Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Mother Blessing (Blessingway) - What is it? And should you have one?

We live in a day where baby showers are the rage.  Lots of women gather together to bring an expecting mother and baby gifts.  Mostly unnecessary, expensive gifts...and most of the gifts are for the baby...with really lame "baby" games (that no one wants to play, but they all want to take home a prize)...horror stories of labor and births...and of course the joking around about how the soon to be mom will never know a good night's sleep again.  Hmmm, sounds like fun.  Sign me up.  Not.

I guess you could say I'm a little bitter over baby showers.  I had to sit through two different showers (one for each side of the family because our families are so big) and I hate to offend anyone, but it was horrible.  Nothing during my entire pregnancy made me want to drink more.  I'll be honest with you, the only things that were useful for either or both of my children were, onesies, receiving blankets (both kids were insane spit-uppers), cloth diapers and the port-a-crib (for those nights I just needed some space and wanted to sleep alone).  Cribs, changing tables, swings, feeding supplies, bedding...all took up a lot of space for a long time and eventually either were sold at a garage sale, used to build the chicken coop, or went in the garbage.  The more children I have, the more things I get rid of, and the easier it is to be a mother. 

So what is a Mother Blessing, you ask? 

A Mother Blessing is when a group of women (ones that the expecting mom CHOOSES to be with her) gather together to celebrate, pamper, and bless the mother-to-be.  Sometimes gifts are involved, sometimes not.  And if gifts are brought, they are usually just the bare necesseties.

Different rituals can occur at different Blessing Ways.  It all depends on the personality of the mother and who she surrounds herself with.  A common ritual is for each guest to bring a bead.  The beads are blessed and then placed on a necklace for the mother to wear while she is in labor.  Others distribute candles to all the guests for them to light when the mother goes into labor.  Some mothers-to-be get foot baths and rubs.  Others get their nails painted, hair done and fancy make-up put on. 

This last Mother Blessing that I was at, we had all the guests write a nice letter to the mother-to-be and we wrote down a lot of birth affirmations.  These were all put into a binder for her to look at.  We also did a belly cast of her belly (that we will hopefully get painted soon), and I did my first belly henna on her.

Mother Blessings are full of supportive women and mothers telling positive and empowering birth stories.  They do everything to remove the fear from childbirth and celebrate pregnancy and childbirth as an intense, amazing, joyous event.  A Mother Blessing is women loving women, women supporting women, women helping women,...It is Women Celebrating Women!

My wish is that every mother-to-be can get to experience the love and power that a Mother Blessing brings.  I think it is an absolute necessity.

1 comment: