Four artistic ways to honor a pregnant belly

May 02, 2011

It makes you waddle.  It enters the room before you do.  It makes it nearly impossible to get up from the couch.

However it makes you feel, your belly (otherwise known as your baby) makes a statement.  And save a few stretch marks, that bump is gone in flash with few tangible reminders.

To honor your baby and the bump it occupies, why not get a little creative?  Below we share several ideas for artistic ways to celebrate your bump.

Belly casting. You can create a plaster mold of your belly (and your breasts if you choose) to commemorate, in three dimensional form, the shape of you and your baby.  You can follow these instructions, buy a kit, or maybe even find a ceramic artist who creates belly casts.  You can create a cast with your partner, your older kids, even at a shower.  Leave it plain or paint it - either way it’ll be a treasured keepsake.

Henna. In India, Egypt and the Middle East, the ancient art of henna (also called mehndi) has been applied to mothers’ pregnant bellies for thousands of years.  Said to bring a safe birth and happy baby, this temporary dying of the skin, which lasts one to four weeks, is done using a natural henna paint and involves beautifully intricate designs which can symbolize new life and the journey into motherhood.  You can buy a pregnancy henna kit, draw your own designs freehand or with stencils, or hire a henna artist who specializes in pregnancy.  Just be sure to use natural henna and not  “black henna” (henna with chemical additives), and it’s not recommended if you are extremely anemic or the baby has G6PD deficiency.

Paint. Does your belly remind you of the earth?  A pumpkin?  Does it inspire flowers or footprints?  Think of your belly as a canvas and paint away.  Just remember to use paint approved for use on skin.  Follow these instructions or buy a kit.  See these pictures for some inspiration!

Creative photography. No doubt you have some pictures of your belly, but with a little help and some creativity you can create more unusual and special images.  Here are some great tips, including involving siblings, getting outside, and simplifying the surroundings.  You may want to hire a professional - be sure to check out their portfolio of  pregnancy work first - but your partner or friend may be just as good if given a little guidance.

Tags: belly casting belly painting childbirth henna mehndi pregnancy pregnancy photography




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