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A Mother Blessing is a special ceremony designed to acknowledge, honour, and celebrate a woman’s journey into motherhood. Different from a baby shower, a Mother Blessing’s main goal is to provide a loving place where an expectant mother can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches childbirth and motherhood. Surrounded by the most important women in her life, she will gain a sense of power, confidence, and support that will help her before, during, and after the birth of her children.
The Mother Blessing may be organised by the mother herself or she may ask another woman to organise it on her behalf.
Those invited may be asked to bring:
- A flower or other beautiful natural object (e.g. leaf, feather) which will be woven into a garland to crown the mother with.
- A bead or other small object (with a hole in it) which will be threaded onto a Birth Necklace for the mother for labour and afterwards. Please think about why you chose this bead and what message you wish the mother to receive from it.
- Words of inspiration strength and support for the mother as she approaches birth and new motherhood (again).
- Words of welcome and blessing for the new baby.
- Food or drink for the feast to share.
- Clothes that make you feel beautiful comfortable and special wearing. This is both party and celebration. Everyone needs to feel comfortable about moving around.
A variety of activities can be included, whatever has meaning and relevance to the mother. The circle of those attending is opened with introductions, including, perhaps, the participants’ relationships to the mother. Some people like to use incense or sage bush to “cleanse” the area where the Mother Blessing takes place. For a planned home birth, this could be the room where that baby may be born.
Group activities could include
- Making a Birth Necklace from beads each participant brings and why they chose that bead.
- Combing and braiding the mother’s hair.
- Creating a garland and crowning the mother with it.
- Massaging her hands and feet with oil, perhaps adding Essential Oils she likes and has chosen.
- Offering her a scented foot bath.
- Decorating the mother’s belly with henna or face paints.
- Offering words of encouragement, empowerment and anticipation. (These can be the individual’s own words or poems, readings or prayers.)
- Writing Birth Affirmations for the mother on paper, card, stone, or cloth. Each participant uses the word or message they feel will most help the mother and welcome the baby.
- Dancing or singing to acknowledge the baby’s presence in the circle of women and to welcome the baby.
- Using a red thread (usually wool) to unite the circle by passing a ball of thread around and across the circle randomly until a “web” is formed. Often special words are spoken to join the participants in holding the mother and baby in their hearts for the rest of the pregnancy and through birth and babymoon. The “web” is then cut and each participant ties a length around wrist or ankle. This is worn until news of the baby’s birth reaches each person – “wearing the Red Thread”.
- Some mother’s like to give each participant a simple candle to be lit when the birth starts and keep be kept alight until the baby is born. So the mother knows that her Birth Clan are aware and sending her love and courage as she labours.
The Mother Blessing can end with a spoken round and then a feast of foods brought by all to share. Often partners and children are invited to this.