A Mother’s Blessing, or a Blessing Way, is an intimate gathering for a pregnant woman and her closest female friends and family members, to celebrate her transition into motherhood. Unlike a baby shower, which is often about showering the baby with gifts, a mother’s blessing is about honouring the mother; celebrating her and her journey. It is an opportunity to shower her with love and well wishes, but most importantly nourish her with support that will continue through her fourth trimester.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Evolving from a traditional Navajo Ceremony, the spiritual intention behind this shared space is to honour the expectant mother, celebrate sisterhood and welcome a new baby to earth.
As the tradition has evolved, so have the activities involved, but would mostly include:
- Offering words of support for the new mother and baby.
- Pampering the mother throughout the day.
- Celebrating her body with belly painting.
- Sharing positive birth experiences.
- Providing a dish for the freezer to help during those weeks after birth. It may be the organiser of the ceremony invites guests to start a meal train in support of the new family post-birth.
- Crafting dreamcatchers together to hold the group’s hopes and wishes.
- Bringing an object of significance to add to the centre alter. Perhaps a crystal, flowers or a candle.
- Weaving flower crowns together to wear throughout the ceremony and take home with them afterwards.
- Writing or illustrating affirmations onto stones.
THE RED THREAD
One of the most significant rituals that takes place during a mother’s blessing is the tying of the red thread. A ball of hemp/string is passed around the group and tied around each of the women’s wrists. The thread joins all the women together, representing the lineage of ancestors that came before them; the matriarchal line. The thread will be worn in support of the pregnant mother, until her baby arrives earth-side, when the thread can be removed.
THE BIRTHING NECKLACE
Each guest is asked to bring along a bead to be included on the birthing necklace. Each bead symbolises womanhood and transformation and represents the guests wishes for the mother and baby in labour and birth. During the ceremony the beads are strung together, the necklace to be hung in the birth space to give strength and focus during her labour.
Another wonderful keepsake for the guests and symbol of support for the expectant mother is a blessingway candle. Each woman will be gifted a candle to take home with them at the end of the ceremony, which they will light when labour begins. They can leave the candle to burn throughout the duration of labour, sending their collective well wishes for both mother and baby.
There are many ways to mark the day and each ceremony is individual to the woman herself. Some women choose to only include some of these activities, whilst others incorporate many more. The magic of joining together to show up for the expectant mother is that you get to send her on her path to motherhood surrounded with the support of loving friends.