The Mama Blessing (Blessingway Ceremony): Your Guide To Honouring The Mother
Have you ever been fortunate enough to attend a blessingway ceremony, a Mother's blessing? Or had one held in your honour?
I know what you may be thinking, "oh way to woo woo for me" or "my friends aren't that spiritual" but trust me you won't regret it.
It's all about joy and women coming together for a unique and supportive pre -birth celebration. There is something very powerful and affirming when women come together and as we like to describe it – magical.
This supportive pre- birth celebration is gaining popularity as more and more women discover this beautiful tradition and choose to partake in it instead of the traditional baby shower. And let's face it, we're all a little bit tired of the traditional baby shower anyway.
Now don't worry if you don't know where to start when it comes to organising a Blessingway, this is our speciality and we're here to help.
What is a Mama blessing (blessingway)?
A Mama blessing (or blessingway) is a beautiful alternative to the traditional baby shower. It is a pre birth celebration, a ceremony where close friends and family members gather in circle to support, empower and celebrate a women on her journey towards becoming a mother. It is all about the mother, honouring her rite of passage into motherhood, showering her with love, wisdom, support and gifts to support her during her pregnancy and labour as well as during the fourth trimester when baby arrives. .
The term 'Blessingway' is often interchanged with Mother blessing or as we like to call it, a Mama Blessing. A Blessingway is a sacred Navajo ceremony and out of respect for the Navajo people we choose to use the term Mama blessing instead.
Mama blessing traditions
A mother blessing is similar to a women's circle ceremony, a gathering of trusted people in the mother-to-be life, who sit in circle and share, honouring the mother and supporting her. It can be an intimate affair, with no pressure to invite the mother in law, but rather close friends who you feel a strong connection with.
Traditionally a mother blessing takes place at the end of the pregnancy and is typically a woman-only gathering, although of course it may include anyone who is part of the mothers support network and community, her village.
The mama blessing is a fabulous opportunity to establish your postpartum support network, to gather your community of women who will be there to lend a hand, cook a meal, fold laundry and hold you when baby arrives to ensure you thrive in your fourth trimester.
Who throws a blessingway?
A blessingway can be led by a midwife or doula, or organised by a close friend, mother, sister, aunty, anyone in the mother's support network. We've worked hard to make this beautiful tradition accessible to all and easy for friends or family of the expectant mother to plan and execute. (link mama blessing box)
Blessingway vs baby shower
The Mama blessing focuses on honouring the journey into motherhood, empowering the mum-to- be for labour and birth and supporting the mother when baby arrives. Rather than focusing on baby like a traditional baby shower. Gifts are often still given, however instead of dummies, burp clothes and fluffy toys, the focus is on nourishing and nurturing the mother during her initial postpartum period, what we like to cal the fourth trimester.
Mama Blessingway Ideas & Rituals
There are endless ways you can throw a mama blessing but here's a few ideas to get you started, a template for you to launch from and create your own very special ceremony.
Ask each guest to bring a flower from their garden to contribute to the centerpiece. Creating a flower mandala for the center of the circle is a beautiful activity that each women can do when they arrive adds a special sacred touch.
A flower crown for the mother to be is also a wonderful way to celebrate her beauty. This can also be woven on arrival as each guest brings her flower and then placed on the mama's head just before the ceremony begins.
Begin by smudging each of your guest one by one. Burning sage or 'smudging' is a great way to begin your circle as it is grounding and relaxing. Smudging helps to ‘wash off’ any outside influences and is a way of inviting your guests to come into the present moment before they sit in circle.
The string ritual is a beautiful way to close the ceremony, linking everyone together to maintain the connection.The string is wrapped around Mama-to-be’s wrist and then pass around the circle, each women wrapping it around their wrist, until everyone is connected. This symbolises connection and support.
The string is then cut and everyone leaves with a string bracelet around their wrist as a reminder of the support, love and encouragement within the circle of women. The string can then be cut when the mama goes into labour and a blessing released at the same time.
Eating together is a big part of a mama blessing, whether it be catered, 'bring a dish' or prepared by the host.
Support – the best gift to a mama-to-be is your time. While everyone is feasting it is a good time to organise a meal train/roster whereby friends drop a dinner (or two) to the new family after the baby has arrived.
How To Plan a Mother Blessing
Find a host
A close friend is a wonderful option for a host.
Hosting a mama blessing is a wonderful gift to give to a friend. As host your role is to gently provide guidance so the circle has structure and can flow nicely and to ensure the Mother feels supported, comfortable and held by the important people in her life.
Create a space
Decide on the space where you are going to hold your circle, this can simply be a cleared lounge room or a backyard with rugs and cushions placed in a circle big enough to seat your guests.
As the mama blessing is a women’s circle it's important to create a comfortable ritual space. Creating a center-piece, such as a crystal mandala, in the center of your circle adds a special sacred touch.
Have a look at our instagram if you are in need of some inspiration.
Our Mama Blessing Kit also contains all you need to host a beautiful ceremony and walks you through hosting in a simple step by step manner.
If you would like to know anymore about hosting your own special mama blesssing join our monthly email list, where we give beautiful information and inspiration.