Giving new meaning to the phrase “Bun in the oven,” you can decorate your “baked goods” with a little henna. Turning your ever-rising roundness into a creative canvas is the latest way women are embracing the joy of motherhood. What a unique way to celebrate the beauty of the belly and give burgeoning pregnant women an opportunity to recapture the gorgeous, sexy feeling that seems to slip away during this awkward stage.
I recently read about a photographer and henna artist in Colorado who have teamed up to provide this unique service. Leah Reddell has been a professional face painter for years and began painting intricate henna designs on “preggo bumps” three years ago. For her, it’s a ritual — a sort of rite of passage marking the final days of gestation. “I also see it as a shift of perspective toward a new opening of beauty. The pregnant belly isn’t exactly glamorous, between stretch marks, that weird dark line, blotchy, itchy, dry and generally irritated skin. Then pop goes the belly button. Good God. By month eight, most women`s big concern is how in heck to get the baby out of there ASAP — not how to relish the last few weeks of pregnancy,” she says. But, she has found a way to do just that.
How it works?
Clutching what looks like a pointy pastry bag, she slowly squeezes brown paste onto the woman’s pregnant belly, creating beautiful designs freehand. Only limited by your imagination, she has created designs from symbols of peace and strength to flowers. Capturing the process and the finished product on film, her partner photographer Maureen Sullivan stylizes the photo with interesting props, scarves and poses. It’s Glamour Shots for baby bumps!
Unlike a tattoo, which can be painful, the henna paste feels cool and relaxing when applied. Smelling of lavender and lemon juice, it’s also very calming–a great thing when you’re eight months pregnant. A temporary tribute, the stain lasts about three weeks and fades as your skin exfoliates, so you don’t have to worry about how it’s going to look on your flatter stomach post-delivery. But, before you rush out to try it, be sure you know what’s in your henna. Henna paste is safe for a pregnant belly, but make sure your artist doesn`t use black dye, which can burn your skin.
Don’t stop at the baby bump–make it a fun baby shower theme!
Whether it’s the beautiful design or the frangrant aroma, be inspired by this unique experience. Turn this private celebration into a party theme for your baby shower. You can show off your hand-painted artistry while your guests get their own henna design. Talk about unique baby shower favors! This one may fade in a few weeks, but the memories will last a lifetime. You can even ask guests to bring treasures from the East as baby gifts, like this feng shui plush bear. It’s adorable and meaningful, since many believe that that feng shui has an effect on health, wealth and personal relationships. These black damask compact favors are also a wonderful complement to an Asian baby shower theme, as well. You can even bring in a masseuse and treat everyone to a relaxing massage. Can’t you just hear the water trickling down the fountain and the soothing spa sounds while you read this?