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Any pregnant singers out there?(27 Posts)
Am only 15 weeks so far so not had any problems yet (well apart from evening sickness interfering with rehearsals but that's gone now), but was just wondering if there are any pregnant ladies out there who sing in a chorus or choir or whatever.
I sing in an a cappella chorus and we rehearse for 3 hours one night a week, plus performances around once a month. Just wondering if there's anything I should be expecting over the next few months, particularly re breathing etc. i.e. I assume it will eventually get more difficult as there is less room for proper breathing.
Have already felt ridiculously exhausted after a 3 hour rehearsal (standing on risers) rather than just exhausted the regular amount. I don't think I can sustain a note for as long due to air but not sure if it's just cos I've also been away and not practising as much.
Anyway, any peeps who've done this, thoughts and experiences welcome!
you are spot on
I gave up at about 5m gone as a) I lost my lung capacity and b) I was just too knackered after a day at work - dh would come home at 6.30 and find me asleep on the sofa. And we rehearsed sitting down (lots of old ladies...)
I stopped singing at around 7 months in both my pregnancies as I could no longer sustain high notes (am a soprano so that was a problem), was getting very breathless and couldn't stand for long.
Took it up again afterwards with no problems that a little practice couldn't solve.
I don't want to take months off, was hoping to get away with singing until Christmas (7 months) but 5 months is really soon (sob). The DH coming home to find me asleep at 6.30 is very familiar already though!
I know I am already tired and I think this has contributed to me missing the odd rehearsal cos I have had to work late and so didn't feel like rehearsal after, or when I've just been a bit under the weather rather than actually sick.
Maybe I'll just see how I get on - perhaps I can just sit down for as much as possible - can't be all of it as it's barbershop so there is 'choreo' to go with the singing.
Our chorus is also quite new so I am the first person to have this situ so there's no 'precedent' IYSWIM, in terms of sitting down to rehearse, just coming for 2 hours instead of 3, etc. Everybody is lovely and very supportive but I do feel a bit like they might not get that it's hard.
FWIW standing on a hard surface for long periods could cause/worsen varicose or spider veins. So there's that to be concerned about too.
That's good to hear Sariska, especially that you go back into it quite quickly afterwards. We have a bit competition in May, and the reason I wanted to carry on as long as poss was so that I didn't miss too manny rehearsals for that. Baby will be 10 weeks by the comp so am hoping that DH will come along with baby, I will duck out to feed and just be 'unavailable' as a Mum for the 6 minutes while we're actually on stage.
This is of course all through my rose-tinted everything is going to be very smooth and calm glasses, so will probably all go completely wrong!
Ah yes hadn't thought about pelvic floor! Good tip .
The main problem I've found is that I can't use my my diaphragm properly, so I don't have the same vocal power, can't sustain notes and lose the lower part of my range.
I'm a singing teacher, and it's very frustrating.
However, it all came back last time (once I started getting some sleep and was able to practice again), so I'm sure it will again.
My suggestion would be (assuming this is your first pregnancy) don't get too hung up on the competition. You may be able to do it, or you may not.
You may also find that you don't care as much once your baby is here!
Thanks Boo, you're probably right re not caring as much when it actually comes around to it!
Deliaskis I wouldn't set you heart on making it to the comp, esp if this is your first. Sorry to be at bit 'we're all doomed'.
10 weeks is quite early with your first (if you go over they could be younger)and if you are anything like I was you won't know what's hit you.
I was (am) very into Am dram, and the group I am a member of do a concert style performance at the beginning of Feb each year, and there was no way I would have been ready or able to go back to rehearsals and perform in this, and my DD was 10 weeks at that stage.
I did manage to take part in an informal concert when she was 5 months, but that was only a few rehearsals and one night.
There is no way I could do this year's main production, even though she will be nearly 1 by then, its just too time consuming and I want to spend time with her.
I thought I would be able to leave her a lot more easily with DP/GPs etc to go rehearsals etc but when it came to it I didn't want to and I didn't know that until the time came. You might have underestimated this a bit.
