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The Mother Blessing: A Baby Shower Alternative

A Baby Shower Alternative


Updated May 27, 2014

Group of women touching pregnant belly
Photo © Photodisc/Getty Images

A Mother Blessing is a celebration for a new life. It can be used by anyone, expecting a baby, adopting a baby, or just in need of a celebration of life in general. This can be looked at as an alternate form of a baby shower.

Mother Blessing has also been used with the term Blessingway. This is actually a Navajo term. Many people now use this term to mean a celebration of pregnancy and motherhood. The Navajo people actually do not approve of its use in this form, so many others use the term Mother Blessing or something similar. No matter what you call this ceremony, the meaning is the same - to celebrate becoming a parent.

Unlike your typical baby shower, there is no commercial gift giving emphasis. The guests are invited to spend time with the mother-to-be. The tone of the Mother Blessing is much more positive, you won't find those horror stories of labors and early parenting that seem to be so common in a traditional baby shower. Other attendees like the fact that there aren't the silly games also associated with baby showers.

Without the silly games, the ooos and ahhs over presents, what do you do?
Invitations can be very similar to any other invitation. Though you may want to specifically say that gifts are not requested. If you choose an activity that required the guest to bring something, this is where you would indicate such a request. Sometimes that is a quote, a candle, or a bead. The invitations should have a positive, woman centered theme.

There are many things that can be done for a Mother Blessing. It can be designed by the mother herself, or whomever chooses to host the "party." Here are some typical activities that you might include at a Mother Blessing:

  • Prayer Flags: Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, these are strips of cloth that are cut about 3" X 18" (or any other size you choose). They are handed to each guest to write a birth blessing or positive message on it. When the guests are through the mother is given the flags to read and take with her to her place of birth. Messages can be anything. Some examples include: "You are a strong woman." "You can do all things through G-d." "Your baby will be born at the right time."
  • Necklace: You can orchestrate the making of a necklace or other piece of jewelry for the mother to wear in labor to remind her of everyone thinking of her. You can either ask everyone to bring a bead or have them make a bead from clay, like Fimo clay. You don't have to be artistic to do this. If you choose, you can have each guest talk about what their bead symbolizes.
  • Belly Casting: This is a great way to celebrate her pregnancy. These are fairly simple to do and create a great keepsake of her pregnancy. Pamper mom while you do the cast for an added treat.
  • Candle Lighting: Have each guest bring a candle. Set them up on a single table or all around the room. You can have each guest light their candle and say a blessing for the mother-to-be or something positive to help her confidence. Another way to do this is to actually send each guest home with a small candle. When the mother goes into labor, a phone tree is started and all the candle holders are notified to light their candles and think good thoughts as the woman labors.

Yes, there are co-ed mother blessings (parent blessings/family blessings). As you would honor and respect the mother, the father is treated the same way. Some Blessings include a traditional Navajo foot washing with cornmeal, this would also be done for the father.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the birth of a new baby, it is a special occasion. A Mother Blessing is but one way to have this recognition. It is a time to celebrate and rejoice in new life.

Check out the Pinterest Blessingway Board

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