This is Part 3 of my Pregnancy FAQ series. If you missed the previous posts you can find them here:
Alright, so we’ve already talked about preparing your business for a baby and managing client expectations with a baby on the way!! Now – tips for shooting weddings (or anything really) while pregnant!! Hopefully these help out some of you worried about making it through long wedding days with a baby bump! Trust that if I could do it up until 28 weeks pregnant with twins – you can do it too!!!
- Have a back-up or assistant on hand for wedding days. Having someone to lug heavy gear, get you water, and step in if you need to sit down for a moment is soooo key! For me that was James a majority of my pregnancy, but we did have back-ups on call as well. If you normally shoot alone – I would definitely bring a second photographer along while pregnant, and if you normally shoot with a second, then I’d consider bringing an assistant along to help when you get further along (around 7-8 months pregnant).
- Drink water like it is your job (because it is)!! This goes for all of pregnancy all the time anyway – but is especially important when you are exerting yourself! Dehydration will hurt you and hurt the baby – so make sure you’re hydrated! My doctor always said that if my urine had any color to it – DRINK MORE WATER. Dehydration can cause false labor contractions and you definitely don’t want that to happen in the middle of an important moment (or at all).
- Bring more snacks than you can imagine you’ll ever possibly need (and eat them all day). haha. Seriously though. Especially early on this was important for me in managing nausea. If my stomach got empty – I felt sick. To keep nausea at bay I brought along lots of high protein & healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day. Here are some of my favorite go-to items: Lara Bars, KIND bars, Fiber One or Trader Joe’s protein packed granola bars. Premier Protein Chocolate Shakes (which I drank throughout the tail end of my pregnancy to get enough protein, per doc’s recommendation). Nuts. Bananas. Apples. Ginger hard candies (to help with nausea).
- Let your client and/or wedding planner know you’re pregnant. I mentioned letting clients know you’re pregnant for other reasons in my previous FAQ post, but this time I’m suggesting you let them know so when you get your meal during dinner it doesn’t include a bunch of food you aren’t able to eat! Often times vendor meals are cold sandwiches – which means you will not be able to eat the sandwich meat. So let your couple or their planner know so accommodations can be made to ensure you are served something you can actually eat, because you’re going to need some real food after all the granola bars you’ve been munching on!
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. I would think this goes for any wedding day, even when you aren’t pregnant, but your poor swollen pregnant lady feet are going to want a little extra love this time around! I always wear flats and swear by any pair that includes ankle straps so I’m not constantly curling my toes down to try to keep my shoe on. I also purchased two Isabella Oliver maternity dresses that were soooo comfy to wear when shooting!
- Invest in a belly support band. I got one of these towards the end of my pregnancy because my belly was just getting soooo big and really felt like it was pulling on my torso and stretching in uncomfortable ways. Having a support band helped me to feel more secure on wedding days and also helped support my back as well! (This one is similar to the one I got.)
- Stay active and in shape. I mentioned this in my last post as well, but it is really important in general during pregnancy to stay healthy, and especially important when you’re going to be on your feet for long wedding days! I always say first and foremost to listen to your body obviously – so that you don’t overdo it – but do what you can to remain active throughout your pregnancy. For me that looked different at different stages in my pregnancy. I actually felt the most able to be active during my 2nd trimester. I was more nauseous and easily made dizzy during my first trimester, and so big during my 3rd trimester (twins, man!) that it was difficult, but I still did what I could. I went on long (sometimes very slow) walks, lifted free weights at home, and did prenatal yoga and stretching. Find something that works for you and keep yourself active and strong!
- Listen to your body. The best way to manage yourself when pregnant is to ALWAYS listen to your body. During a wedding day if I was feeling especially winded or had trouble catching my breath (which can easily happen when a baby is crowding your lung space) – I would grab a seat when necessary. If we were there late for long nights of dancing coverage (like our last wedding of the year that went until midnight because it was New Year’s Eve) – I took a minute to sit down and hydrate while James covered the dance floor during a quieter period of the night. Making sure you listen to what your body needs is the best way to get through your season with a healthy mama and baby.
Let me know if you think there’s anything I missed!! I hope this helps those of you planning to tackle wedding season with a baby bump in tow! 😉 xoxo
Stay tuned for Part 4 of the series: Determining Your Maternity Leave.