A Mother Blessing, also known as a Blessingway, is an old Native American ceremony, which celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. 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 commercialized; 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 to stimulate labor) flowing!
Recently, I was honored to be asked by a client to organize a Mother Blessing for her. Having supported her first birth and now mentoring her through her second pregnancy and preparation for her second birth, a special bond has formed. It was a blessing to me to bring her tribe together to shower her with love and hold the sacred space for her during the ceremony.
The Mother Blessing is a very symbolic ceremony. There are many elements that hold deep meaning to the birth process and the rite of passage a mother will be journeying through during her labor. For this Mother Blessing, each woman, before the ceremony, was asked to bring a bead that represented the mother-to-be or the relationship to her in some way. The group formed a circle around the mother and shared about their bead and a story associated with the bead, birth, or motherhood. The beads were then strung to form a necklace that the mother can wear during her labor to feel the love and support of her tribe. The mother was pampered with her hair being brushed and braided which symbolizes the transformation and change a woman goes through during labor and the birth of her baby. Many stories and encouraging words are shared and love shown during the ceremony. Some elements will remain sacred.
A special element during Mother Blessing ceremonies is the sharing of food together as community is further built around the mother to be.
Images by: Laura Swift Photography.