Belly painting is a fun and creative way for expecting moms to celebrate their pregnancy. This activity is best suited for late pregnancy, usually between six and eight months. Pregnant belly painting is a beautiful way to showcase the growth of your baby bump and each photo you take of your belly art can be cherished for the rest of your life.
When it comes to body art for your pregnant belly, there are endless unique design options. From cartoon characters and sports themes to animals and floral patterns, you have the opportunity to choose a beautiful design that reflects your personality and interests.
Before getting started with prenatal belly painting, there are a few things you need to know. It’s important to choose a body painter who will make you feel comfortable during your session. You’ll also want to ensure that the body paint used is safe for use during pregnancy and that you’re prepared to take photos soon after.
What Is Pregnant Belly Painting?
If you are pregnant, you’ve likely come across the term “belly painting.” This activity is a form of body painting in which paint is applied to the entire belly of a pregnant woman, usually close to her due date when the belly is at its largest. Belly painting can be a calming experience for some women, giving them time to relax as they capture this special time in their life. Maternity belly painting can also help expecting moms view the beauty of pregnancy in a whole new way.
If you have a maternity photo shoot coming up, you may be nervous about the experience. Some women feel uncomfortable posing in front of the camera and may avoid a photo shoot altogether, only to regret their decision later. Belly painting is the perfect solution for these concerns. With a belly painting design, the main focus is on your baby belly and not the rest of your body. Pregnant belly paint can also hide your stretch marks, making you feel more confident on film.
Is It Safe to Paint Your Belly While Pregnant?
It is normal to have concerns about painting your belly bump. However, when you use the right type of paint the process is considered safe for both you and your baby. Paints used by professionals are a type of non-toxic cosmetic designed for skin. You may be wondering if acrylic paint on pregnant belly is okay. The answer is: it depends. Acrylic paint is a type of water-based paint. While safer than most oil-based options, some types of acrylic paint may contain solvents that pose a safety risk to expecting moms.
The painting process itself is generally safe for most pregnant women. However, there are some precautions you’ll want to take. First, know that a customized belly painting could possibly take several hours to complete. During this time, you’ll want to take frequent breaks. Stand up and walk around to help prevent stiffness and discomfort. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and enjoy healthy snacks.
Belly painting is often done while the expecting mom is sitting in a chair but could also be performed while she’s standing or lying down. Choose a day to do your belly painting when you have no other obligations and can really enjoy the experience.
What Type of Paint Should I Use?
Beautiful belly painting begins with the right type of paint. If you work with a professional body painter, he or she will suggest a safe type of paint for your session. If you choose to do DIY pregnant belly painting, you’ll need to purchase your own paint. When shopping for paint, you’ll want to look for a product that has a low or preferably zero volatile oil compounds (VOC) rating. Most latex paints tend to be low in solvents or VOCs, but even zero-VOC products may contain some solvents, so proper ventilation is essential.
Going back to the question, “Is acrylic paint safe on a pregnant belly?” Most health professionals warn against using acrylic paints as they can contain biocides, ethers, or ethylene glycol that can be harmful to expecting moms. Instead, use paints that are specifically made for use during pregnancy. These products are usually FDA-approved and made with non-toxic water-based materials. Some of the best paints for an expecting mom are paraben-free, vegan, and made in the U.S.A. They are made to wash off easily with soap and water and should not irritate the skin.
How to Paint a Pregnant Belly
Learning how to paint a pregnant belly takes practice and technique. The type of design you want to create will play a major role in the complexity of the painting. Smaller, cute pregnant belly paintings will likely be easier to paint than larger and more complex belly painting ideas. If you’re painting your beautiful bump without the help of a professional, consider making a rough sketch on paper before transferring it to your maternity belly.
There are three main types of body painting techniques used in baby bump painting:
- Freehand – As the name suggests, freehand body painting involves drawing the design on the mommy-to-be without the use of a stencil or other tools. Freehand painting is usually the most complex as the body painter must go slow and concentrate to avoid errors. For professional body painters, the freehand method is popular as it allows the painter to use his or her particular set of art skills to complete the design.
- Stencils and Airbrush – The use of stencils and an airbrush can make the painting process go by faster. A stencil is placed on the bare belly and airbrushing tools deposit paint onto the skin. The stencil is then removed to reveal the chosen design.
- Sponge Painting – Sponge painting is also a popular technique used in belly painting sessions. The use of a sponge and paint is often preferred when the expecting mother wants to use fluorescent colors in her design. Sponge painting requires a body painter that is experienced and knows how to properly use and blend colors for a satisfactory outcome.
Pregnant Belly Painting Ideas
In search of fun painted pregnant belly ideas? There is no shortage of amazing designs to choose from. If you want to stick with something simple, consider a short and sweet message, such as the baby’s name, due date, or a message that says, “Coming Soon!”
Natural elements are also popular designs in belly painting. Consider a colorful flower, tree, clouds, rainbow, or other elements of the great outdoors. Animals are another component of nature that can be painted in a cutesy way on a pregnant belly. A fluffy rabbit, gentle lamb, birds in flight, or an undersea scene are just a few examples.
Cartoons are a fun way to paint your belly, especially if you have young children. Consider choosing a design that has some connection to your life, such as a scene from your favorite childhood movie. You could also choose a generic cartoon character, such as a teddy bear or other cuddly creature.
Painting pregnant belly ideas can also coincide with events you may be planning, such as your baby shower. Consider painting your belly the day of your shower to display your bump to friends and family in a creative way. Perhaps paint a ribbon across your bump to signify the “gift” that will soon bless your family.
Pregnant Belly Painting and Maternity Photography
You came up with the perfect design for your belly painting and now have your vision in full color on your bump. Of course, you’ll now want to capture your masterpiece on film. Make your maternity photo session extra special by including some snaps of your painted belly.
You’ll also need the right dress to pull off your look. Opt for maternity wear that will allow you to reveal your baby belly and hand-painted design. Here are some incredible choices from J&L Designs Boutique for a maternity photoshoot dress:
- Chloe – The Chloe maternity gown is a beautiful chiffon dress with a stretch jersey top and long flowing skirt. The dress features hidden elastic to keep it firmly in place while creating definition between the belly and bust.
- Etoiles – This princess-like robe features star and moon embellishments attached to soft tulle that pools around the feet.
- Layla – Layla is a classic vintage Pre-Raphaelite robe with a flowy fit and a sash to close the robe.
- Lucienne – With its off-the-shoulder bodice, smooth sheer skirt, and long train, the Lucienne gown is the perfect way to showcase your beautiful bump.
- Madeline – This lovely chiffon dress is long and flowing with a stretch halter top that ties around the neck.
- Maeve – The Maeve dress is visually stunning with its abundance of soft ruffles that will instantly make a statement.
- Malia – Malia features flowing material and a stretch jersey top. The dress has a sweetheart neckline that scoops down with a crisscross over the bust.
- Mavi Tutu – The full, long 45” Mavi Tutu is very full and adjustable to fit any size mom-to-be.
- Sophia – Perfect for photography, the Sophia gown is a silky chiffon dress with a stretch jersey top and flowy skirt that creates a dramatic moment when it blows in the wind.
- Violette – The Violette dress is made of sheer chiffon and features off-the-shoulder sleeves.
- Xiomara – Designed for the modern mom, the Xiomara dress is made of soft, fluttering satin that splits in the front to show your growing bump.
With the right maternity dress and belly painting design, you’ll be well prepared for your upcoming maternity photoshoot.