Good luck though, x.
Thanks for thoughts QS, I don't think I have 'set my heart on it' so much as was sort of hoping I might, all being well, be 'back' by then, but if I'm not, I'm not, that's fine.
FWIW I don't think this is as time-consuming as my experience of am-dram stuff, e.g. rehearsals most nights the week before and dress rehearsals then performances during performance week.
You're right though 10 weeks is v early and could be even earlier if s/he arrives late so I'll wait and see how I go!
There is hope Deliaskis... I worked as a singer/guitarist 3-4 nights per week up until 8.5 months
Admittedly, bouncing about playing the guitar and singing was exhausting and the acid reflux was intense! DD used to move alot during my gigs and my diaphragm had no room whatsoever by the end!
I bet your baby is loving listening to your voice
Deliaskis very well summarised. That's exactly what I was trying to say in my daft rambling way, x.
I'm 23 weeks today. I had the odd bout of dizziness in the early days, particularly when trying to sustain long phrases. Like Booboobedoo, I felt I couldn't really use all the muscles down there in the way I usually would. I remember I had a gig at 8 weeks and found it very tiring indeed.. I'm actually starting to find it easier again now. Not only do I have more energy, but the baby seems to be giving me more support somehow! So you may well find that it gets easier as you get bigger... I'm a little concerned about after bubs is born though - I've heard that your tummy muscles are pretty useless then, but thankfully I don't have to sing at anything until 6 months afterwards, so that should be OK I hope! I wonder what all our little babas make of our warbling?
InvaderZim in an ironic way, an amused way or a genuine enthusiast way? (Either is fine by the way, I know it's not everybody's cup of tea!).
Do you sing?
Congratulations! I play the flute and found that from about 5 months I couldn't practise after having eaten - just not enough room for food, air and baby in there. I managed a small concert at 26 weeks, but did notice that my lung capacity wasn't as good as usual (not that it is ever that great).
Another amateur singer here. One of the earliest signs I was pregnant was losing breathe control because the bean-size object seemed to think that it should take up more room! But, all back to normal afterwards.
No real problem here, just tired for evening rehearsals and standing for long periods. I realise that you are barbershop, but I really think you should sit as much as possible during rehearsals, partly to avoid getting too tired and partly all the other things mentioned.
It may be easier to eat little but often on choir nights so that you have energy but are not bloated and feeling stuffed.
As for the competition, see how you feel. If you are up to it, and you might well be, great. If not, well, you'll just have had a baby and that is not easy! Either way, I'm sure you'll be back in the long run.
Delia: Enthusiast! I used to sing with one of the best Sweet Ads choirs in the US.
I don't sing currently. I can't seem to find a happy medium between "no sheet music" and the bloomin' Bach choir... too out of practice at reading music.
InvaderZim respect to you. We're a fairly new chorus, been in Sweet Ads for about a year, first convention last May, want to improve our score for May 2011!
I suppose I should look up barbershop choirs in my area. I would really love to be in a quartet, but don't have the musical ability to be the kingpin of the whole matter. Nevermind for now, I'm 8 months pregnant and can't sustain a note of any sort!
I sang up until about 35 weeks last time but I'm an amateur and cut my lessons down to 30 minutes towards the end as I found myself quickly dizzy and breathless.
Thought I'd bump my own post and update for any other pregnant singers. Am now 6.5 months and still doing OK. Doing 2 hrs rehearsal instead of 3, and planning to knock it on the head at Christmas when I'll be 7.5 months.
It's a very personal thing.
I'm 21 weeks and am having to breath a bit more often but am fine. I was a full-time member of the London Symphony Chorus a couple of years ago and my good friend A stood next to me in the proms and sang her heart out at eight months pregnant. She was fine and it was only at her DP's insistence that that was her last concert before the baby was born.
She had to breath more often but that was about it.
(Oh and the Royal Albert Hall staff insisted she be on the end of a row nearest the Fire Exit just in case!)
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