“I didn’t want to do belly casting, initially, because it seemed wasteful, and I wasn’t sure I’d have anywhere to put the cast when I was done,” says belly-caster fan Amy Stark. “After thinking it over a little, I decided to do it anyway because I figured I’d only be pregnant once and wanted to capture my gorgeous breasts and belly in 3D.”
Hannah Harriman has been present at four belly castings. She threw her sister a “blessingway,” which featured belly casting. A blessingway is a ritual where the focus is more on the mother and less on the baby. It can involve healthy food, belly castings, telling birth stories and making crafts for the woman who is about to bear a child.
The process of actually doing the cast is an easy one, Harriman says.
“The pregnant momma lubes up her belly with Vaseline, or if you have the kit a non-petroleum based cream,” she says. Each woman takes a turn placing a strip on the belly and breasts until a cast is formed. The strips are cut in advance, and you will need towels and a drop cloth. After the cast is completely dry, the inside can be reinforced with more strips or powdered plaster. The kits come with a sanding screen and sealant.
Some women choose not to display theirs, while others decorate them with paints and have them on show in their homes. Others bring out the casts once a year on the child’s birthday and have the child draw or write their name or any other information on it. Stark has hers on display in her home.