fitting! Hey, “lady”, my sister-in-law nearly DIED–I’m sure debating on breastfed vs formula fed was the LAST thing she and my brother had on their minds–if that even occurred to them while she was, you know, going into shock and being hustled to the ICU.

  • OnionButt

    Even as stupid as I think most of these types of photos are – I don’t have a problem with people doing them – as we’re all different and what floats our boats will vary. And if that’s how they want to spend their money, it doesn’t affect me. It’s the POSTING of them and plastering Facebook with them that I tend to be less than enthused with.

    Overall, I have nothing but appreciation for digital photography. I have waxed poetic about its benefits many a time. However, there is a downside and it is that people can and will share pictures that they would not have before (or would only have shared if you were in the same room with them).

    As far as the last one – I wish someone would say what they are trying to do. It is completely baffling to me. I thought he was doing some horrible “I’m a little teapot” impression. Or was badly doing the YMCA.

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    Number 5 makes me want to revisit the photos I had of my broken wrist in its pre-surgical bandages (I broke it right before Thanksgiving; there were cameras snapping everywhere on the holiday; I’m not some creeper who takes photos of ER visits!*) and Photoshop in a rainbow and a cheery, “I did that!” on the impromptu cast. I mean, since the lady in 5 and I both wound up in a hospital room as a result of our actions, same diff, right?

    *I made my then-boyfriend be the creeper who takes photos of ER visits. Though I swear I never posted them to Facebook…just to my blog. :p

  • Melissa

    When did maternity photo shoots even become a thing? It seems like it’s a fairly recent phenomenon, especially the sharing with the world via facebook. I had no desire whatsoever to commemorate my pregnancies and share the evidence with everyone in my friends list, but maybe it depends on how you view your pregnancy. If you feel like it is a magical time in your life maybe you want to try to hold on to the special-ness forever. I felt pretty much the opposite–my attitude was let’s get through this ordeal as quickly and painlessly as possible–and the result is hardly any pregnant photos of me exist.

  • Jillian

    Re: No.5 – I thought the man was trying to do a wacky monkey pose and the lady just pretended to be charmed by it. But ballet? Really?

  • tina

    Hmmm… Either I’m old (34) or live under a rock because when I was pregnant with my 3 kids maternity pics were not a thing. I know no one in my circle of friends/acquaintances that took them. So I personally think they are cheesy BUT to each their own, right?

  • ILoveJellybeans

    The baseball one doesn’t look so bad considering the other baseball one from another submission was so bad I cannot look at it without feeling sick. I would rather look at any poo submission instead of that.

  • Beebop

    I genuinely don’t understand why the belly always has to be naked. What’s wrong with a clothed belly? Will people think I’ve just shoved a pillow up there or something?

  • Simone

    The baseball one? Why would you … make your pregnant belly look like something that people hit really hard with metal bats?

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