Keke Palmer's baby reveal on 'Saturday Night Live' inspires hope to those with PCOS
Her hilarious monologue ignited a conversation between others living with the condition.
Sure, folks are talking about Keke Palmer’s epic baby bump reveal on “Saturday Night Live” because it’s a masterclass in comedic timing. Seriously, nobody does it like Keke Palmer.
But for those living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hoping to one day announce their own pregnancy, it became a much more meaningful conversation.
Joking that she would ”set the record straight,” the 29-year-old “Nope” star revealed a pregnant belly hidden underneath her trench coat, adding that it has been “the biggest blessing.” As fans were quick to note—this news is especially positive since Palmer has been open about her own struggles with PCOS.
The actress shared her diagnosis back in December 2020 via Instagram, saying the condition was "attacking [her] from the inside out" but she “had no idea.”
Getting a proper diagnosis was already a difficult task—as Palmer mentioned, it was a struggle to get her doctors to take her concern seriously since she “looked healthy.” But once her condition was confirmed, she began speaking out as a way to empower others who might find themselves in similar situations.
The post included a picture of an acne flare-up, something she noted was the “least harmful” symptom PCOS could bring. In addition to skin problems, the hormonal imbalance—which is quite common, affecting 1 in 10 women of childbearing age—can also lead to irregular periods, ovarian cysts, weight gain and, of course, infertility.
However, as the Office on Women's Health explains, PCOS is treatable (even if it isn’t curable), and does not mean that pregnancy is impossible. Sometimes only milder forms of treatment are necessary—like weight loss, different combinations of medications to promote ovulation or hormone therapy. Other times, more complex procedures such as assisted reproductive technology (like IVF) or surgery are needed.
All this to say, PCOS might not prevent pregnancy altogether, but it can cause major stress to those struggling to conceive, which is why Palmer’s joyous announcement struck a chord.Many were inspired to share their own fertility victories. As one person wrote, “I was told it was going to be very difficult for me to have children. And I was so scared and crushed. But I was blessed with three girls in four years! I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I’m very fortunate."
“My PCOS baby <3 Definitely congratulations to Keke! I know the feeling,” wrote another, alongside a photo of their newborn.
My PCOS baby <3 Definitely congratulations to keke! I know the feeling. 🥰 pic.twitter.com/TQFEZsXmuE— Kai 🔕 (@kahlaniamor) December 5, 2022
One person commented that they are “currently 24 weeks pregnant with our second child after secondary infertility for 6 years and treatments! PCOS & endometriosis had doctors tell me I wouldn’t get pregnant because of my weight but met the most amazing specialists who helped us.”
It’s worth noting that while losing weight can help with PCOS, doctors have been guilty of implicit bias against overweight patients, leading them to focus on judgments that are solely weight-based. This, of course, blinds them from seeing the whole picture, which is why finding an empathetic, open-minded specialist can be very important.
Others felt that Palmer’s success story made their own dreams of starting a family seem more possible.One person tweeted, “As a woman with PCOS seeing Keke Palmer pregnant and also having PCOS is truly amazing. The first thing you think about after your diagnosis is 'Will I ever have kids?' God always has the last say so, so I know when my time comes it will be one of my greatest testimonies."
As a woman with PCOS seeing Keke Palmer pregnant and also having PCOS is truly amazing. The first thing you think about after your diagnosis is “Will I ever have kids?”. God always has the last say so, so I know when my time comes it will be one of my greatest testimonies.— BELL™️ (@TheeBellAire) December 4, 2022
It’s important to see others overcome challenges similar to our own. That said, no two lives are the same, and it would be insensitive to assume that everyone has the same access to resources or solutions. But still, stories like Palmer's help illuminate what’s possible, and those are always stories worth sharing.