A Blessingway is a sacred pre-birth ceremony that has traditionally been performed by Navajo people, and celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood.
Today, a gathering known as a ‘Mother Blessing’ is gaining popularity in North America. Unlike a traditional baby shower where the focus is on gifts, a Mother Blessing puts the focus back on nurturing the woman. A woman’s closest girlfriends and family gather in love to build up her mind, body, and soul in preparation for her journey to motherhood. It is intended that the mother-to-be leaves bursting full of love, strength, confidence, and belief in the ability of her body to birth her baby.
HOW TO PLAN A MOTHER BLESSING:
Keep the preferences of the mother-to-be in mind; after all this event is about her. Make her feel as comfortable as possible. Not all mothers will be into all the ideas below, so choose a few that best suit her.
Make a foot soak, and offer her a hand massage, foot massage, or back massage. This can be a beautiful time for her to sit and relax and have her friends take turns laying hands on her and transferring as much loving energy to her as possible.
(2) Flower Crown
Make the mother-to-be a flower crown to celebrate her beauty. Ask each woman coming to bring a flower from their garden to contribute to the crown when they arrive or just have a selection of stems for each attendee to choose from when they arrive. If you want to celebrate all of your attendees, you might want to have everyone make themselves a flower crown when they arrive.
(2) Paint Her Belly
Painting her belly, henna, or a belly cast is a beautiful way to celebrate the life inside her. Let the art radiate the life she carries.
(3) Circle Time
Gather all the woman to share a blessing with the mother-to-be. It can be a time to share their best mothering wisdom, an inspirational verse, or a song. You can meditate together, belly dance together, or sit and laugh and tell your favourite birth stories.
(4) Leave Your Guests Thinking About the Mother-To-Be.
During circle time, a beautiful activity can be binding everyone’s hands together in ribbon. After praying over or blessing the mother, each attendant cuts herself a small piece of ribbon to wear on her hand until the mother-to-be goes into labour. Every time they glance at the ribbon on their hand, they can send up a prayer for their friend’s upcoming birth. Once the birth begins, someone texts out a message to the rest of the group and they all cut off their bracelets together in solidarity. Another send home gift could be a candle that all the friends light when they hear the birth has started.
(5) Bead Ceremony
Ask attendees to bring a special bead to create a necklace for the mother to wear in the last few weeks of pregnancy and during birth. After each attendee offers their blessing, they can string their bead onto the mother’s necklace. She will be reminded of the love and support she has in her community of friends every time she looks at each individual bead.
(6) Birth Flags
Have some plain cloth banners for attendees to paint with encouraging words and phrases. The mother can string these in her home and have them be a reminder of her strength leading up to birth. This is a great option for women planning a home birth since she can decorate her birthing space with them. Some women who are planning a hospital birth and may also want to bring their birthing flags to hang in their hospital room.
(7) Stone Painting
Ask each attendee to bring a stone that you will paint with encouraging words for the mother. The mother can place the stones in various spots in her house (one by the bathroom sink, one by the kitchen sink, one by her alarm clock) or place them together in an encouragement altar. Seeing these stones will remind her of her strength leading into birth.
(8) Bring Gifts for a Birth Altar
A birth altar serves as a focal point for the labouring woman. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay focused on the positive affirmations you read and meditated on during pregnancy, so the woman can focus her attentions to her birth alter to give her visuals of her end goal- her baby. Items for a birth altar can include a birthing goddess, ultrasound pictures, positive words, aromatherapy, candles, and any imagery that you find beautiful and inspiring.
Of course, sharing a meal with friends is the best way to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Ask your guests to each bring a dish to contribute to a potluck meal.
(10) Let The Emotions Flow
Be open and transparent with each other. Share your joys and your struggles. Don’t be scared to let the tears roll.
After all of this love and attention, the guest of honour is sure to leave bursting at the seams with good birth mojo.
Written and Photographs by: Cradled Creations Birth Photography.
Also at www.CradledCreations.com