World Doula week is March 22nd-March 28th annually!
While families worldwide celebrate doulas daily, this week brings special attention to the special role a doula has in birth. These blog posts highlight this important role, and shared many powerful images of doulas at work.
How many mamas out there find themselves missing their baby bellies from time to time? I know that I am one of them. Once a month or so I slide my belly cast from my pregnancy under my shirt, and look in the mirror, amazed that my body once had such a dramatic form. I’m continuously so in awe of our body’s ability to flow so fluidly from the shape of multiple humans back into one.
It is so special to me to have preserved a moment in time when my daughter and I shared a body! It’s incredible watching her grow to the point I can hardly imagine she was once small enough to fit inside of me, and yet there lies the belly cast preserving the moment when was in fact that tiny.
I hold such a passion and awe for the human body, both male and female, in all shapes and sizes, and it is a reason I have found a passion outside of birthwork in creating full-size body casted sculptures.
Perhaps my favorite of shapes to preserve in sculpture form is that of the pregnant body; it is the time in life in which our bodies change most dramatically. The body’s changes through and after each pregnancy are as unique as each child that is born. You will never be quite the same shape as you are through those stages and phases of pregnancy, and it is certainly a tribute to our strength to embrace these changes, and to honor them by creating a keepsake sculpture of the body which was your baby’s first home.
You don’t need to be an artist to create a belly cast of your own! Just some plaster bandaging, willing, helpful hands, and a willing-ness to get messy and have fun with the process!
Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your own belly cast:
Allow at least 24 hours to dry completely, and at this point it’s ready for decoration & display!
You may choose to leave it as-is, paint it as is, or for those who want to go the extra mile and make it smooth as skin, pick up some wallboard joint compound which you can smooth onto the cast, sanding down each layer once it is dried until all the little bumps and ridges are gone and you’re left with a smooth-as-skin finish, ready to be painted or decorated!
You could display it on a shelf, tuck it away in a closet, or drill a couple holes in the top in order to hang it on a wall. Whatever you choose to do with it, it will surely be a fond way to look back on and remember your pregnancy!
If you are located in the Portland, Oregon area and would like to cut the DIY out of the process and have it done by someone with experience, feel free to reach out about having a belly cast done by me starting at $35!
Here are some photos from a casting session I recently did with a sweet Portland mama:
Thanks for reading, and happy casting!