Given that Blue Ivy was first and joyfully introduced to the world while still in utero at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, it’s perhaps no surprise that her future siblings might also grace the stage while still gestating (the stage is, after all, mom’s career).
When Beyonce steps out at the Grammys Sunday night (Feb. 12), at presumably around the 5-month mark, she’ll be carrying not one but two babies, a factor that can make a serious difference when it comes to performing.
Multiples bring with them an increased chance of premature delivery, a significant consideration when it comes to performing past a certain point in the pregnancy, according to Dr. Jacques Moritz, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.
“She’s lucky because up until this point, it’s really kind of like being pregnant with one child. So there really shouldn’t be any restrictions, for me, until past twenty weeks,” says Dr. Moritz. And after 20-weeks? “I’m sure she’s going to have to slow down because the major risk of twins in general is prematurity,” he says, giving credence to the rumors that Beyonce’s Coachella headlining gig might end up being canceled.
Dr. Moritz cautions that while mothers of single babies can be active throughout pregnancy, if they feel up to it, carrying multiples can make that harder. “Her shows are pretty exhausting even to watch. I think after twenty weeks it’s going to be really tough for her to do her thing. And she’ll notice it. Even though she’s in excellent shape she’ll be more tired.”
Beyonce is not the only pop star mother to dazzle audiences while pregnant. MIA famously rapped at the Grammys on her due date back in 2009 and Jennifer Lopez performed while expecting twins — though without the complex stage choreography she’s known for.
When it comes to choreography, certain alterations do need to be made both for safety and to compensate for the fact that the performer’s body weight and balance have shifted. “Later on in the pregnancy is when of course choreography has to be adjusted,” says James Alsop, a choreographer who’s worked with Beyonce. “The body has changed so you have to make sure the movement marries the body and compliments the artist as well.”
Fortunately for fans, Beyonce’s choreography Sunday night is likely to stick fairly close to what audiences are used to. “Her choreography is a lot of upper body and hair-ography,” observes choreographer Bubba Carr, who has choreographed shows for Cher. “As long as she felt safe and didn’t feel pain, I think most of the choreography would be okay. And in the end people know their bodies and their limits.”