Playing whilst pregnant

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by caramelbunny, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. caramelbunny

    caramelbunny Member

    Just wondering if anyone has any tales of playing whilst pregnant?
    How many weeks did you get to before you had to stop playing? How many weeks post-birth before you could come back? How do bands accommodate maternity leave? (or does this just not happen?)
    Having just played Ammanford this weekend it all seems that little bit more real now and it's got me thinking....:rolleyes:
  2. Di

    Di Active Member

    Congratulations. :clap: When is the due date?

    I think my tale has been told a couple times, but I shall tell again. ;) I was playing until AFTER my due date. The day after little Vickitorious was due, we had a concert. I was decked out in a maternity dress, having outgrown the black maternity skirt and white shirt and was chatting away to the Mayoress about when the baby was due etc. It was when I turned and picked up the baritone to play there was an "oh my goodness, you're not going to blow that are you?" The 2nd euph and 2nd bari were quite nervous that night I can tell you. :) Little miss put in an 3 days later on Tuesday. I played at the area a week and a half later. Midlands 4th section, 28 bands. We rehearsed in Nottingham at 8am, then drew number 27 I think it was. 'Twas quite a long day. :-?

    The band were very good about "maternity" leave. As we both played in the band, we had a sort of rota. We'd take it in turns going on the Tuesdays and then on Friday either Grandma and Grandad would come around or, later, after the arrival of number 2 and they'd grown a little, we had a neighbour come and sit with them.
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I think you can basically play as long as you feel able (although marching is generally out of the question!)
    My wife played (euph) to within a couple of weeks of due time with both our first two, others in the band have also.

    On a slight (but related) tangent, are babies born musical? I think ours are/were, judging by:

    No.1 would kick like mad in the womb whenever we rehearsed "Mars" fron the Planets, but kick in time to everything else. Doesn't like 5/4, too irregular?
    All 3 have slept through band concerts, contests, and rehearsals, no matter how loud the piece, BUT would wake up and squawk at anything out of tune (in the case of No.1 including a whole night at Delph, she screamed at one band whose tuning was dreadful, and slept through the rest!)
    No.3 has topped this by sleeping through our entire concert the other week at the tender age of 2 weeks, but ONLY waking up and screaming when the cornet soloist made a flannel of three bars of the final cadenza in "Virtuosity"***, then going back to sleep!

    (*** I blame the sleepless nights :oops: Am writing this while waiting for no.3 to burp and go back to sleep!)
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    Oh yes, I do think so. For the above mentioned concert, we played French Military March and so had been rehearsing it for some time, and had also recently played Light Cavelry. As do most little babies, Vicki had a wind up lullaby thingy in the cot, but even after a feed and a change and lots of runs through the lullaby, she still wouldn't sleep. I can't remember how or why we decided to put a tape in her room, but had recently bought a Masters tape and coincidentally the first two pieces were ... French Military March and Light Cavelry. These two seems to settle her quite well, but she'd stir again after Light Cavelry, so we had to rewind the tape and play the two again, by which time she'd be asleep. :)

    With Adam I didn't play for so long. I began to feel more uncomfortable by about 5/6 months so took some time out, but was back playing again once he was about a couple of months old.

    And yes, I do have two very musical "children", so I believe there is a little influence there somewhere. :)
  5. countessduckula

    countessduckula New Member

    I had intended to do a Whit Friday whilst pregnant but ended up missing it as I was sicking up constantly due to morning sickness, plus in a Bb Bass harness may not have been my best idea. However, I did continue playing until I could no longer fit behind my steering wheel to drive to practices, although I did switch on to a 3-valve Bass as bump was in the way. At the time 'the bump' had serious objections to the contestor, the entertainer and weirdly the theme to pirates of the caribbean! As for afterwards I reappeared in plenty time for regionals (as the bump appeared early I did have a couple of months off!), unfortunately my band had decided not to compete that yerar, so i helped out a previous band of mine.

