This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. For more details and to enter the amazing giveaways, see the end of this post.
As often happens when you have mommy friends, when I was expecting Baby I knew a number of other moms that were expecting as well. In the wonderful Natural Parenting group I belong to there were five of us! (That is, there were five when we started planning. As it turned out, two more found out they were expecting shortly before our Mother Blessing!)
To celebrate the expecting mamas, we decided that rather than a traditional baby shower, we would do a Mother Blessing, also commonly known as a Blessingway. (There is some controversy over the term “Blessingway” and its connection to a sacred Navajo ceremony; as a result, I use the term “Mother Blessing” here).
A Mother Blessing is a wonderful alternative to the traditional baby shower. Don’t get me wrong – I love baby showers! But a Mother Blessing filled a different need for me – it is more about spiritual connection to a network of women and to the baby. It was a very centering and empowering experience, something this busy mama desperately needed.
There is no right or wrong way to hold a Mother Blessing. Do what feels right for you and your circle of friends. Here I’ll be sharing what we did for our Mother Blessing, which we based in large part on this collection of Mother Blessing ideas put together by Code Name Mama.
Please note, often a Mother Blessing is held for just one woman, but in our case we did one ceremony for all of the expecting mamas in our group.
Mother Blessing Program
2. Introductions (of mamas and babies – due dates and gender, if known)
3. Anointing the expecting mamas
One of our members sells essential oils, so she brought several calming, centering oils for us to use. Several guests volunteered to help with this part. (Again, see the great Mother Blessing resource from Code Name Mama for additional ideas).
Each person was responsible for “anointing” a specific body part of each of the expecting mamas and reciting a blessing, as follows:
“I anoint your head for all the decisions you will make.”
“I anoint your arms for all the times they will cradle your baby.”
“I anoint your hands for all the work and play to come.”
“I anoint your chest for all the nourishment and love you provide for your baby.”
“I anoint your belly for your ability to grow along with your child.”
“I anoint your knees for all the times you will kneel to tend to your child.”
“I anoint your feet for all the miles you will walk to care for your child.”
4. Personal blessings
Each guest was asked to bring a blessing to share with the expecting mamas. It could be a poem, a prayer, or a simple blessing of their own invention. I shared this beautiful Bahá’í prayer for infants.
5. Birthing necklaces
Each guest brought beads to make birthing necklaces for the guests of honor. The beads should have some special meaning to symbolize strength and joy for the mother during the birthing process. For example, I found these beautiful beads that reminded me of the kind of jewelry my grandmother wore before her passing. We made these beads into necklaces for each of the expecting mamas, who could keep it as a source of strength during labor.
6. Birth stories
As the necklaces were being made, guests shared (positive!) birth stories. I personally have always found this storytelling to be such a powerful way to connect with other mothers and share our wisdom and experience.
7. String bracelets
While only the expecting mamas received the birthing necklaces, everyone present received a simple string bracelet to wear as a token of support for the expecting mamas. We passed a colorful piece of string around the room, and each guests slowly circled her wrist with it, until we were all connected in one big circle of strength. As each guest was wrapping her wrist with the string, she evoked her female forebears and she gave a wish for the expecting mamas, so for example: “I am Leanna, daughter of …, granddaughter of … and …., and I wish you joy.”
8. Labor candles
Finally, our hostess passed out beautiful candles to the guests, to light when we heard that one of the mothers had gone into labor.
Afterwards, we enjoyed the yummy treats everyone had brought and made prayer flags for the babies’ rooms. I got the idea from this photo I found online. To keep things simple (and avoid sewing, since I don’t have a sewing machine!) I cut out the flags from felt – one chain for each expecting mama – and each person decorated one flag on each of the chains. It is such a lovely keepsake for the mama and a sweet decoration for the baby’s room!
A Mother Blessing is a special way to welcome babies into a caring community. For me it was a calming, centering way to connect with my baby and my friends.
Have you ever participated in a Mother Blessing?
I am so excited to be a part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year. This amazing ten day event represents a massive effort from over 40 bloggers to provide the best advice on celebrating all of those firsts of a baby’s first year.
Today we are talking about Taking Care of New Parents. For more great tips, visit our group Pinterest board:
Follow Dayna :: Lemon Lime Adventures’s board Everything Baby on Pinterest.
As an additional surprise for you, The Colic Solution by a Mom, for a Mom is 70% off for the duration of this event. Click here to apply the code:ULTIMATEBABY.
Here are all the great topics being covered today:
Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of New Parents ~ Lemon Lime Adventures
Taking Time For Mom
5 Things New Parents Really Need ~ BPhotoArt
Ways to Reset When Suffering From Postpartum Depression ~ Trust Me, I’m a Mom
Ways to sneak in me-time when you have a new baby ~ Mom Favorites
Look Better Feel Better ~ Plain Vanilla Mom
5 Fast Ways to Refresh as a Mom ~ Peace but Not Quiet
How to be Supportive When Birth Doesn’t Go as Planned ~ The Realistic Mama
Getting Through the First Months: 5 Golden Rules for New Parents ~ Let the Journey Begin
10 Post Baby Must-Haves That No One Talks About ~ Pink Oatmeal
Gift Ideas For New Parents
Gift Ideas for Parents of a Newborn Baby ~ Powerful Mothering
Mother Blessing for Expecting Moms ~ All Done Monkey
Little Mommy Luxuries – Must Haves for Every New Mom ~ The Eyes of a Boy
Tips for Newborn clothes~ La Cité des Vents
Never Go Wrong With Fantastical Flowers – Conceiving Piper
How to Plan a Meal Rotation for New Parents ~ Still Playing School
Hand the Baby Over to Dad: Fun Bonding Activities for Dads and Babies ~ The Jenny Evolution
Frugal Tips for Parents
6 Tips for Getting Dinner on the Table After Having a Baby (or babies!) ~ The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide
Frugal Living: Our Tip Five Tips for Saving Money with a Baby ~ Bare Feet on the Dashboard
Tips for Parents of Multiples/Preemies
5 Things You Need to Know About Preemies ~ True Aim Education
Parenting Multiples ~ Bambini Travel
Finally, enter the giveaways! We have eight – yes, eight! – giveaways going on this week, so don’t miss out on your chance to win!