A Mother’s Blessing is a way to refocus the energy and experience of pregnancy on the expectant mother. Based on a Navajo rite of passage into motherhood Mother’s Blessings or Blessingways can be personalized to the desires of the mother.
In a culture that is often devoid of rituals and spirituality, this ceremony brings the powerful women in your life back into a close circle of support and nurturing. Unlike a typical baby shower, there does not have to be typical gift giving. Instead, guests are asked to bring small trinkets based on the ceremony components selected by the expectant mother.
Included in the package:
-30min. set up before and clean up after of the ceremony area, sitting area, and any chosen blessing/adornment set up/clean up at your chosen location
-Center alter with candles, flowers and symbolic motherhood items
-Facilitation of your event, including opening, closing, and your chosen rituals
-Red yarn for the closing ritual
-A simple checklist of what to prepare and have available
-Postpartum meal train signup sent out after your birth
Fee depends on rituals selected, number of guests and host location. Price typically ranges between $200-$500
Blessings typically begin with your guests gathering and sharing their names and relationship to you. The room can be cleansed with sage if you desire. A reading will be shared to set the tone for the event. You choose from among many options to create the event which follow. These activities are meant to feed your soul and makes you feel like a goddess!
It is recommend that you choose 2-3 adornment rituals, 1-2 blessings, and 1 project, to allow your event to flow well. The ritual will be a one-of-a-kind event created specifically for the expectant mother’s needs- everything can be modified to suit the mother’s desires. Here are some options for mother blessing rituals:
- Necklace: Each of your guests is asked to bring one or two beads. These can be purchased or handmade from wood, stone, or clay. If each guest is asked to bring one bead, it will be woven into a necklace or bracelet for the mother. If two are requested, a separate necklace or bracelet can be made as a gift for baby. If you choose, you can have each guest talk about what their bead symbolizes. The mother can wear her necklace from the time of her ceremony until the birth or after to remind her of the positive thoughts, prayers and words of her tribe of women.
- Headpiece: Every guest is asked to bring a flower that reminds them of the mother. While guests talk and get acquainted, these flowers are used to make a simple crown for the mother with is then placed on her head at the beginning of the circle. Guests can share which flower they brought and why.
- Communal bracelet: The event is closed by having yarn or thread which each woman wraps around her wrist and passes to the woman next to her. Each woman in turn does the same. Once it has gone around to each woman in the circle including the mother, words can be shared about the web of connectivity and support within her circle of family and friends. Each woman then takes a turn to cut the strings of the woman next to her and helps tie the yarn or string onto the wrist. Everyone ends up with a string bracelets that stays on until the mother goes into labor. A chain system can be set up where the mother or her partner lets one person know labor has begun and she is in charge of texting or calling the rest of the women to share the news. At that point everyone can cut the thread off and the blessings can be immediately releases to the birthing mother.
- Candle Lighting: This can be conducted in a number of ways. Have each guest bring a candle. With everyone gathered in a circle, the candle of the woman next to the expectant mother is lit (this can be her own mother, best friend, etc.). Each woman can say a blessing or a few words about what she wishes for the mother to be. When she is finished speaking, she lights the candle of the woman standing to the left of her; it continues around the circle until it reaches the expecting mother, who is holding a large candle. The expecting mother can then light the large candle when she goes into labor. If a phone chain is set-up, her family and friends can light their own candles in support. Alternative approaches: *Provide the candles for the guests and send each guest home with a small candle as a thank you for attendance. *Have each guest choose a color of embroidery floss to tie onto the large candle. The large candle will be beautifully decorated with many different colors.
- River Stones: Each woman is provided with a smooth river stone. The women are asked to think of a word you would like the pregnant mother to have before and during labor. Each woman writes her word on the stone, then everyone can share why they chose their word.
- Wish Tree: Create a miniature tree from a branch and plate it in a pretty pot. Have each woman write a wish for the new mama using decorative paper. Tie the wishes to the tree as “leaves.”
- Nature’s gifts:Guests are asked to bring an offering from nature like a small crystal, a feather, or a rock. These are offered to the mother and placed in a box, on a special altar plate, in a mobile to be hung in the birth room and or nursery, or incorporated into a wreath that she can keep to remind her of everyone’s well wishes for her during the birth.
- Share Positive Birth Experiences: Take turns going around the room telling what you most enjoyed about your births. Rather than the negative and stressful messages portrayed by media, this circle of sharing empower the mother-to-be by sharing only positive birth experiences with her.
Projects to tie the women together:
- Prayer Flags: Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, these are strips of cloth that are cut about 3″ X 18″ (or any other size you choose). They are handed to each guest to write a birth blessing or positive message on it. When the guests are through the mother is given the flags to read and take with her to her place of birth. Messages can be anything. Some examples include: “You are a strong woman.” “You can do all things through God.” “Your baby will be born at the right time.”
- Belly casts: A cast is made of the mother’s form which can later be painted or adorned with special mementoes. If you choose to have guests participate, they can offer words of encouragement and wisdom as they add to the cast.
- Memory Box: Buy or repurpose a wooden box. Decorate the box (the hostess could do this beforehand, or you could allow other mothers at the ceremony to help) and give it to the expecting mama to keep newborn keepsakes and/or trinkets from the mother blessing.
- Feed the Freezer: This is not exclusive to mama blessing ceremonies, but it would be a great time to organize one. Each guest brings a frozen meal that the mama can put in her freezer. This saves her the time and energy to prepare healthy meals after baby arrives. Just be sure you’ll have adequate freezer space.
- Book of Mothering Wisdom: Mothering friends (near and far) record gentle mothering wisdom for the expectant mother. This can include wisdom pertinent to labor, to being a mother or partner, meaningful poems, whatever each mother wanted to contribute. This is then turned into a keepsake book.