A couple of months ago I met with another Doula who filled me in on the details of a Mother Blessing. Before talking with her I had actually never heard of this before. I of course knew about baby showers, and had even heard of Sprinkles (like a mini baby shower for women who had already had a baby and the ritual baby shower for the first born, and was thrown a party for the second or third etc.). At a baby shower the momma gets to have a party for her baby with cake, games, and lots of newborn presents! A mother blessing is quite different!
This ceremony actually came from the navajo indians, and is called a Blessingway. The celebration is for the mom, to show support and give positive energy for the upcoming birth of a new life. There are a lot of things that can be incorporated into this ceremony. Some ideas include: lighting candles, the gift of beads from each guest to make a necklace, positive letters to the mom for her to read, quotes or affirmations that can be written on cloth and formed into a quilt like blanket, bellycasting, yarn used to connect all the women in attendance and cut off into bracelets that are worn until the momma gives birth.
I just threw a Mother Blessing for my older sister with help from my younger sister and mom. She is having her third baby, and we wanted to do something special for her. We had about 20 women there on a Saturday night. We had a potluck with lots of yummy food and deserts. The main dish was lasagna. Close family was invited along with the momma's closest friends (2 of which are pregnant with their second babies!) This party was a surprise and when I showed up with her everybody was already there waiting. When we walked in there was a house full of the women she loved the most, most who were moms themselves. Throughout the party she heard stories of the women's own children through casual conversation which she said later that she really enjoyed. We ate dinner, then started the ceremony off with the giving of the beads. Each person brought a bead that they thought was unique, or reminded them of her. She walked around with a piece of jewelry wire and each person strung their bead. Afterward we had each woman write their positive affirmation or inspirational quote onto a piece of purple (her favorite color) cloth that we will be making into a blanket. Then each person gave her their letter for her to read later. We then continued to talk and laugh and just enjoy each other's company. The night was a success and a very positive experience for her to remember, where everyone came to support and love her. I think it was just what she needed!
Below are some pictures of the beautiful bead strand that we created for her.
Here are some links to read more about mother blessings.