Welcoming a baby into your life is such a beautiful thing.
For actors and models, it is a blessing that comes with its own complications. Much of an actor or model’s career is based on looks, and many would like to keep working as long as they can during pregnancy. I am definitely not one of those people but I admire those who can. My pregnancy days were spent mostly horizontal haha!
It wasn’t even that long ago when models and actors tried to hide their baby bumps for as long as they could. Even hiding the fact that they were pregnant because it could cost them their livelihoods. (Remember Hunter Tylo? ) Nowadays, the stigma of pregnancy is disappearing, and fashion lines have a growing need for REAL maternity models. (instead of fake bumps on non-pregnant models, gross)
Pregnancy is a great time to start a modeling career!
Maternity clothing lines, swimsuits, lingerie, baby brands and breastfeeding gear all need models to highlight their products. Not to mention commercials, stock photos, and spokesmodels.
Because pregnancy is limited to 9 months, the turnover rate is very high. Advertisers and businesses are on a constant search for models to replace those who have left the maternity market. There is always a high demand for maternity models of all stages of pregnancy.
In this article we will cover:
What is Maternity Modeling
Famous Pregnant Models
Where to Find Jobs
Watch Out for Scams
Find an Agent
What is Maternity Modeling?
Maternity modeling is simply “modeling while pregnant.” Models can model from any stage from early pregnancy to post-partum and even nursing. You can even transition yourself and your child to family and baby modeling if you are feeling up to it. The greatest demand is during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as there is a noticeable bump.
Famous Pregnant Models
Harper’s Bazaar has a gorgeous list of models who’ve celebrated the bump, including Doutzen Kroes, Chrissy Teigen, and more!
The most important thing to consider is the safety of yourself and your baby. Know the risks of modeling and absolutely get your doctor’s OK to model. While modeling seems like an easy job, it still requires you to stay fit, rested, and travel.
Another thing to consider is safety while on the job.
- Always research the person or company you are going to see, whether it be an agent, manager, photographer, or client. Check as many references as you can to make sure the person is who they say they are.
- Safety over being polite, always. If you get to the job or the meeting and you don’t feel safe, LEAVE. Always have a reliable way to leave, Uber, Lyft or a friend.
- Let someone you trust know the details of your photoshoots or meetings. Name, cell phone, location, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with the area before heading to the shoot.
For more tips on safety, please visit MODEL SAFETY by Maria Eriksson.
Where to Find Jobs
There are a lot of reputable sites where you can look for work. Open castings are also common. You can google “maternity model casting” (or some derivative of that search term) and add the words “near me,” your zip code or the name of the closest largest city. Most of the time a portfolio is not required, but if you have one, of course bring it or a most recent photo.
Here is a list of reputable sites where you can usually find maternity model work:
Watch Out for Scams
There are terrible people everywhere. While the casting websites listed above are legitimate, there are just as many if not more scams out there. Do your research. Walk away from anyone who:
- Asks for money up front. This is THE number one telltale sign of a scam.
- Asks you to use certain photographers only.
- Guarantees that you will work all the time. There is no guarantee, no matter how pretty you are.
- They use the “take away” tactic. In other words, they tell you the opportunity or offer is only “good for today!”
For more information on this, please visit the FTC website.
Commercial modeling requires happy and confident faces. Businesses who use maternity models want to exude positivity, happiness, and good health so their models should reflect that. You will need these photos in order to take to castings or “go-sees” (meeting with agents/managers).
Your photos should feature a content and confident smile. Pregnancy is marketed as a joyful time, so look happy! Keep your posture straight, and show off that baby bump, no matter the size. Make sure you project that glowing and happy look!
Here are some great photographers who I’ve personally know or have taken my pictures. They have my personal endorsement!
LAPhotoSpot – took my first real headshots!
Shed Light Photography – took my wedding photos! He’s also an actor, so he gets it.
Candace Wakefield – Candace took some gorgeous editorial shots for a website redesign years ago.
Ana Neri – Practically my sister, my brother’s bff from high school. She photographed my aunt’s wedding.
Joseph Choi – Memphis, TN – He took my family’s photos back in 2019.
Amy Gallagher – Took both my daughters’ 1st birthday photos!
Find an Agent or Manager
There are agencies that cater exclusively to expectant models, and others that (while not specifically geared towards representing the expecting) do embrace and support their clients through all life’s stages.
A modeling agency that specializes in maternity modeling will have laser focused contacts in the industry of motherhood, lifestyle and fashion. While it is usually best to have an agent close to you, it is sometimes unnecessary as agencies can represent models from anywhere in the world.
Keep your agency updated with regular photos of your growing belly, especially since babies grow faster towards the last few months. Don’t stress about the size of your belly, there is a market for baby bumps of all sizes.
When meeting with an agent or manager, never go alone. I don’t need to tell you the horror stories, but for your safety and that of your unborn child, I repeat: NEVER GO ALONE.
Meeting in person gives you and the agent a chance to talk about your modeling potential.
- Dress simply. A solid color shift dress that shows off your bump will do nicely.
- Keep your makeup natural, but make sure stray hairs are plucked or waxed.
- Bring your portfolio with you. If you don’t have one, some recent photos will do.
Here is a list of agencies who actively represent and promote their pregnant models.
Please note that this list isn’t comprehensive. If you know of any agency or management company that should be included, please let me know!
- Expecting Models – The only U.S. based agency dedicated exclusively to maternity modeling.
- Dottridge Productions – A “pregnant friendly” management company based in New Jersey. “We support all our clients in their endeavours in spite of disabilities, sex, gender, preference and family planning, etc. Everyone deserves a change to expand their career.” – Gregory Osborne, Founder
- Pregnant Pause
- Fresh Agents
- Beautiful Bumps Agency
- Bump Models
- Social Media
Social media is a great way to get noticed. Instagram is one of the best platforms for this. Familiarize yourself with relevant hashtags such as #outfitoftheday, #ootd, #modeling, #maternitymodel, etc. Follow other models, motherhood influencers, and baby companies.
- Backstage Account
One of the best and most reputable casting sites out there. Here are 10 Reasons Why You Need a Backstage Account.
- Your Own Website
Setting up a website is easier than ever, and FREE. Wix and WordPress are the most popular, and you can easily set up a website to market yourself. Put your best photos, stats, and contact information. I would create an e-mail specifically for your modeling career and post that instead of your personal e-mail. Keep your personal information limited.
- What about Model Mayhem?
Some people like to use ModelMayhem, but they’ve had a lot of bad press over the years. Check them out if you’d like (I used to have a ModelMayhem profile, but deleted it years ago) and if you do decide to use it, always use the safety tips mentioned above, unironically on the ModelMayhem blog.
Other than safety, your health should be the utmost priority. Don’t neglect your diet, get plenty of rest and listen to your doctor. Some women are able to breeze through pregnancy, working up to the day they give birth. Some (like me) find getting up to make breakfast too much to deal with. You know your body best, so honor it and don’t push too hard. Ask yourself if you have the time and energy to devote to a modeling career right now. Modeling can be stressful and keep you on your feet for long periods of time. Keep your health and diet in check, and make sure you get decent exercise. You will also need to invest in any skin and hair treatments needed to maintain your look throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
Make sure you get regular prenatal screenings with your doctor.
Eat right and take your vitamins.
Get regular exercise, but don’t overdo it.
Get enough sleep.
Best of Luck!
The modeling world is in a constant state of evolution. Any and all looks are marketable these days, and the days of using fake baby bumps are over (thank God, ugh). Models are even walking the catwalk with their bellies in full regalia.
Go on, make that money! But most of all, enjoy this time of your life.