Belly art

There are many possible attitudes concerning the changes that go with pregnancy in one's body. Some mothers worry about loosing their girlish shape, others are glad to have a good alibi to gain a little extra weight. I really like the way pregnant moms look, I find those round bellies very feminine. I think almost everyone becomes more beautiful and radiant during pregnancy, even if she isn't aware of it. Putting aesthetics aside, if we hopelessly end up feeling like a beached whale, it's best to make some fun out of it. Here are some ideas for "utilizing" your bulk:

1. Painting:
You can purchase some face paint for children's dress-up parties in most toy stores. This is harmless for your skin. Buy a lot, because the surface to be painted is large :o). Involve your friends or other children in the painting, they will enjoy it big time! Of course, photos must be taken, since the "artwork" gets washed off afterwards.

bellypaint1.jpg (20770 Byte)    bellypaint3.jpg (20218 Byte)
bellypaint5.jpg (18317 Byte)    bellypaint4.jpg (15716 Byte)   bellypaint2b.jpg (23374 Byte)

bellypaint6.jpg (21446 Byte)

2. Belly casting
In case you wish to perpetuate the curves of your belly in 3 dimensions, make a belly cast. It's not as complicated as it seems. You need a few rolls of plaster-bandage meant for making casts for broken bones (available at medical supply stores). If you have it, put some newspapers on the floor, have the mom sit or stand on them in a comfortable pose, for example, sitting on the edge of a chair or standing leaning to something, but not lying down, as that would result in a flattened belly. Put a generous amount of greasy cream/oil/jelly onto the entire surface that is going to be plastered, or else the cast will stick to the skin and pull mom's hair out, ouch! Take a big pot or pan with lukewarm water in it. Cut the bandage into strips of the length that's needed to reach from side to side, glide them through the water one by one, gently squeeze out excess water and apply the strip to the mother's belly and breasts or you can also include her hand held on her belly. Let the strips overlap and have at least 2-3 layers everywhere. Smoothe the surface with your hand. Work quickly, because the plaster begins to set soon. When you are ready with the whole surface, wait until the cast comes off without getting flexed or broken. Remove it carefully and lay it on newspapers so as to allow the inside to dry. When it has dried out, you can lacquer or paint the cast, collage it with your baby's photos, make footprints where the baby used to kick most. I've also heard of someone who put a soft lining into the cast and let her newborn sleep in it during the first weeks. The baby liked the familiar shape! For the latter purpose, use a massive, multi-layer cast. Here are some more ideas on the Internet.
Pocakgipsz02_kicsi.jpg (24373 Byte)   Pocakgipsz01_kicsi.jpg (18151 Byte)

3. Photo montage
It's always advisable to make any amount of belly pictures, because later you will look at them with nostalgia and your children will also be curious to see it when they are bigger.   The result will be particularly interesting, if you make a photo every month on the same spot, from the same angle, in the same (preferably tight) dress. This way, the changes will be most apparent. The series below document my pregnancy with my son Levente at 3, 5 and 9 months and finally, with the baby. When all pictures are together, you can design a frame for them, for example one like the edges of a roll of photo negatives, in which every photo  corresponds with a negative frame.

poc_montage.jpg (44880 Byte)

For multiparas: another fun idea!:
poc_montage2.jpg (25332 Byte)