I’ve been seeing Phish in concert since I was 16 years old, and have hit up over 100 shows since my first.
Yes, I wore patch work pants once, thank you very much. So when I got pregnant with my first kid, I was determined to keep following my favorite band around.
Sure I had to change a couple things (RIP my pre-show beer) but I was still able to have fun and dance my butt off, just like old times. Being pregnant can be annoying and downright uncomfortable at times, but it doesn’t mean you have to skip out on can’t-miss concerts and festivals just because you feel like you swallowed a bowling ball.
Here are my tried and true tips for enjoying your favorite bands while knocked up.
1. Whatever You Do, Wear Comfortable Shoes
Your days of wearing flip flops to shows are over—for nine months, at least.
Dig out your biggest, cushiest sneakers, slip on some sweat resistant socks, and lace ‘em up. Sure, it’ll take your cool factor down a notch, and you’ll look more like you’re about to run a marathon than hit up a super-secret indie show.
But your feet are the foundation for your whole body, baby belly and all, and it’ll thank you at the end of the night. (Old lady spoiler alert: two kids in and I still wear sneakers to shows now. It’s the only way I can walk after!)
2. When In Doubt, Ask Your Doc
Concerned about your kiddo’s hearing being affected in utero? Experts say it’s okay, but when it doubt always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about concert-going while pregnant. Peace of mind is the best cure for pregnancy nerves!
You’re supposed to drink a ton of water while pregnant, anyway — so just be sure you’re chugging the clear stuff extra hard when concert-going. But remember….
4. Know Where The (Clean) Bathrooms Are
The only person who has to pee more than a pregnant woman is a pregnant woman drinking a ton of water at a concert. Stake out the closest, cleanest bathroom, and don’t be shy about taking lots of bathroom breaks.
5. Strategize About Your Seats
Check out the seating plan before you buy tickets — maybe you want an aisle seat to make those bathroom breaks easier, or prefer to sit in the back of the venue so you can book it out on the early side and beat the traffic. Just make sure to be in the know before you go.
6. Snack It Up
If you’re dealing with first trimester nausea (which, as many of us know, can stick around through the whole pregnancy), make sure you’ve got your preferred snacks on hand to keep your stomach comfortable. (Keep some in the car for after the show, too!)
Just don’t forget to also pack a travel stash of Tums, in case some acid reflux hits in the middle of the encore.
7. If You Need A Little Extra Energy, Sip A Soda
Now look, I support eating as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.
But a teeny bit of caffeine while pregnant is okay, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (limit it to 200 mg a day).
When I was pregnant I was often ready to hop into bed at 7PM, which is right when the opening band is taking the stage.
A little bit of soda helped me keep my eyes open, and gave me a little extra energy to (awkwardly) dance the night away.
8. Get To Know Your Neighbors
I saw Phish when I was 6 months pregnant, and was surrounded by people smoking cigarettes during the show (which was not permitted by the venue, but you know how some people are).
So I introduced myself, pointed to my stomach, and politely — but firmly — asked them to refrain from puffing away during the show. It’s your concert too — don’t be afraid to do what you need to keep your future kiddo safe.
9. The Fancy Parking Is Worth It
Look, normally I refuse to splurge on the VIP Parking Pass.
But when you’re pregnant, and every step can make your back feel someone’s splitting it open with an ax, it’s worth it to park as close to the entrance as possible.
If you have the cash on hand, go ahead and fork it over on a nice, cushy spot close to the venue. Your body will thank you, and — bonus! — at the end of the night, you’ll probably get out of the parking lot a lot faster, too.
10. Stretch It Out
Forget pre-natal yoga—dancing at concert is a legit work out, and you need to prepare your body accordingly!
Do a quick 5-10 minute stretching session before and after the show, especially if you plan on standing or dancing during the show. And then of course, treat yourself to an epsom salt bath at the end of the night.
11. Get Your Kid A Keepsake
Even if you’re little one isn’t technically “here” yet, it can still be sweet to buy or create a keepsake for them from the show. Buy a baby concert tee, or frame the ticket from the show as nursery decor.
My daughters love hearing about all the shows they attended in utero, and it’s a fun way to share memories, and more importantly, start training them to love your favorite band as much as you do.
12. Go Big Or Go Home
For one night, act like money is no object (as much as you can reasonably afford to do so, natch).
Like I said, I rarely splurge on good parking, and always buy the cheapest tickets. (Lawn seats all the way!)
But you’re pregnant, why not live it up a little? Not only could it help make the night a bit more comfortable and easy on your body, but once your baby arrives you might not make it out to as many shows as you’d like. It could even be the — gasp! — last one you see for a while.
So why not make it memorable?