The way that we birth each of our children requires supportive holding of the woman meeting this rite of passage to motherhood by her community. Birth is a physical and psychological awakening which changes a woman from the inside out.
How can we create support for the mother to be?
A blessingway is an old Navajo (native American) ceremony, which celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. A westernised version of this is the ‘Mother Blessing’. Unlike a traditional baby shower, where gifts are purchased for the baby, a Mother Blessing is all about nurturing the mother-to-be and celebrating motherhood.
As with most special events in modern society, baby showers have become very commercialised. If you were to ask someone to describe what happens at a baby shower, the answer would probably be something like, ‘where women get together and give gifts for the baby’. There is also so much focus on the new arrival and excitement of meeting the baby, and very little focusing on and nurturing the mother – ‘filling her cup’ – so it overflows with love. A woman who is given lots of love has more love to give in return – and there is nothing like a circle of loving women to get that oxytocin (hormone of love) flowing!
A Mother Blessing is a beautiful and unique way to honour the mother, spend time with her, share stories, debrief fears and to instil confidence and strength.
What Happens at a Mother Blessing?
A Mother Blessing involves a gathering of the mother-to-be’s most trusted friends and family, who sit in a circle and share amongst one another. Traditionally it is a woman-only gathering and may include her mother, sisters, aunts, daughters, best of friends, mentors – anyone she respects, looks up to or values. It helps the woman to prepare herself for the birth, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, for the all important role of a new mother for each of her children. She feels ‘held’ and supported by those she loves and respects – a great way to help her release any blockages she may be feeling and to allow her to embrace what’s to come. Hearing other women’s positive birth stories as you share around the circle can be deeply nourishing and heart-warming to hear.
The guests can bring a plate of food to share and Mother Blessings will vary in proceedings and rituals, there is no set order or agenda, so you can choose what you would like to do. Here are some suggestions below:
The cord ceremony
Binding everyone’s wrists with a single cord of red wool or some other yarn. Everyone then keeps the string around their wrists until they hear that the birth has happened – then they all cut the cord as a symbol of unity with the mother and new baby. Plus the cord is a nice way to remind others to be thinking of the prospective mother.
Flowers and/or Henna
A crown of flowers made for the mother always makes her feel special, and henna [body art, typically on the belly and/or hands] (if you can get someone who does it) is always good fun for the mother and other guests. There are loads of traditions associated with “mother” henna.
Always bliss, head, shoulder, hand and foot massage needs no explanation. All these things are done to make the mother feel nurtured, protected, surrounded by love, and supported.
The Meal Roster
The final one that isn’t so much a blessingway thing but it is sooooooooooo important. Getting everyone who comes to commit to making one, maybe two dinners on a particular day for the family. The idea is to try to cover two weeks at least where the new parents won’t have to worry about at least one meal of the day!
Before we let go of the yarn we wrapped it once around our wrists.
At the end we cut the yarn around our wrists and threaded onto it a small red bead my sister gave us and tied them on our wrists. We kept our bracelets on until after the birth. After that we gave her a foot, hand and shoulder massage. We also painted her belly with henna – it was gorgeous!
I have had my children / have no children and never had a Mother Blessing
If you are reading this page and have already had your children but yearn to re-set your experience of never formally receiving the blessing and support of your community in becoming a mother, I can help. It is never too late to go back to the births of your children and re-set and reclaim how you would have liked to have been received. Equally if you have never had children but seek recognition of your choices / life circumstances and all else that you have given life to and birthed into the world please get in touch. The sessions with me would provide an opportunity to hold yourself in a respectful and re-balancing way in order to consciously cross the threshold in your life arc from Maiden to Mother with dignity, courage and loving support.
Booking Your Motherhood Rite of Passage Sessions
I would love to help you restore the dignity of motherhood and help build community around you to end the isolation that many of us face in our parenting.
I charge £120 for two one hour online sessions at agreed times each month. On the third month you will embody this work by creating your own unique private or shared ceremony.
Book Your Motherhood Rite of Passage Sessions
Booking is simple - start by clicking the button below, then fill out the enquiry form and I will get back to you with available dates and times.