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Prenatal Belly Painting: What to expect

Updated on January 6, 2013
World Belly Art
World Belly Art

Pregnancy Art Keepsake

Are you thinking about having a prenatal belly art painting keepsake done and wondering about what to expect during the session? It is an easy, fun and a creative way to express yourself. Prenatal belly painting is a wonderful way to celebrate pregnancy. It is also a new and creative way to have a pregnancy keepsake. I am a face and body painter who can tell you about some essential things to bring and what to expect from a professional prenatal painting session.

The Design Process

You can create your own unique design for your painting. The artist will usually discuss the types of design you would like and will go over the color scheme and layout. The artist also might provide sketches for you before the painting begins. Really try get an idea together before you discuss it with an artist, maybe a tropical theme with hibiscus flowers, or a cute stuffed teddy bear theme for your belly, or an animal theme with mother and baby. There are many creative ideas which can be painted. In my experience, one mom always thought of her pregnancy as feeling like a little whale was moving in an ocean, so she wanted an underwater ocean scene. Another scheduled a painting session right after her ultrasound that day and I painted "Its a boy!" with a little boy dressed in football gear on her belly so she could use the picture to announce on Facebook and phone messaging. Still another mother did a lot of traveling and wanted the world painted on her belly. You can be as creative as you want! Designs can be serious art, funny or cute. The beauty of prenatal art is that it can be personalized.

Tips to Prepare for Paint Session

Shower well before being painted, ideally an hour or two before the session as the natural body oils and sweat can interfere with body paints, making them less able to stick to the skin. Clean natural skin is the goal for painting. Also don't apply moisturizer or makeup or any other body care product after you shower. These can also interfere with the paint. Wear loose clothing and a sports bra. Loose clothing like oversized t-shirt or a front button blouse with a sports bra, peasant skirts or yoga pants (or any other stretch material) keeps the design from rubbing too much.

Ocean Whale Belly Art
Ocean Whale Belly Art

What to Bring to a Paint Session

Creating a photo is the other half of the artistic process. You can also bring another change of clothing and props (such as necklaces, hats, flowers, hair accessories, earrings, skirts etc.) for the photo session afterwards. Pictures can be taken outside in the natural light or in a studio setting. These are your finished product, so you want to look your best for the shoot. You also may want to get some pictures of yourself with your own camera. Also bring a towel or sheet to cover your car seat on the ride home. The paint can and does rub off. Upholstery can be difficult to clean.

Strawberry Shortcake and Flowers
Strawberry Shortcake and Flowers

The Paint Session and Photography

The canvas is always moving so it is a delight for the artist to paint. The baby sometimes will get very active while being painted. Who knows why, maybe the brush strokes tickle! Every artist is different but, during the paint session the main goal is to make mother as comfortable and at ease as possible. A chaise lounge with pillows is used for mother to relax and be comfortable while being painted. Some things to bring to a session are snacks as it may take a long time and maybe an ipod for music to listen to while being painted. It is also essential to take breaks and stretch during the painting session. A painting session with photography included usually can last anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours depending on how elaborate the design is.

Clean Up Afterwards

The paint will come off with simple soap and water. It will help to apply a lather to dry skin and then rinse. Should you have any difficulty a little bit of baby oil or makeup remover should help. However there are a few colors/paints that will stay a bit more stubbornly, red in particular. But even that should only leave a very light hue behind.

The most important thing of all to remember is have fun in the process!

Prenatal Design Painting Poll

What would you paint on your prenatal Belly?

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