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Birth Art  


For centuries, mankind has left for history the stories of birth. From drawings on cave or pyramid walls, to sculptures to photographs, we have a historical account of how women have given birth through the centuries. When studying this art, one finds many differences in the styles over the years. In any other area, this might be considered normal. But birth continues to happen the same way it did in ancient times. It continues to be women's work.

Tlazolteotl
This sculpture of Tlazolteotl is one of the most popular birth art renderings. She is shown as a strong birthing woman, squatting in a posturally upright position and empowered to give birth with power. Tlazolteotl was also known as the "eater of filth". The Aztecs believed that she could take away their sins -- literally eating them -- if they were confessed to her. "The Goddess of Filthy Things," this Aztec goddess of carnality and lust, was also known as the witch goddess. She was a special goddess of fertility and was also known as the "Mistress of Spinning" and "Patroness of Sex".

Meskhenet
Meskhenet (Mesenet, Meskhent, Meshkent) was a goddess of birth, personified by the birthing brick that the Egyptian women squatted on while giving birth. She was either depicted as a birthing brick with a human head, or as a human with the headdress of a cow's uterus.

Heqet
Heqet, Frog Headed Goddess of Childbirth... Heqet (Heket) was a goddess of childbirth, creation and grain germination. She was depicted as a frog, or a woman with the head of a frog, betraying her connection with water. As a water goddess, she was also a goddess of fertility where she was particularly associated with the later stages of labor. In this way, the title of "Servants of Heqet" may have been a title applied to her priestesses who were trained as midwives. The ancient Egyptians saw thousands of frogs appear all along the Nile at certain times of the year. This appearance of the reptile came to symbolize fruitfulness and coming life. She was thought to be the wife of Khnum, the god who creates men on his potter's wheel, and she gave the newly created being the breath of life before the child was placed to grow in the mother's womb. In the story of the triplets who would be pharaohs, she was the goddess of magically "hastens the birth", in an unspecified manner. Even back then, they thought of augmenting labor!
Heidi Scarfone Today, birth art comes in many forms. One outstanding modern day birth artist is Heidi Scarfone of Canada. Her art, seen here as one of a set of note cards now available from BirthEssentials, are extremely popular. Heidi is the owner of Homecomings Prenatal Services. She is a certified childbirth educator and doula. Heidi is happily married and the mother of four children and a dog! Note cards with these images are available from BirthEssentials.
Birthing Goddess Birth art today comes in the sculpture variety and also jewelry. The Birthing Goddess, pictured at the left, has a removable baby.
Mother Milk Goddess  The Mother Milk Goddess at the left was inspired by nursing mothers and the calm, peaceful attitude created by breastfeeding. This sculpture and the one above are available from BirthEssentials.

Breastfeeding Pin
Birthing Jewelry celebrates the empowerment of women and the resources she must pull on the push the baby out. Wearing this jewelry honors all expectant women! Available in pins, necklaces and earrings, wearable birth art is a great way to have a conversation piece with you all of the time, a great way to advertise your business or to make a statement. This pin plus many other pins, necklaces and earrings are available from BirthEssentials.

 Belly casting
Many childbirth educators, doulas and birth professionals are sharing their talent of belly casting or belly masking with expectant mothers. A belly mask is a three dimensional piece of artwork that is made in the shape of a pregnant belly. It is made out of plaster cloth strips that are applied directly onto the bare belly. Once the strips are dry (10 to 20 minutes) the mask is removed and a moment in time is captured. The mask can be left unfinished condition or it can be painted and decorated in vibrant colors to coordinate with any room decor. This unique piece of art can be hung on the wall, placed on a shelf, or stored away to show the child when s/he is older. The belly mask can be made at anytime during pregnancy. Kits are priced around $35 and can be purchased from Your Birth Connection at 1-866-927-3278




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Peanut Ball

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