‘Call the Midwife’ Star Helen George Faced Criticism for Filming Season 11 While Pregnant

On the PBS series Call the Midwife, Nurse Trixie Franklin spends her days caring for pregnant women and babies. In real life, Helen George, who plays Trixie, has her hands full with two children of her own. The actor recently gave birth to her second child with her partner Jack Ashton. And she didn’t let pregnancy stand in her way when filming Call the Midwife Season 11. 

‘Call the Midwife’ star Helen Ge​​orge announced she was pregnant in June 2021

Side-by-side photos of Helen George as Trixie, holding a box, in 'Call the Midwife' and a pregnant Helen George and her partner Jack Ashton
[L-R] Helen George as Trixie in ‘Call the Midwife’ Season 11; Helen George and Jack Ashton in September 2021 | Courtesy of Neal Street Productions; Karwai Tang/WireImage

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George took to Instagram in June 2021 t​​o ann​​ounce she was expecting baby No. 2 with Ashton. 

“Baking number 2. Due in December,” she wrote. 

George and Ashton welcomed a daughter named Lark in November 2021. Their daughter Wren was born in September 2017. 

The actor and her husband met on the set of Call the Midwife. He played Trixie’s then-fiancé Tom Hereward.

Helen George faced criticism for filming while pregnant 

George was pregnant while filming Call the Midwife Season 11, which is currently airing on PBS in the U.S. When the episodes aired in the U.K. earlier in 2022, George faced criticism for continuing to work while pregnant, Radio Times reported. 

On Twitter, George pushed back at those critics.

“I’ve seen too many ridiculous comments about my pregnancy whilst filming @CallTheMidwife1 (also thank you for the lovely comments!) Women get pregnant, our bodies change,” she wrote. “But we have the right to work if we choose to do so. How about just supporting it, and don’t question it?”

How ‘Call the Midwife’ hid Helen George’s pregnancy 

Helen George as Trixie, holding a basket, standing next to Olly Rix as Matthew, holding an ice cream cone in 'Call the Midwife' Season 11
Helen George as Nurse Trixie Franklin and Olly Rix as Matthew Aylward in ‘Call the Midwife’ Season 11 | Courtesy of Neal Street Productions

Eagle-eyed Call the Midwife fans may have already noticed some of the tricks the show has employed to hide George’s baby bump, such as a strategically placed basket in the April 10 episode. She told Express that clipboards, costumes, and clever camera angles were used to conceal her pregnancy onscreen. George also told the paper that she didn’t think her pregnancy should mean Trixie had to suddenly disappear from the show. 

“I think it’s important and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be done. We are not invalids, we’re just pregnant,” she said.  

George had some experience with working while pregnant. Call the Midwife Season 7 was filmed while she was expecting her first child. She later shared some of the tricks used to conceal her bump in that season. 

“[Yo]u just kind of see me walk across the screen sometimes with odd fashions, or I’d sit down a lot, or I’m wearing lots of capes,” she said at a screening, according to Radio Times

“It was difficult to cover it up … It wasn’t right for Trixie to be pregnant,” she went on to say. “So we just did our best to cover it up. I just get a bit larger and my boobs get a little bit bigger.”

New episodes of Call the Midwife Season 11 air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. 

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