Are you interested in celebrating your pregnancy and the upcoming arrival of your child, but want something with a bit more soul?
A blessing way or mother blessing might be exactly what you are looking for.
A blessing way (sometimes called a mother blessing) is a ceremony to honour a pregnant woman and to assist her in her preparation for childbirth and motherhood. It brings women together in a circle of sisterhood around the pregnant woman. It gives participants the opportunity to express their love, appreciation and support. And it gives the pregnant woman the opportunity to receive these blessings, and to honour the scale of the changes that are taking place in her life. It allows all present to honour the new baby and the beginning of its journey and to thank this precious new life for the gifts he or she is bringing to this group of family and friends, and to the world.
“My blessingway was definitely one of the highlights (ok – perhaps it was THE highlight) of my pregnancy. I decided to do one because I liked the sound of it on Marie’s website and I felt I could use the encouragement it might provide. But I had no idea just how much I needed it until I was sitting there listening to all the people who love me most in my life reading and/or speaking such meaningful and thoughtful blessings into my and my baby’s life… it was just what I needed, especially given how uncomfortable, unattractive and overwhelmed I had come to feel in that last trimester! If you have any inclination to do one, then do it – you’ll be emotionally and spiritually rewarded beyond what you can imagine.” Cheryl Loeppky
In holding this type of ceremony, a celebration of life, we can bring richness, intimacy and meaning to one of the most poignant moments in life. It is a rare moment, as we do not usually give birth many times, and together we can create a new tradition, one to celebrate your pregnancy and upcoming birthing. A blessing way honours this special time in your life and lets you create a memory to be cherished. Our ancestors believed in the beauty of pregnancy, honoured the birthing woman and welcomed the new unborn baby in beautiful, heartwarming ceremonies. It’s nice to know that you too can choose to have just such an experience.
Sounds great, but you’re not sure how to get started because your friends & family aren’t familiar with a blessing way?
That’s where I come in.
As your Blessing Way hostess and guide, I will take care of the details of planning this event you will never forget! You deserve it!
I will work with you to create a ceremony which is heart-felt and uniquely you. Together we will decide on the activities which you would like to include in your celebration. I will organize all of the invitations and RSVPs. The event may be hosted at your home, at the home of a friend or relative or in my teaching space (which can accommodate up to 25 people). During the blessing way, I will facilitate the celebration and bring music (and incense if desired) to create a serene atmosphere.
The activities and elements of the ceremony should be meaningful to you, as the mother being blessed, so activities may be added or left out according to your needs. Activities include:
- Opening Ritual: This can be a meditation, prayer, a chant, and can be religious or not. I have many to choose from.
- Candle Lighting: During this part of the ceremony, each guest is given a small unlit candle. Going around in a circle, each guest shares her connection to the mother and something they cherish about her while lighting their candle. They will take this candle home with them and can light it when the mother is in labour (to send her strength, support, and positive thoughts) or they may light it anytime they wish to feel connected to the positive female energy in their lives. Alternatively, guests may each bring a candle to create a candle garden which you can then light while in labour. Here’s a lovely example of a candle garden from one of the blessing ways I facilitated.
- Blessing Beads Sharing: Each guest will bring a bead to offer for a blessing necklace or bracelet. We will go around in a circle and each woman will present her bead and her blessing to the honoured mother. We will then string these together into a beautiful necklace or bracelet for her. This will serve as a reminder of all the love, support, and blessings you have received for your pregnancy, birth, baby, and life-long journey of motherhood. (I will provide materials for stringing your blessing necklace or bracelet and guests provide the beads). Alternatively, you can make a fidget to hold and finger during labour. You may also use the beads to make a sun catcher or a dream catcher. Check out this blog post to see ideas of what to do with your beads.
- Pampering: Belly painting (click here to see examples of belly henna and to learn why it is so awesome), an aromatherapy foot bath, a hand and foot massage, and hair adornment or head massage are acts of service to pamper and honour the mother-to-be.
- Flower Celebration: (Optional) This falls under pampering. Guest bring a fresh flower. Your hair is brushed and decorated with beautiful flowers to make you feel especially beautiful and pampered! (If you’ve been pregnant yourself, you will know that women don’t necessarily feel so “beautiful” during the last trimester… But, you are! You are a radiant, glowing pregnant woman! So, let’s celebrate that!)
- Web of Life: (Optional) A ball of beautiful string is used to connect each woman’s wrist to one another’s in the circle – a web of womanhood. When the cord connects all of us, this unites us all as women and represents the circle of women as mothers/daughters/sisters/friends and the circle of life. Then we will cut the cord, leaving enough length to tie the ends into a bracelet. You and your guests might want to wear the bracelet until the birth as a reminder of the strength a group of women can hold for a birthing mother.
- Pillow Case Messages: Many women bring their own pillows to the hospital when in labour. It’s just so nice and comforting to have your own since the hospital ones are covered in plastic. At your blessing way, guests can each write an inspirational message or draw something on the pillowcase.
- Prayer Flag Messages: An alternative to the pillow case message, guests may also write messages on pieces of fabric. This can then be hung in your labour space.
- Closing Rituals: The circle closes with a ritual to mark the end of the ceremony. This can be a chant, meditation (Tibetan Loving Kindness Meditation) and/or prayer.
- Celebration Feast: The Blessing Way Celebration concludes with a pot-luck meal of your favourite foods or other nutritious items so that each guest is literally nourishing the body of the mother and her baby with her food offering.
- Gift Giving: (Optional) Guests may bestow gifts for the mother, to help remind her to take care of and celebrate herself after the baby has arrived. This is usually referred to as a “nurture basket” and is filled with things like warm fuzzy socks and bath salts; gifts that remind the new mother to take care of herself. Some mothers may prefer for guests to purchase gift certificates for birth or postpartum doula services. I can also help organize a postpartum support schedule, having the guests sign up for days to bring meals, help with housework, or pamper the mother after her baby has arrived. Alternatively, guests can bring to the blessing way one frozen meal to help make life easier once the baby arrives. Traditional baby shower gifts are also welcome. As gifts are not the main focus of a blessing way, the gift-giving usually happens informally during the feast.
Please feel free to customize your celebration to what is most honouring and desirable to you, the mother-to-be. You may have other elements you wish to include in your ceremony which were not listed above (for example: prayer flags, singing, storytelling, journaling, meditation, and belly dancing). Whatever will make you feel most cherished and celebrated!
Price for Blessing Way Ceremony as outlined above: $175
Contact me to schedule and be Blessed!
“I just want to thank you again for the beautiful Blessing Way. I’ve never felt so loved and supported. I have so much more confidence and faith in my ability to birth naturally and to be a good Mom. You did an amazing job of facilitating the ceremony and like my Aunt Leesa said, you made everyone feel comfortable and at ease. Thank you Marie! Kyle and I are so lucky to have met you and to have you be a part of our journey.” Tara Ness