Birth Services

Joyce Kimball, CPM

Belly Casting

CW finished belly cast croppedWhen:

A belly cast is a wonderful reminder of the once-in-a-lifetime event of being pregnant. You will be amazed that your body grew to accommodate, feed and nurture your baby inside you. I typically do belly casts between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy.

Supplies:

Typically I come to your house. I bring all the supplies – plaster bandage rolls like the ones used to create a cast if you broke your leg, scissors, pans for hot water, a shower curtain and sheet to stand on and baby oil to keep the plaster bandages from sticking to you. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes total.

Preparation:

I start by talking with you as I cut the bandages into 1 foot long lengths and putting 3 pans of water on the stove to have hot water available for later. We talk about where you want the belly cast to start and stop, if you want to be sitting or standing, if you want your hands on your belly or Dad’s or other kid’s hands on your belly.

When the bandages are cut I typically have you stand or sit with the shower curtain and sheet under you, in a warm room and pour baby oil anywhere the plaster bandages will go. I use petroleum jelly and saran wrap on any places that have lots of hair.

Application:

The warm bandages will not burn your skin or harm your baby, though your baby may move lots during the process, which is fine and will not affect the outcome of the cast. I place the bandages from top to bottom for 3 layers, rubbing the bandages to establish the plaster. By the time I start the second layer, you will already be able to feel the first layer start to pull away from your skin. It is not painful, just a warm tingle sensation. I finish with a third layer of bandages.

The threads of the bandages do not melt away, but the plaster between the threads melts and creates a cast. It creates a form of your belly, breasts, shoulders and tops of thighs. While the cast is too thick to get the detail of a belly button usually, it does get the details of nipples. It is not smooth like liquid plaster but more like a rough surface.

I remove the cast by holding it and letting you step back out of it. I place the cast on the floor and, while you take a shower to get all the oil off, I finish off the edges either trimming or adding pieces of bandage to smooth out the roughness of the edge.

Note: You are standing in one place for about 45 minutes. While you can and should stand normally, breathe normally and hold your arms normally by your sides, it can be tiring for your legs and feet. You should be very hydrated and continue to drink water throughout the casting procedure. If you have any preexisting medical conditions such has high blood pressure you may want to sit rather than stand for the casting process.

Once the plaster is dry (24 hours) you may leave it the way it is, sand the cast, apply gesso and paint it, glue things on it, gold leaf it or collage it, etc.

Cost:

$150 - $200 depending upon need and location.

Belly casting is fun, easy and a great memento of a unique time in your life. Enjoy!