    I would say my band at the time were very accomodating and helpful re 'bump' issues and young sir is now thriving! It was a case of do what you can mange and when and we'll see you after he's born! Much appreciated!
  6. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Its up to you how you feel really. When in first 3 months was being sick every half hour so did have to keep getting up in rehearsal and then fainted on an outdoor gig. V embarrassing and MD none too chuffed so I did get sidelined for contesting. I did Whit Friday with St keverne when 4 months pregnant as was finally over constant sickness. Did have to keep popping to the loo between marches but the landlords of the pubs were fine about that. Also toured with them in the Black Forest at 6 months which was a bit hot at times in August and did feel like a small beer barrel was attached to my front. Played Flugel for Torbay at SWBB local Contest week of the due date and Band were fine about it (I think!) but didn`t play at a concert with them after baby arrived although we did go to it.
    With no 2 ended up in hospital for more constant sickness and at end of pregnancy in for 6 weeks with rare medical problem so banding stopped then and as we were moving out of the area anyway it was a natural break.
    Best of luck to you and I hope it all goes smoothly!
  7. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    My good lady was on stage at the Area this year at 38 weeks, and again at a concert the following weekend at 39 weeks. She didn't actually miss a rehearsal, as Rhys was kindly born on the Saturday of Easter weekend!

    He used to kick Rosie's baritone from 'inside', and particularly enjoyed Arnold's Little Suite for Brass!

    He's now a fully qualified band baby, who comes to most rehearsals and all concerts and contests. He was at Bolsover Entertainment Contest yesterday enjoying himself.
  8. Ellie Mae

    Ellie Mae New Member

    Playing Whilst Pregnant for the Baby's Sake

    I played clarinet (sorry, I was well and truly in the midst of my 16 year long 'I hate my trumpet' campaign) and was able to play right through up until the carpal tunnel syndrome became unbearable. In fact, I even played while it was unbearable which I seriously do not recommend! However, I did this because everybody told me it was good for the baby's musical development and how he was just going to love coming to band practice as a newborn.


    Poor little sod bawled his brains out so many times I left the band suffering extreme embarrassment.

    However, I am now in the throws of an 'I LOVE my trumpet' campaign, and the little guy now has a babysitter but knows he doesn't dare complain if I have to drag him along!

    And is he musically inclined? He reckons he's leaving all of that to Mum. So much for my troubles...

    Ellie Mae
  9. JPCoulson

    JPCoulson Member

    Slightly different for my wife being a percussionist. She had to stop playing when she could no longer reach the drums. Our conductor at the time was intent on rehearsing 'Strike Up the Band' at some super speed and then wondered why at 7 months pregnant my wife was bothered with high blood pressure!
  10. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I distinctly remember Sue Bird playing baritone with Nottingham City Transport at the RAH when at least 8 months pregnant - it was the band's first champ section finals appearance and there was no way she was going to miss it.
  11. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    Our principal Cornet played last week at Harrogate whilst 8 months pregnant. She is still playing at the moment but told us we need a dep for our concert on 1st November, 2 days after she's due. She is intending to be back in the New Year at the latest.
  12. caramelbunny

    caramelbunny Member

    Wow, this is all really encouraging :D Can't believe ladies carry on playing so far into pregnancy! Anyone any thoughts on whether it makes a difference what instrument you play?
    We're due middle of March Di, 'bout 10 days after our area I think :-?
    And I'd not even thought about not being able to reach my 4th valve Countessduckula, thanks for the heads up on that one :tup I somehow don't see myself doing Whit Fri, Armistace or any other marching for that matter since I was never the biggest fan and this provides the ultimate get-out excuse ;)
  13. Meg

    Meg Member

    Hi and congratulations!

