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Pregnancy, Babyshowers and Blessingways

Henna during pregnancy is an ancient practice and is soothing as well as calming. It is believed to help bring about an easy birth and healthy child. A fun twist on tradition; applying the henna directly to the belly! henna on pregnant tummy

Lawsonia Inermis or henna is a small bush that produces a red dye that has been used cosmetically and medicinally for over 9,000 years.

Many countries including Morocco and India have traditions of applying henna during the third trimester of pregnancy. Henna is believed to protect and bless the mother and child from any evil or malicious spirits that may be near during delivery.

The red coloring of the dye and protective images used in the patterns guard against the evil eye and are thought to protect the pair during the child's difficult passage into this world. Special attention is given to the hands and especially the feet as they are considered to be vulnerable connections to the world.

As henna is being infcorporated into modern culture, new traditions are being created. One new way women are using henna is to decorate the belly during pregnancy. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the body's physical changes during pregnancy and embrace this special time. Baby showers and henna parties can be combined into a day of pampering and relaxation for the new expectant mom, her friends, and family.

Lounging while the lightly scented and cooling henna paste is applied to the skin is very calming and provides an opportunity to support and encourage the new mom. This is a wonderful time to quietly visit with friends while creating a joyous celebration of the last phase of pregnancy. Plus, everyone has a little reminder of the day together as the designs last 7-10 days.

Women often tell me they are planning to include photographs of their hennaed belly in their baby album. They want a special way to remember the pregnancy, what they looked and felt like and even to show the child that mom was wild once upon a time.

At Henna Caravan we use only natural henna, lemon juice, sugar and lavender oil in our mixes for pregnant women. It is important to keep the ingredients simple during pregnancy so you don’t stress the body, baby, or cause an allergic reaction. Other ingredients may be added such as coffee, tea, tamarind, or clove depending on the artist’s preference but simple is always better during pregnancy.

Henna should be avoided or used sparingly if you are extremely anemic or the baby has G6PD deficiency.

Having henna applied during a healthy pregnancy is generally safe but it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor. Work with a reputable artist and make sure you know exactly what is being used in the henna paste mixture, it should be simple, natural and smell fresh.

Natural henna is incredibly safe and poses no danger to a healthy pregnancy. There are people who use chemical additives such as hair dyes in the mix to speed up the process or obtain a black stain. This is not safe or legal. Chemical dyes often contain a chemical known as PPD which is toxic and can cause long term damage, including scaring. Chemical dyes will stain the skin within 30 minutes and be dark immediately, these should always be avoided.

Designs usually last 7-10 days, depending on body chemistry, how long the paste was allowed to soak in, and location on the body. Henna always lasts longest on the hands and feet, less on the torso where skin is thinner. It is very important to keep in mind that natural henna stains a reddish brown color and needs to soak on the skin 4-8 hours. The color will be a light orange at first and darken to a richer shade over 2 days.

henna on pregnant tummy

henna belly

Chanda and John chose a pattern from
our book "Arabesque" to decorate her belly.
This photo is 6 days after the paste was removed.
On day 11 the pattern was just beginning to fade.

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henna pregnant belly

Chanda and John chose a pattern from our book "Arabesque" to decorate

henna babyshower belly

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Henna Caravan artists are available for appointments and events in California and beyond
Photos appearing black were taken while the fresh henna paste was still on the skin
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