A conventional baby shower might not be for you, and that’s totally fine. One of the sweetest — and most spiritual — ways to shower the mom-to-be with affection before her bundle arrives is by having a mother’s blessing ceremony. Instead of having the complexities of a shower, such as coming up with games to play and sitting down to open dozens and dozens of gifts, a mother’s blessing simply celebrates mom. And who says you can’t have both?
What is a Mother’s Blessing Ceremony?
A mother’s blessing is an intimate party inspired by an ancient Navajo ceremony called a blessing way. The ceremony is held to prepare an expectant mother for her upcoming birth journey — to shower mom-to-be with love, support and encouragement. The act of birth is seen as a rite of passage for women, and this is meant to help a woman feel mentally, physically and emotionally ready to give birth. A mother’s blessing is a modern ceremony that can give moms-to-be a similar sense of support and honor as Navajo mothers-to-be have received in traditional blessing ways.
Why you would choose this ceremony?
Women who choose mother’s blessings want something more intimate than the typical baby shower, or something that doesn’t solely focus on the baby. They want to feel more empowered about birth, especially if they’re preparing for a natural birth.
What about gifts?
Other than meaningful poems, passages and beads, there aren’t usually gifts at a mother’s blessing. Those who celebrate mother’s blessing ceremonies see the memories the gathering creates as the greatest gifts of all.
When should you have a mother’s blessing?
A mother’s blessing is typically held at the very end of pregnancy — around 36 to 38 weeks — and about 10 to 20 of the mom-to-be’s closest women are invited.
How can a doula host and plan a unique (and fun!) mother’s blessing?
A mother’s blessing is meant to inspire and encourage the expectant mom just before she gives birth to baby. It’s very ceremonial – typically, at a mother’s blessing, an altar or adorned space is made for the pregnant woman and her guests to gather, with expectant mom in the middle — she’s the focus of the event!
The doula will ask guests to bring two things: bring a poem, song, prayer, or scripture about pregnancy, birth or motherhood; and a bead to symbolize fertility, birth or motherhood.
The doula can get creative and set up candles and flowers to help build an intimate ambiance. Once everyone has gathered, guests read the passages they’ve brought, and string the beads together so that mom can wear them during labour (or keep them nearby, if she’d prefer!). The beads are a reminder of all of the love and support she has. Labour can be tough, so it’s important that mom can feel the strength of her friends and family with her as she welcomes baby into the world.
Other things the doula can organize for the ceremony:
• Have each guest bring a favorite dish, so everyone has something to munch on.
• Give the mother-to-be an aromatherapy foot bath. Mix lavender essential oil and flower petals into warm water and clean her feet before the ceremony.
• Each guest can write a prayer or blessing on a piece of fabric. Later, it can be made into a quilt for mom or her little babe.
• Place a crown of flowers on the mom-to-be’s head. It will look simple, and sweet!
• Cast a mold of the mother’s belly that she can have as a keepsake.
• Bring a drum. Drums are known for their sacred healing abilities. Each guest can beat the drum as they share words of wisdom.
• Share positive birth stories. There’s nothing better to hear before going into labour than stories of welcoming babies into the world in safe and wonderful ways!
• Give henna tattoos. This ancient practice has taken place across many different cultures. Henna tattoos are done using a special blend of herbs and oils that will make mom feel beautiful before her birth. (Yes, they’re temporary!)
•Wrist-binding. This can be done in a circle where the guests will bind each other with the same piece of connected yarn to represent the connection and presence they can leave on the mom-to-be. Typically guests will wear their bracelets until the baby is born.
• Burn sage. Sage is known for its cleansing properties. Burning it nearby is thought to clear all negative thoughts and energy.