Blessing Way: A Celebration of Motherhood
A Blessing Way Is a wonderful gathering celebrating a woman’s journey into motherhood. Originating from the Navajo Indians and expanding to all spiritual beliefs, women can gather in support of the mother. This gathering is focused on the mother rather than that of a traditional baby shower that has a focus on the baby’s needs. The intention of the celebration is to provide positive support and spiritual uplifting. For each mother, this may mean something different making it whatever she wants it to be.
This is the beauty of a woman-centered gathering. Whether it is a traditional Indian blessing way or a modern gathering offering religious, spiritual support or just a fun night with friends, the aim is to help the new mother feel connected and well supported when she enters into this transformation of motherhood by dispelling any fears and instilling needed confidence and strength.
A gathering is most often organized for the mother by her best friend, or it may also be planned by her doula. Traditionally women only are invited from the circle of her most trusted friends and family. These women will be those who she looks up to, respect and value. Over the years numerous modern ideas have evolved broadening the way a blessing way is put together making it more universally used among all women. It is important to understand when you plan a blessing that you have no set order you must follow. Below are a few ideas that have been used by women over the years.
Ideas for a modern blessing way or “Mother Blessing” gathering may consist of:
- Make plans to have each guest write a prayer or a poem on a card that can be read during your gathering. Again these can be read during labor by the mother or her doula, and finally adding them to a scrap book is great way to have lasting memories.
- Make plans for guests to gift a jewelry bead and express a verbal blessing. Each bead can be connected to make a birthing bracelet or necklace for the mother. This can be worn during labor or even the days leading up to labor as a reminder of the love and support. For those who live far and cannot attend the gathering, a bead and written blessing can be mailed.
- Make plans to have your guest gift a homemade cloth quilt patchwork square decorated with a special meaning. This cloth square can be connected into a memorable quilt for the mother to use with her new baby or she can hang it on the wall in her nursery.
- Make plans to include guest to help create a plaster belly casting. This is for lasting memories and also can be used as an art piece.
- Make plans to include guest to help create a design of pregnancy henna belly art. Or hire a henna artist to attend and tattoo the mother’s pregnant belly and the hands of your attending guest.
- Make plans to have each guest bring a meal for you to freeze after the birth. This is a blessing that all mothers deserve after giving birth!
“What a nice way to honor women during this transformation into motherhood!”
Blessing ceremonies are held by numerous cultures for expecting mothers regardless of a connection to the Navajo Indian blessing way. A more traditional gathering will honor the divine feminine as a nurturer, often by offering grooming, pampering along with spiritual uplifting to prepare the birthing mother for her upcoming labor. Most include customary prayer for healing, harmony and peace.
Ideas for a more traditional blessing way may consist of:
- Having an offering of prayers covering any concerns for the birthing mother or her family.
- Sharing of positive birthing stories to help instill confidence in the mother.
- Singing songs together or have a group meditation.
- Having her feet bathed massaged and maybe toe nails painted is a nice way to nurture.
- Massaging her head, shoulders, hands and feet using rich oils or essential oils as another way of nurturing.
- Brushing of her hair and placing flowers that any guests may have brought or making a crown of flowers that may help her feel special.
- During a prayer ceremony, bind each guest wrist with a single cord of nice twine or yarn to symbolize a connection to the mother. This is seen as a reminder to pray for her before and during labor only to be removed once the baby is born.
- Asking each guest to bring a candle as a gift which can be lit offering a prayer and then saved by the mother and used again when labor begins. Another option is to have the mother gift a candle to her guest that she then asks everyone to light while she is in labor.
Charlotte Sanchez (CPM) is a Certified Professional Midwife and Childbirth Educator
For Over 20Years.