— -- Nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby, except when that baby is curled up inside a mold of their mom’s pregnant belly.
Amy Knowles, a photographer from Wirral, England, captures these precious moments on camera.
She started offering the maternity casting photos last year and they quickly became popular.
“Maternity casting is not my idea. Body casting as an art form has been around for centuries,” Knowles, of Slinky Photography Studio, told ABC News. “I found during newborn sessions I would pose babies in bowls or other small supportive containers to replicate how comfortable and relaxed they felt when they were in the womb. It seems only natural that the shape of their mama's belly is the perfect place for them to sleep for those early days portraits.”
She said the casting process takes less than 45 minutes in total, and she can include the full torso or just the bump itself.
Then the babies are photographed anywhere from seven to 14 days after they’re born.
“At this stage they are still sleepy and happy to curl up into the sweet fetal positions you see in the images,” Knowles said.
The end result is a cuddly photo captured for the parents to enjoy forever. Knowles said some of her moms even like to hang the belly mold in their baby’s nursery.
“Pregnancy is so different for everybody and some ladies struggle to love their heavily pregnant bodies,” she said. “I know though that in just a couple of weeks, they will be back at my studio cradling their precious baby and the mother will have a new love and respect for her body and what it's been able to do.”