Sunday, July 7, 2013

Henna and Pregnancy Safety and Application Tips

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. In just a few short weeks we'll have a new addition to our family and it got me thinking about henna and safety with expectant mothers.

Let's start with the paste itself. Pregnant women are often sensitive to smells, and find their skin sensitive to new things as well. It's important to keep the ingredients in your paste simple and 100% natural. A simple mix of henna powder, lemon juice, essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, or tea tree), and sugar if needed. If mama has developed a citrus sensitivity replace the lemon juice with water or delude the liquid (50/50 water/lemon juice). DO NOT use premixed store bought henna cones, and NEVER use black henna on a pregnant woman or any other woman. 

Before applying the henna ask the mother questions about sensitivities and her general health. If she's sensitive to certain oils or scents, avoid them. If she has a citrus allergy, avoid citrus. If her immune system is compromised or she is ill advise that this isn't the best time for henna. 

Application Tips

Advise mom to wear clothing that's comfortable and stretchy, and remind her to visit the ladies room before getting started. Ask the mother if it's ok to touch her belly. Many people assume it's ok to reach out and touch and it's not. Also we want to give mom a chance to get comfortable with us, so be calm and let mom give the ok to start.  

Do not have a pregnant mother lie down flat on her back. Instead apply the design with her sitting upright in a chair, reclined slightly, or in a zero gravity lawn chair. The zero gravity chairs are great, run about $60, have a wide seat, and have a high weight limit (250-300lbs). 

I think it's fun to center the design around the belly button, but that's not the only way, just a fun way. Use your pinky and ring finger to help steady your hand during application. 

Babies move and kick during application so be prepared for that. If the kicking and movement causes a disruption in application, take a break and wait for the active baby to relax. New voices and sensations can get babies moving so its best to let it pass if the movement prevents smooth application. 

Sometimes there's a crease or fold that develops on the underside of the belly. Be careful not to apply henna on that area, it will smash when mom moves. To see this fold watch mom sit and stand with her belly exposed. Not all pregnant women have that fold, but it's fairly common. 

Bring a mirror so mom can see her finished belly art. 

Let the experience be fun and enjoyable for all. If mom experiences any discomfort, nausea, skin discoloration on application site, itching or burning, it's best to stop immediately and remove the henna paste. 

It's important to do belly blessings responsibly. I hope these tips have been helpful. Enjoy and have fun!

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