Blessingway or Mother Blessing
In Navaho tradition, Motherhood was honored through a blessingway ceremony. Similar to a baby shower though instead of gifts towards the new baby, the purpose of a blessingway is to nurture the mother and celebrate a woman's rite of passage into motherhood.
Anyone who is given a lot of love has more love to give and there is nothing more empowering to a mother-to-be than a circle of loving women honoring, spending time, sharing stories, debriefing fears and instilling confidence and strength to get a flood of oxytocin (the hormone of bonding and love) flowing.
Traditionally, the gathering is woman-only and may include mother, sisters, aunts, daughters, best friends, mentors and anyone the mother-to-be values.
Your proceedings and rituals can be tailored to your specifics groups preferences. Sharing in good food, spa features, uplifting and empowering stories, shared fears and anticipations and of course, adornment through non-toxic mediums like Henna are all ways to have a successful Mother Blessing party whose main function is to overflow the expectant mothers cup with love. Some studies have shown that these types of love ceremonies decrease the chances of post-partum depression.
Here is a list of some suggested practices:
A Bead Ceremony.
This is a great way for everyone to get involved even if it's someone who lives far away and can't make the event. The idea is that everyone gives a bead which is then threaded together during the Mother Blessing as a bracelet or necklace. The Mother can then wear this collective love charm during labor for added strength and support,
Red Cord Ceremony.
With some red yarn or similar coding of choice, everyone gets a piece tied around their wrists in unity to keep the mother-to-be in mind until the baby is born - "cutting the cord" after birth.
Who doesn't feel like a Goddess when people you love create a crown of flowers and places it on your head?
Another great way to create bonding moments is to adorn mother-to-be and her group of supporters. Traditionally, Henna has been used as a way to bless both mother and child and to ward off any negative energies. As henna is both safe and non-toxic, it's a beautiful way to keep the sacredness of the gathering active long afterwards.
These can include massages, face masks, nails, hair and aroma therapy. Be sure to research any essential oils used as some can induce labor.
Be sure to include special things for your expectant mother that will help here to feel nurtured, protected, surrounded by love, and supported.