Many women in the western culture celebrate the upcoming birth of their baby by having a baby shower. Women gather (sometimes the men do to) and we share our life stories. We give advise. We give gifts and we feel the connection of our kindred spirit as women folk. Others call this a blessingway and some create their own ritual to encourage the pregnant woman to feel confident, inspired, courageous and strong for labour and motherhood.
A fun way to share and to remember this time of celebration is to do a belly cast. The pictures below show of the process I guided a few women through for a client of mine. It was so much fun and she later painted her belly cast. I hope what I share here is a good place to start and play.
What you will need is:
Plaster gauze strips 2-3 rolls, cut into manageable lengths (go to arts and craft shops)
Bowl of water (to dip your plaster gauze strips into)
Vaseline jelly (lubricant to cover over the part of your body you are casting)
Drop sheet (for keeping your floors clean)
Plastic wrap (to cover parts of your body you dont want to wrap but may be close - like pubic hair)
The pregnant woman may like to stand to create a nice curve with her breasts and belly, but sitting forward also creates a good shape. Its easier to sit and feel rested than to stand for half an hour.
Start by liberally spreading the vaseline all over the part of her body she wants to cast. Remember not to plaster cast around the side too much as you need it to come off when she leans forward.
Then take a strip at a time, dip it in the water and lay it flat on her body. Criss cross the strips across her body. Mould it to her curves, layer it up a few times and place them evenly around. You can always cut the edges later to make the shape better if you want.
Keep going until you have done all of her belly and breasts, although you can just do the belly if you prefer. Naturally you can extend further out than this but thats up to you.
It will be setting as you go and become more stable. Usually this takes around half an hour. When finished very carefully have her lean forward so you can pry the cast from her. have a place ready to put the cast so the belly can stay down, otherwise it may sag. We used a large tub with a sheet over it so that the belly cast hung in the middle.
See how you go. Other websites also give information about how to do this.
Its a bit messy, and its good to prepare everything beforehand so you have what you need. Time is a factor so you will need to work swiftly to ensure the best result. Dont forget to put your belly cast in a safe, dry place so that it can set.
Enjoy yourself and please share with me what you have created.