What is a blessing way? It is a celebration of the mother and her journey to motherhood. It is an event to fill the mother with positive energy for her upcoming labor and delivery. It is a time to boost the mother’s confidence in her ability to birth her baby. It is also a time to support her and surround her with love.
At the beginning of the blessing way it is fun to go around the room and do introductions, even if everybody knows each other. Some fun ways of doing introductions are to:
Have each woman introduce herself by saying, “My name is Jane. I am the granddaughter of Esther and Emily. Daughter of Karen. Mother to Megan and Tyler.”
Have the guests each light a candle.
Have the guests pass a ball of yarn around. Continue through the evening. Let the “web” created show the support circle for the mother. After the evening is over, everyone can cut a piece of the yard and tie it around her wrist as a reminder. They can wear it until the baby is born.
There are many things you can do to pamper the mother at the blessing way. Here are some ideas:
Belly silhouette (trace mom’s shadow on a large paper or poster hung on the wall while a lamp shines on mom’s side profile. Can decorate it)
Clean her house
The blessing is a well-wish or an uplifting thought. Here are some ideas:
Birth art/ postpartum art
Gifts at a blessing way are not traditional like a baby shower. They are centered around the mother and usually go along with the blessing given. Here are some ideas:
Beads (usually they go with the blessings and the mother can make a necklace or bracelet with the beads from all the guests)
Poster (this is something everyone could draw birth art on or write on for the mother to hang and look at during labor. You could do this with the silhouette.)
Coupons for postpartum service, complete with date, time, and what you will do. (example: June 4th, I’m coming to fold laundry and hold baby while you take a nap.)
Scrapbook. This could easily incorporate the blessings. If everyone knows before coming the size of the book, they could prepare their blessing on the correct size paper and then the blessings could all be kept together. The mother could look at the book during labor for encouragement. This would be ideal if the mother plans to birth outside her home. It is easy to transport. Even if she plans to birth at home she could neatly hang these on her wall and put them away when she is done with them. Then it is an easy way to store them forever.
Candles. These could also be tied into the blessings given.
Piece of fabric. Then later they could be sewn together to make a blanket.
Tokens, figurines, cards, or anything symbolic of the blessing.
Music. Is there a song with special meaning?
Food. What new mother doesn’t love a frozen casserole?! Or better yet, chocolate.
Sometimes the mother will prepare a gift for her guests to take home. Here are some thoughts:
A candle. The mother can ask someone to call the women when she is in labor and the women all light their candles to remember the laboring mother and say a prayer for her.
Music. The mother can prepare a disc of music and give it to her guests to have them play and remember her during labor.
Lotion or soap. Maybe the women could wear the lotion when they find out that the mother is in labor. As they smell the lotion, they will remember her and think of her during her labor.
Bracelet or something the women could wear during the mother’s labor.
Flowers, flower bulbs, or seeds.
Other things to consider are invitations (just a phone call? Email? Or something mailed?), food (are you bringing dinner, fruit, desserts? What ever it is don’t leave it up to the mother to prepare.), decorations, and entertainment (a video, song, or maybe even a belly dance?)
Blessing ways are wonderful and uplifting for all who attend. And so much fun! Please add comments if you think of any other great ideas or things you have seen done at blessing ways. Or just tell me what you think of blessing ways, especially if you have never heard of them before.