The great thing about modeling is that as long as consumers need products pushed to them, clients and companies will need models to sell them and reflect the tastes of the consumers. Maternity modeling allows female models to continue their modeling careers while showcasing their buns in the oven.
The maternity modeling market isn't huge but there is a demand for them, from maternity clothing lines to baby products and items targeted towards new mothers, there will always be a need for pregnant female models. This is ideal for models that want to have children but still want to continue their modeling career or even for women with no modeling experience who happen to be pregnant and would like to take a shot at maternity modeling. There aren't many modeling agencies that have maternity divisions but there are some that specialize only in maternity models and work with them from the moment their baby bump starts to show all the way until it's time to deliver the baby.
Maternity models vary in height, size, shape, and ethnicity so the requirements in that sense are fairly flexible. However, these type of models should have an attractive, symmetrical face, pleasant features, a great smile, good skin, and nice hair. Think commercial/print models, although many agencies will also take interest in women with a fashion and editorial look as well. Because most women don't start to show until about 2-3 months, this is the time range during which you should seek representation. Like regular models, non professional, digital snapshots are fine to start out with when submitting to agencies, unless otherwise noted on the agency website. If you are currently a model and become pregnant, it is important that you let your agency know and tell them when your due date is. They'll continue to book you regular work until you start to show and then will adjust accordingly. Not all agencies book maternity modeling work so if you a model in this situation, your agency may contract you out to an agency that represents maternity models or even start submitting you to any castings they do receive that need pregnant models. It all depends on what options are available to you and what you arrange with your agency.
Of course maternity models have to maintain their health and their weight and if you plan on pursuing this type of modeling, start taking care of your skin diligently, since pregnancy can wreak havoc on your complexion due to hormonal changes within your body. Agencies that work with maternity models know how to work with pregnant women so rest assured, you won't feel the need to sweat the small stuff. Because stretch marks can be a hindrance, it is important to begin religiously moisturizing your stomach and surrounding areas as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Proper moisturization during your pregnancy will help prevent or minimize the amount of stretch marks you may get, depending on how much your skin stretches. Additionally, moisturizing your stomach will also help with the state of your skin after giving birth. Stretch marks in general are impossible to get rid of but if caught early, you can definitely control or avoid them altogether.
Of course you don't have to have an agent to do maternity modeling. Freelance is also an option and there are plenty of photographers that love to take photos of women during this special time in their lives. You can always do a test shoot for fun to see how you like it or you can start networking and finding out if there are any castings for maternity models in your area. If you don't live in the New York area, then you'll more than likely have to freelance to find opportunities. Stock photographers especially need real life models, including pregnant ones, so this could also be another alternative to breaking into this type of modeling.
The thing to remember about maternity modeling is that you'll only be able to work as long as you are pregnant. Once you've given birth, you're technically no longer a maternity model. However, some agencies even work with models that have just given birth and refer to them as "New Moms"--there's even "New Dads" and "Babies/Toddlers" with such agencies so if you want, your whole family could get in on the fun!
Here is what I could find in terms of maternity modeling:
- Fit Pregnancy is a bimonthly magazine devoted to all things related to pregnancy and motherhood. They state on their website that they hire their maternity models through agencies in New York, including Ford and Next Models, which means that these agencies represent maternity models.