Of course you can!…
… if you want to. A lot will depend on how you feel, and on what stage of pregnancy you are at.
All the usual rules apply about eating, drinking, resting, smoking, etc so I’m not going to preach about all that to you. But there are some things you should pay a little extra attention to.
Belly Painting – get into the spirit of fun and show of your gorgeous bump by getting it painted. The Face Painters will love the opportunity to unleash their creativity on you and you will get some very memorable photos.
Boginabag – you will really appreciate one of these lovely loos. Getting a big bump into a portable loo is tricky and you may also be extra sensitive to smell and/or feeling nauseous, so using a portable toilet in the privacy of your tent may be bliss. Sheewees are very tricky to use if you are heavily pregnant – you just can’t quite reach!
Support belts and swollen ankles – even in a small festival there will be lots of walking, which is good exercise, but can also leave you a bit achy and swollen. Try using a bump support belt to ease the strain on your back and pack some cooling peppermint foot spray for your feet and ankles.
Stay out of mosh pit! – ’nuff said…
Smoking – obvious really, avoid sitting downwind of smokers
Antibacterial gels – festival hygiene is not great, and campylobacter and other bugs can reside in the earth. So be extra scrupulous with hand washing and use an effective alcohol gel regularly.
Keep hydrated – drink lots of water. And perhaps even consider taking bottled water. Normally I advise taking a refillable water bottle as it is way kinder on the environment, but sometimes there are germs lurking in standpipes which wouldn’t pose a threat to a normal person but which could potentially harm the unborn child. You may also be more sensitive to taste and sometimes temporary water points do have a slightly funny tang! You can also buy Bobble Bottles which contain an integral filter. Germs and smells aside, being outdoors and active all day does dehydrate you more than normal so you need to drink plenty to replace lost fluids and keep you feeling tip top.
Extra comfort – Folding camping chairs will provide you with a welcome resting place (ask someone else to carry one round for you if you can though). Wedge pillows can really help you to get your bump comfortable at night. And if there was ever an excuse need to treat yourself to the on-site glamping options then this might be it 😉
Camping – some festival organisers will allow you to camp in the disabled camping area. This is usually very convenient for the facilities and the arena and you may be able to park very close to your tent. However, if you are with friends or other family members you may prefer the Quiet or Family camping areas.
Food – if you have very strong likes and dislikes then you may want to bring most of your own food. It can be hard to check the ingredients of dishes served by food stalls, and although they are inspected, food hygiene will probably not be as good as at home. Freeze a hearty healthy meal or three and use them to keep your coolbox cold. Take plenty of nutritious snacks to curb any nausea and hunger pangs. I loved Waitrose Ginger and Oat bars in dark chocolate (well, they did have oats in them… but OK, they’re not exactly nutritious!)
Be sensible – I know it’s a festival and you are letting your hair down but do bring your maternity notes and a hospital bags if you’re nearing D-day. Check out the nearest hospital or birthing facilities and think through your options if you went into early labour. Check if there is a midwife on site (Glastonbury has one) and get a mobile number for them (or security).
Some festivals cater specifically to pregnant or new mums too: Camp Bestival has free Pilates for Pregnancy workshops (and lots of yoga for children and families too), Sunrise Celebration has a natural birthing group, Buddhafield has workshops birthing and weaning.
If you feel inspired by the bellypainting idea, here are a few more of Cree‘s wonderful paintings.
If you go to Cree’s website, you can contact her and book a session for some Bump Art – an amazing way of celebrating and immortalising a joyous stage in your life during the creation of your unborn child.
Have a read of another great article I found on Made For Mums about festivalling pregnant: http://www.madeformums.com/entertainment/going-to-festivals-while-pregnant/975.html