Maternity henna is a way of celebrating and highlighting the beautiful changes in both the expectant mother’s body and life. Baby belly blessings, welcoming ceremonies, and baby showers are all perfect occasions to have your pregnant belly henna done. The design can include traditional patterns (florals, paisleys, etc.) from a particular culture or can be customized to include the baby’s name or symbols that are meaningful to the parents-to-be.
All images below are from a maternity henna session featuring our model, Karyn, and the beautiful and intricate mehndi artistry of henna artist Neha Assar! Read on for more information about henna baby blessings, and be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest happenings with Line & Roots!
A Brief History of Henna
Deeply rooted in several cultures as a practice revolving around joy and celebration, henna (or mehndi) can signify a number of things for people. Most commonly, henna is applied to a bride’s hands and feet just before her wedding. Recently however, henna has become a much more widespread practice not just mimicking tattoos, but commemorating momentous occasions including pregnancy.
Henna, also known as mehndi, is a dye prepared from a plant which is natively grown in South Asia, North Africa, and Australia. It is not surprising, then, that the practice of applying henna is prevalent in South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, etc.) and North African (Egyptian, Moroccan, etc.) cultures. The leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant are ground up into a fine powder which is then mixed most commonly and safely with water, lemon, and various essential oils. This mixture (henna paste) is then left out (in open air) to oxidize and release the dye molecules.
Next comes the fun part–the henna application. Custom designs are hand drawn in a process resembling piping/decorating a cake. The paste sets/dries on the skin and will often begin to crumble and flake off on its own. After a few hours (or the next morning), the dried henna is rubbed off, leaving behind a beautiful stain which can vary in color. Henna naturally stains orange/red, and the color deepens and darkens as the stain oxidizes on the skin. Henna stains remain on the skin and fade over the course of 7-14 days.
Maternity Henna Safety
When choosing a henna artist, it is very important to make sure the ingredients being used are safe for use during pregnancy. Traditionally, henna paste is made using water, essential oils, lemon, and sometimes tea/coffee. Unfortunately, it is common to find pre-made henna cones with chemicals mixed in that could cause an allergic reaction.
Most professional henna artists make their henna cones at home using safe, organic ingredients. We highly recommend henna artist Neha Assar for all your henna/mehndi needs! We have worked with Neha on several occasions, and the photos you see here feature her and her mehndi artistry as well.
Book A Baby Blessing with Henna Session Today!
Henna belly blessing photo sessions can be scheduled to be photographed with the henna paste on the belly, with the henna stain/tattoo (48-36 hours after initial application) or both (two sessions)! Click here to book your maternity henna photo session with Line & Roots today!
About Line & Roots
Line and Roots is an Orange County photography studio specializing in newborn, maternity and family photography. We want to be here to document major moments in your life as you extend your family lines and lay down your roots.