Whether you’re expecting or already have a little one to look after, we’ve pulled together some tips for pregnant and breastfeeding brides and bridesmaids.
When you’re a bride-to-be planning her wedding, or you’re a close friend of the bride who she’s asked to be a bridesmaid, you could be trying for a baby or already be pregnant. Here are some things to consider for the big day!
Bridesmaids, if you haven’t decided to keep your pregnancy a secret as some women do, tell the bride ASAP that you’re expecting. Best to let her know so that it can be taken into consideration when shopping for dresses or when planning things like the hen party. We’ve heard some awkward stories about bridesmaids who kept their pregnancy a secret and then a whole lot of hell broke loose when her dress didn’t fit only weeks before the big day. Oops.
Brides, the same thing goes—tell at least one of your bridesmaids that you’re expecting so that you’re not all on your own. Not only will having one of your girlfriends in the loop give you peace of mind, but it’s safer too—if you faint or fall while dress shopping for example, you’ll be in good hands. Furthermore, when you’re dress shopping tell your boutique assistant—they’ll then know what to recommend for dress shape and fabric.
When shopping for your wedding look, brides and bridesmaids should consider comfort over everything else. For footwear, flat shoes or small heels are recommended if you want to be able to walk at the end of the big day; but if you’re really fixed on wearing big heels, consider flats that you can change into after the ceremony.
For the dress (yes, brides, you can wear white!), you will get really good advice from any bridal boutique about which dress fabric, silhouette, etc, would be best for you. For example, empire waist gowns are popular because of their high waist and how they they flare out over the hips. For fabrics, consider lighter options like organza or chiffon.
Also, don’t forget about underwear. During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to go up a few of cup sizes and for breasts to become a lot more sensitive. Therefore, it’s important to look for a bra that has structure (though ideally one that doesn’t have hard wires that could dig into you), and wider straps, sides, and backs. This will give you as much comfort and support as possible. However you probably shouldn’t just go out and buy a maternity bra—it’s very important that your bra fits properly. Pregnancy means your body is always changing, so the best thing to do is get professionally fitted to ensure maximum, perfect fit.
Furthermore, there’s nothing wrong with wearing your usual knickers, but you may consider investing in special knickers (and tights for winter?) that support your growing baby bump. Normal knickers will tend to slip beneath your tummy.
Lastly, some other clothing items it’s well worth looking into are back supports/belts to treat any back pain. These will also help your posture, which is very important while you’re pregnant. And nursing pads/breast pads are a must-have to keep you dry when you start to lactate. Even if you haven’t yet, it’s best to have some on hand if only for your own peace of mind—they’ll be there if and when you need them.
Drinks and Snacks
Throw a few snacks in your purse for the big day—things you know you can eat without feeling queasy, and things that will give you a burst of needed energy. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water.
Don’t be afraid to have fun at the reception while everyone’s dancing the night away, but be careful you don’t tire yourself out. Also, although experts have recently stated that no amount of alcohol is advised while you’re pregnant, others would say that one small glass of champagne is forgivable. …If you’d rather not do that, look into non-alcoholic options.
If you’re a bride or bridesmaid who’s recently given birth and you now find yourself with a newborn on your hands in time for the big day, don’t panic. If you prepare right you can hang out with your bundle of joy at the wedding to create a really special memory!
Baby On Board?
Bridesmaids, firstly you should make sure you check that the couple are okay with having children at their wedding. And then you need to organise everything you might need throughout the day; don’t forget baby essentials like wipes and nappies.
Know the Day’s Schedule
Feeding your baby will be so much easier if you know the schedule of the wedding day. This way, you can roughly arrange times to feed your baby before and after the ceremony, and perhaps through the reception.
A Helping Hand
Have somebody on hand—perhaps a friend who’s not in the bridal party, and therefore has no major duties through the day—to take your child out of the room if he or she gets a bit fussy.
Is your dress breast-feeding friendly? A growing trend with bridesmaids is the multi-style dress that can be worn in about a dozen different ways. They’re so versatile that they’re absolutely perfect for a bridesmaid (or indeed a bride!) who needs to get in and out of her dress quickly and easily. Zips that run down the length of the dress, dresses with low necklines or easily-pulled-down straps, or even two-piece “convertible” dresses are also perfect designs. You might even consider a completely custom-made dress that’s perfect for your body shape, personal style, and could even be made to include all the support you might need (these however can come with a hefty price tag). Furthermore, you may also consider whether or not your gown is nursing-friendly—is your outfit soft and baby-friendly against your little one’s delicate skin?
Just like when you’re pregnant, when breastfeeding it’s important to wear the correct underwear for both your comfort and ease. For example, it’s advised that you get a nursing bra. These are very similar to pregnancy bras (see point 2, “Shopping”, above under “Pregnancy”) in the way of wider straps and better structure for improved support, however many modern breastfeeding bras also come with clever features like drop cups that allow for easier feeding. Also, again like when pregnant, it’s a very good idea to have breast pads on hand in the event of a leakage.
Further accessories for breastfeeding brides and bridesmaids that you may want to consider include a muslin to cover you when nursing (this will offer you more privacy, or if you’re outside can help protect your baby form sun or brisk wind, etc), or some kind of overall to protect your wedding outfit when it comes to the inevitable moment you need to change baby’s nappy. Make sure you go prepared. Ensure everything you’ll need is at the ready, from fresh nappies and baby wipes to pre-prepared milk, a breast pump, or a buggy for baby to sleep in once fed.