Decorate the Belly

Pregnant lady with henna

When you’re deep into your third trimester and there’s no hope of camouflaging the hugeness of your middle, why not just go all out and gussy it up? If you can’t hide it, decorate it!

Painting the skin (usually a woman’s hands) with henna, a nontoxic red dye, is an ancient tradition that’s morphed into the modern trend of women having henna designs drawn on their pregnant bellies. In some cultures, the process is thought to protect and bless the mother and child and set the stage for an easy birth. But whether you believe that or not, the gorgeous designs are still a lovely way to pretty up your baby bump.

Since it’s always better to be safe than sorry in pregnancy, check with your doctor about whether henna is safe for you (it might not be if you’re extremely anemic, for instance). And rather than watch an online video tutorial and try this on your own at home, contact a local professional who can apply the design either in a salon or maybe even in front of guests at your baby shower. (A friend of mine had henna done at her baby shower while some of the guests massaged her hands and feet. It looked heavenly.)

The henna design only lasts about a week (think of it as a temporary tattoo), so make sure you get some good pictures before it fades away. If you’re looking for design inspiration – whether you want something traditional, symbolic, or just cool to look at, there are tons of great galleries online. I found some of the best ones on Pinterest.

Anyone out there planning to henna your belly?