LEAD WITH YOUR HEART & TRUST YOUR GUT
The news that you’re pregnant is life-changing and very exciting to share with our friends, neighbors, families. Ideally, your band has a loving and supportive vibe and your team has your back. We always hope that our friends and colleagues will be thrilled and supportive, but people are complicated, and business can be too.
Check out these tips for the breaking the big news to your music collaborators & business partners.
Consider Your Collaborators
Who will be impacted by your pregnancy? The answer will vary on your particular circumstances. Are you a side-musician or band leader? Are you about to launch a major release, or are you in the process of writing your next album? Understanding what your pregnancy means to the business of the music project will help you prepare for the conversations with your collaborators.
Breaking the News to Your Bandmates
People love babies! It’s likely that your bandmates will be thrilled, and also have questions. To ease any concerns, come to the conversation ready with an idea of how you want to handle the logistics. For example, if you’re the band leader you may need to adjust the touring schedule to make space for your maternity leave. If you’re a support musician or hired-gun there’s more flexibility. The band can hire a sub for tours or other critical business obligations scheduled for late in your pregnancy or during your expected post-birth recovery.
Telling your bandmates should be the fun part! If it turns out that you don’t feel supported, you should do some deep thinking about whether to keep investing your time into the project. It will not get easier when you have a baby.
Breaking the News to Your Manager
Managers should be able to help with planning around your pregnancy. Remember that managers are hired to grow the business no matter the challenges or opportunities that present themselves. A good manager should be able to help think through the logistics and priorities. Make them a partner in adjusting your touring and recording schedules, and creating your maternity leave plan.
Breaking the News to Your Booking Agent
The sooner you tell your booking agent, the better. Enlist your Booking Agent in planning around black-out dates and creating more pregnancy-friendly routing and riders. Consider what you’re willing to do while pregnant and when you will need breaks.
A few examples:
- On certain weeks, you will need to be home for regular maternal care and check-ups.
- Shorter drives become essential on tour if you’re touring pregnant.
- Air travel is not recommended beyond 36 weeks of pregnancy.
- By 38 weeks, you will want to stay close to your doctor and hospital.
This might feel like a big deal, but it’s really just a few months and can be summarized as a few restrictions and black-out dates. (Find more tips for touring while pregnant here)
Breaking the News to Your Record Label
Telling your record label you’re pregnant may be the trickiest of all the talks. If you have a manager, let them handle sharing the news with the label. If not, consider what impact your pregnancy will have on upcoming releases, tours, and promotions and time your announcement carefully.
In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be an issue, but the reality is that there are still roadblocks to clear on how the music industry perceives musicians and measures the risk of investing in them. You will want to re-assure the label that you’re still committed touring, promotions, and any other contractual obligations. This is especially true if they have made a significant investment in the project and you’re a critical member.
Consider what point you’re in with negotiations or your album release schedules and what impact the news might have on how that shakes out.
AND FINALLY… CONGRATULATIONS!
Have tips of your own to add? Have more questions? Drop me a line or let me know in the comments!
Keep on making that music, Mama!
Disclaimer: I share my story and hope that it’s helpful, but I’m a musician – not a physician. Every person, baby, and pregnancy is unique. Please consult with your doctor on what is right for you and your baby.