    I would really have to agree with a previous poster and say it will completely depend on how you feel. It's certainly possible to play right up to and beyond your due date, but if you're having an awful pregnancy I wouldn't have thought playing would be too high on your priority list. I had a good pregnancy and played up to 39 weeks but have known other people to find the breathing very difficult from about half way through the pregnancy. So, keep playing if you feel comfortable and if not, have a rest. I would however strongly advise finding a dep for contests very near your due date, babies do come early sometimes!

    As for returning to band, again that will depend on how you feel. Lots of poeple leave bands when they have babies, but I joined one! (Am I mad? Probably!) Went to first rehearsal 4 weeks after my c-section.

    Best of luck!

    Meg xx
  14. countessduckula

    countessduckula New Member

    for the larger instruments, I suppose a bass stand may have been of use, but personally I've never liked them - always a bit too wobbly. I think I tend to use band as 'me-time' strange as it sounds. Even before I went back to work I found band a good way to maintain non-baby conversations! Even if I felt knackered through lack of sleep, band was a fab way to get me out of the house

    Young sir has ventured towards his first marching contest when he was about 6-months (Morley in July), he startled once slightly as one bass drum went by, then, just stared agape at all going on, refused to settle for a nap, just watched the bands go by, ignored his mum as I lumbered by! Seemed to enjoy! Must be mad, think he might prefer percussion at this moment in time!

    Again, do what you feel comfortable with. I would hope that most bands would be accomodating as there aren't as many brass players out there anymore. Try and enjoy!

    But bear in mind, as previous have said, not all bumps arrive on time. Young sir was 4-weeks early, arriving precisely 2-hours into my works maternity leave!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  15. Euphjam

    Euphjam Member

    Hi,my good lady arranged a dep for a contest playing London Overture on percussion cos it was right on her due date. The dep then cried off and her fellow perc. player went down with pluracy so she had to play after all.(our eldest was born about 7 days later!) she put in quite a shift after not having practised much.
  16. Ruthless

    Ruthless Member

    I was 34 weeks pregnant at the areas this year - the band were very understanding and as we had 5 front row cornet players we all practiced so that the 5th person could jump in if I was unwell or baby came early. He was usually very quiet during rehearsals but he did used to kick me all the way home in the car.

    I was playing again after 6 weeks even following a c-section. The only reason I was not back earlier was because I popped a piece of cartledge out from between my ribs which killed if I took large breaths and I was breastfeeding and needed him to be happy to take a bottle before I would leave him for more than an hour at a time. Hubbie babysits and I get some "Me Time" As someone else mentioned it is important for me to have somewhere where the topic of conversation isn't always babies. The little one did come along to a rehearsal for the finals test piece recently but wanted to sing along so my parents removed him!!

    Now he loves music - we play a lullaby version of The Eagles at bedtime and he loves me (or anyone for that matter) singing to him, humming when my head is in direct contact with his calms him down from most rages. His happiest morning is tuesdays when we go to a music time group.
  17. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    Quality bandsman/woman!:clap:
  18. On the musical side, I played (perc) while pregnant and Luke, now five is in the training band because he wants to do it. He plays perc and has a sense of beat/rhythm and was 'dancing' on his back at 3 months to music.
    While pregnant, Luke did kick in time with me when I played.
  19. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Our trombone player, Ruth was playing right up to maybe a week before it was due but decided to give it a miss at our last concert and sat in the audience. That night after the concert at around eleven PM she started, and Evie was born at one in the morning. The rest of the band are convinced it was our rendition of Doyen that kick started her, as she was a couple of weeks early actually.
  20. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    My wife was playing baritone for Pontins until about 10 days to go.
    She was booked in for a caesarian as out baby was facing the wrong way and it looked doubtful that he was going to turn around.

    We had Gavin Pritchard (who was helping us out at the time) on timps for the contest. He came down a few days before for rehearsal. First run-through of Blitz and the almighty timp solo in the first few lines caused my wife to stop playing and to nearly keel over in pain. The volume of the timp solo only went and made the baby jump so much that he turned around the right way.
    Hence my wife was gutted as she was going to have to do all the usual pushing and stuff!!

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