Mother Blessing Ceremony
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
- What is a Mother Blessing ceremony and for whom is it?
- When is a good time to do the Mother Blessing ceremony?
- Ideas for your Mother Blessing ceremony and a bit about its personalization.
- Fees and conditions of the service.
A Mother Blessing is a ceremony that was inspired by an ancient Navajo ritual called Blessingway; created to spiritually support and empower the new mother for her journey of birthing and motherhood, dedicated to nurturing the mother, and filling her cup so it overflows with love and confidence as she awaits the impending birth of her baby, because a woman who is given lots of love has more love to give in return. Traditionally it was a woman-only gathering including her mother, sisters, aunts, daughters, best of friends and mentors — anyone she respects, values or looks up to. In the power of circle they honored mother-to-be, spending time with her, sharing stories, debriefing fears, instilling confidence and strength, warming her heart, and helping a woman to prepare herself for the birth and her role of a new mother mentally, physically and emotionally.
The goal of modern Mother Blessing ceremony is to give moms-to-be a similar sense of support and honor as Navajo mothers-to-be have received, while being more flexible and meeting needs of a bigger circle of women. A Mother Blessing ceremony is for you if you are about to become a mother by
- giving birth to your baby
- foster parenting
- by marriage or union with someone who already has a child
These are all pathways to motherhood worth to celebrate.
The elements of this ceremony can be built according to the belief system or individual preferences of the woman. It doesn’t matter whether the future mother is a member of a specific religion, someone who follows her own spiritual path, or someone who claims no faith or spiritual practice at all. It is a ceremony that can be designed to provide a deeply meaningful and transformational experience for a woman with any belief system.
A Mother Blessing is typically held at the very end of pregnancy: around 36 to 38 weeks. However, in case the departure of the future mother for birth in another country or city, it could be done a bit earlier. For adoptive or foster parents it can be done just before they take their child home.
There are many things that we can do for your ceremony. There is no set agenda and there are many options to choose from. The most important is that you feel comfortable and the most yourself in everything you do during ceremony. One way to personalize the ceremony it is to choose a theme that will reflect your situation, your personality or your most important need – anything that is important for you in this passage to motherhood. Create your own or choose from the list below:
- Having a joyful peaceful birth
- Achieving a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean)
- Bonding with the new baby
- Having the first boy child in the family
- Creating family unity
Another way to personalize it is to base it on your religious or spiritual views if any. We could include prayers, symbols or other elements that are important in your belief system.
There are many other ideas we can play with that can be neutral or modified according to your desires. Choose among the ideas you see below or come up with your own. All of them and more we are going to discuss with you at our prior meeting before scheduling the event.
Consider beauty to be one of the most important elements in your Mother Blessing. A beautiful environment soothes the senses, relaxes the mind and nourishes the soul. So, ensure the space is clutter free and clean, include flowers, candles, gentle music, draped fabrics to soften the edges of furniture, soft textures and soft things to touch and lie on. We can discuss together what we can do to create the environment you would enjoy.
Releasing fears is usually one of the most powerful parts of Mother Blessing ritual. Expressing fears is not as giving energy to it; in fact, it is the opposite. When you deny that your fears exist, you leave it locked up deep within yourself creating perfect conditions for it to grow. Having women let their fears and expectations go empty the space within them to be filled with wishes, blessings, and other positive love-centered energies. The release of fears can be done by writing fears on the paper and locking them into a jar or burning them in the fire or using anything symbolically to burn while talking about the fear in this safe place of very close people. If you need it we could also invite women to give you an advice after you voice your fears and feelings about your coming transition.
Blessings & Positive Birth Experiences
Traditionally, a blessing is done in the form of a prayer or poem. We can invite guests to bring a poem, a quote, affirmation, song or prayer they have found or personally written, to share with the future mother. The act of blessing can be done with a use of candles, use of rose or salt water, with hands lovingly placed on the mother-to-be or only verbally. Moreover, this activity can be perfectly blended with sharing positive birth experiences that will empower the mother-to-be . Hearing what each of the guests most enjoyed about their births will inspire you and uplift your energy. If you are about to adopt or foster a child, we could invite guests to share with you inspirational stories or biblical passages that speak to your personal journey to motherhood. These blessings could be collected in a book/journal/scrapbook or other special place.
