What does it cost?
A basic pregnant cast (breasts and belly only) is $240. A complete pregnant cast (includes arms and hands) is $350. A non-pregnant full torso cast is $200 and upper torso only is $160. For women who are experiencing breast cancer, the fee for an upper torso cast is $160 ($25 donated to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation). All fees include finishing work, one colour of your choice and a high gloss or matte varnish. Your cast will be ready for hanging/display when it is returned to you.
Why create a cast?
There are many reasons why a woman would choose to create a cast of her pregnant body. Some women want to have a 3-dimensional, tangible memory of what their bodies looked like when they carried their child. Others use the process of decorating their cast as a place to express their feelings and thoughts on this very important transition into motherhood. Many women want to preserve the time in their lives when they felt most beautiful and powerful. If this is the last pregnancy, many women honour this with a belly cast. Sometimes it is the father who would like to have the mother’s belly casted so that he can always reflect on the miraculous changes his partner’s body went through while expecting their child. These are just a few of the reasons why people have belly casts done.
- At what point in my pregnancy should I schedule the session?
For a first time mother, the session should be scheduled about ten days to two weeks before the expected due date (edd). Moms who are having their second, third, fourth, etc. baby are wise to book their session no later than two-three weeks before their expected due date . If you have medical issues which may indicate an earlier delivery or the possibility of an induction prior to your expected due date, please book your session a month in advance of your edd to ensure your cast is completed before your baby arrives. Julie has casted women who are past their due dates and even one who was in early labour so if you decide last minute to have a cast done do not hesitate to call and check on availability.
- How long does it take to make the cast?
The entire session takes approximately 1 ½ hours including set-up and clean up. The actual casting process takes anywhere from 25 minutes to 50 minutes depending on how elaborate the cast is. Afterwards, Julie keeps the cast to work on and prepare for decorating and/ or hanging.
- What materials are used to make the cast?
We use hospital grade, non-toxic, plaster-gauze strips. Your skin is coated with Vaseline prior to the session to prevent the plaster from sticking to you.
- What can I do with it afterwards?
Your cast can be considered a one-of-a-kind piece of art and can be displayed as such. It can be hung in your baby’s nursery or in another room in your home or office. After a while, some women choose to store their cast for a few years to pass onto their child once he/she has grown. A “when in doubt” solution that belly casters often suggest is to use the cast as a chip and dip bowl!
- Does it hurt when the cast is removed? Are there any dangers to having the cast done?
If an area of skin does not have enough Vaseline on it, then there will be some pulling when the cast comes off (similar to a Band-Aid being removed). Julie makes sure the Vaseline coverage extends past the area that she intends to cast to help prevent this from happening. From her experience, Vaseline works better than other oils. Belly casting is completely safe for mother and babe.
- Why have a professional do it? Can’t I make my own?
You can certainly make your own cast by purchasing plaster/gauze strips from a craft store or by ordering a special belly casting kit available from various companies on the Internet. What Julie knows for sure, is that there is no comparison to the quality of a homemade cast compared to a cast created by a professional. Julie has received calls from people asking her to “fix” or repair the casts they have made themselves. When you have a professional create your cast, you can be assured that you will be getting a cast made from the highest quality materials that will be durable and ready to decorate or hang as is. The professional caster has experienced hands for handling the materials and working with the natural curves of a pregnant body. It is worth the financial investment to have it done properly right from the start.
- I’m not artistic. Can you help me to personalize my cast?
Julie is always available to discuss decorating options and to assist you in designing a cast that reflects your personality and experience. For an additional fee, she will decorate your cast for you.
Can my husband/friend/mother help with the casting session?
Yes! Julie welcomes friends and family members to take part in the creation of the cast. Photos and video are also welcomed.
Do you have Gift Certificates?
Belly casts make a unique and wonderful gift for a baby shower or a Blessingway. Arrangements can be made to create the cast prior to the celebration so that family and friends can help to decorate the cast as part of the festivities. Gift certificates are available for these and other occasions. Please contact us for further information.
Will you cast non-expectant women?
Julie has had requests from women entering menopause, for example, to cast their torsos in celebration of the changes their bodies are experiencing. Julie is open to these requests and will discuss options with interested parties.