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Not to be confused with a blessingway, a private and deeply spiritual Navajo tradition, a Mother Blessing is a modern, Western ceremony focused on the transition into motherhood and on supporting and preparing the mother spiritually and emotionally for the event of childbirth.
Ideally, a group of friends meet in person to support and encourage the soon-to-be-mom with various rituals, activities, and/or meditations. The options are endless. Think about what the mom would find meaningful. What would feel personal to her?
What are her unique challenges? What is she most nervous about? Is she living far from family? Is she becoming a single mom? Does she have several children already, making her feel even more overwhelmed?
If ideas aren’t instantly springing to mind, thankfully Code Name: Mama has already put together a list of 30 Mother Blessing Ideas for you! Below are my five favorites, but feel free to view the full list for more ideas.
Birth Bead Necklaces: Have every women in the pregnant mama’s support circle send or bring a bead. The beads can be strung into a necklace or other design. As you string each bead, the woman who contributed it can share a prayer, a thought, or simply the meaning behind why she chose the bead for the expecting mother. The mother can then keep the beads close – during pregnancy, labor, and beyond – to remind her of her support circle.
Anointing with Oil: Give each woman attending a slip of paper that tells them a specific body part to anoint. In the example I read on Mothering’s forum, the women read blessings such as “I anoint your head for all of the decisions you will make in the coming years.” “I anoint your hands for all the times they will cradle your baby.” “I anoint your knees for all the times they will kneel to tend to children.” You can anoint hips (for easy birthing), breasts (for abundant milk), etc.
Candle Ceremony #1: Give each guest a candle and have a large candle that will go home with the pregnant mama. With everyone gathered in a circle, light the candle of the woman standing next to the pregnant mama (this can be her own mother, best friend, etc.). As each woman’s candle is lit, the person 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 the large candle. The expecting mama can then light the large candle when she goes into labor, and her friends can light their own candles in support.
Birthing Flag: Have guests decorate a fabric flag with an inspirational image, phrase, affirmation, or design that relates to birthing or feeling empowered (the messages can be written in person or mailed). Connect the pieces of fabric with a cord or piece of yarn, and the expecting mama can hang it in her birthing space.
Record Personal Messages: For our pregnant friends who live far away, friends and family could record themselves (audio and/or video) giving the mother blessings, well wishes, affirmations, or other messages of support and love.
Here’s a few more ideas not on that list of 30.
- Pamper the soon-to-be-momma: Have her sit in a comfy chair with her feet up and give her a hand, foot, and shoulder massage with warm, unscented oil.
- Bring freezer meals: Have each guest bring a nourishing, easy-to-reheat frozen meal (lasagna, casserole, hearty soup, etc.) for her to store until after the baby’s born. If you’re a mom, you know what a great gift, and what a relief, this is!
- Write encouraging letters: Welcoming a new baby into the world is wonderful and miraculous, and hard. Momma goes through so much change once the baby is born, hormonally and otherwise. Have each guest write a letter of encouragement that momma can’t open until after baby’s born … when she really needs some love and encouragement.