Pampering and adorning
Pampering is done to make the mother feel surrounded by love, and enables participants to communicate their support and care for mother-to-be in the way that words cannot. Each woman will put her loving hands on the mother-to-be in some way, massaging her head, shoulders, and hands, brushing her hair, or washing her feet in warm water with lavender essential oil and flower petals. Different people can do different things and rotate every 5-10 minutes.
If the mother-to-be has long hair, tiny braids, ribbons or dried flowers can be woven into it and then secured at the end with colorful beads. Another alternative could be making a crown of flower for her.
If the mother-to-be would like a body art on her belly or hands it can be a lot of fun for everyone. We could do it in several ways. Using non-toxic paint bought in the store, home maid non-toxic paint (I have a recipe) or henna, a plant that in India, African and the Middle East is used traditionally for different types of celebrations and is believed to bring love, luck, protection, and good fortune. We could invite an artist to do some special design that you have in mind, or make the activity more spontaneous by asking women to take turns creating some new design together.
If you are not into painting your belly, we could make a plaster belly cast or decorate a cast made ahead of time. A cast needs to dry for 1 week before it is ready to adorn. Making a cast can be messy, but guests and you may enjoy it even more, and it will allow you decorate it the way you like a week after the event.
Creating a collective gift or birth artwork together
The intention of this activity is to spend great time together creating a beautiful or practical gift for the mother-to-be that will inspire, encourage, empower, acknowledge, welcome or honor her journey. Here are some ideas:
- Birth Mandalas: Everyone can create a birth mandala with your favorite affirmations and you will receive a whole collection of them to put around you for support in birth.
- Altar Stones: We could gather some river stones and give one to each guest to think of a word they would like the pregnant mama to have before and during labor. Each woman could write her word on the stone and decorate it the way they want with paint, then everyone can share why they chose their word.
- Collective Artwork: We could make a huge collective birth artwork with crayons or colorful markers, where everyone will write your strengths that you can rely on in birth or parenting and blessings for your transition into the motherhood.
- Memory Box for your baby: We would find a wooden box and ask everyone to help decorating the box. This could be a great place for you to keep your newborn keepsakes and/or trinkets from your Mother Blessing.
There are plenty of possibilities to be creative! Choose what is closer to you or come up with your own!
Activities that can include friends and family who cannot attend the ritual (for instance in case if they live abroad).
- Letters to the baby: These letters, addressed to the baby-to-be, can be sent to you ahead of time. Read aloud, they tell the child all about his or her very special mother. This is a very deep, meaningful, and moving way to honor the mother-to-be.
- Beads for necklace or bracelet: We can ask everybody who were invited to bring a little bead to make a necklace or bracelet that will remind you of your support circle during birth and motherhood. 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. If some of the beads were sent to you from family or friends abroad, one of the guests may unpack it and read the note it came with for you.
Affirming built connection
Before closing the ceremony, we will need to make sure these connections we built inside the circle will continue beyond the Mother Blessing event. We might do it by holding hands, moving together, singing or humming together, or visualizing our collective blessings. We could also invite everyone to bind their wrists with a single cord of red wool and keep the string around their wrists until they hear that birth is underway when they all may cut the cord as a symbol of unity.
The feast is important part of the ritual as it celebrates what we all will experience as a group, gives us another opportunity to show mutual care and support, and smoothes the transition from a sacred place back to the social place of our daily lives. If you don’t plan on providing all the food by yourself, guests could bring a plate of food to share. Just don’t forget to include it on the invite if you wish for them to do that.
Due to the recent birth of my second child I am not providing the service of leading Mother Blessing Ceremony right now. You will be able to schedule one starting in April 2017. The first two lucky moms will be able to receive this service free of charge. I will only ask for permission to use some of the beautiful photos from their ceremonies for my website, and to cover my expenses for the materials that we are going to use and gas expenses if the location is outside Guatemala city. I think it is a fare deal. Ready to jump in? Send me an email and let’s start planning this special day for you!