As I type this, I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with our first child, our daughter. When I found out I was pregnant, I looked for help and resources from fellow singers and worship leaders who have gone before me in this journey. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much help to be found! If you happen to find yourself pregnant and leading worship or singing regularly at your church, here are a few things I have learned over the past nine months.
Surprisingly, I’ve been able to play the acoustic guitar up until week 36. Sure, the guitar swings a little to my side, but you can still play! Keep it at the same length or lower it a bit and swing that ax to the side. Done!
Your breath support WILL be affected. I was getting out of breath within the first few months. What helped me was…
Exercise. Keep doing cardio work at a safe and healthy pace so your breath support is as strong as it can be. You’ll have more endurance and energy when leading. Also…
Lean into your bandmates. If you lead a powerful and energetic first song, create a long instrumental intro with scripture support before the next song. Give yourself a moment to breathe.
Or, ask one of your singers to lead out on the first half of the next song. You want to create a great worship experience for people, and trying to do it all yourself is not the best answer when you are out of breath!
Because your role is an upfront ministry position, expect to be approached by people you may not know who ask you personal questions. I have found that they mean well, and feel close to you and your pregnancy because of the pastoring role you may play at your church. Figure out what you feel comfortable sharing. Have personal boundaries you feel great about.
Also, everyone has an opinion about your physical size. Some people will ask you if you’resure you’re not having multiples. Other people will tell you you are too skinny and need to put on weight. All of this is personal perception. Again, no one means to be hurtful. But figure out what you need to do to prepare for comments about your physical appearance.
Explore your changing voice. Physiologically, a woman’s voice will change a little when she is pregnant. When my mom was pregnant with me and my twin brother, she told me her voice got lower, stronger, raspier. I have found that certain lower notes are more in my sweet spot in this season. I can sing certain notes louder and stronger. It’s amazing how so much changes ever so slightly. Enjoy the exploration of your voice!
Care for your soul in this season. Sure, there is a lot to do to prepare for baby. You will be given stacks of books to read and lots of advice to take. You will be dreaming about your future, and trying to figure out how life will work with the new title of “mom” added to your list of names. But be sure to carve out time to talk with God, sing, rest, pray, go on walks, whatever feeds your relationship with God.
If you have been here before, please share your learnings below!