A baby shower traditionally is a time to shower a mother to be with gifts for the baby on the way. I was a little bit overwhelmed by all of the presents that I recieved, and the fact that I was encouraged to open all of the gifts while everyone oohd and ahhd over each one. I knew I would be getting presents, and I even registered at a couple of places to help the friends and family who wanted to get things we would want. After the shower was over though, I was dumbfounded about what I was going to do with all of the new baby gear. Not to mention all of the packaging.
My midwife suggested a mother blessing as a wonderful way for the women closest to me to celebrate this rite of passage. On a lovely day a month before I gave birth for the first time I was surrounded by my most supportive women. We made a belly cast. Each friend brought a bead and we made a necklace that I wore well after the birth of my daughters. We passed around a ball of yarn. Each of my friends wrapped the yarn around their wrist as they spoke words of strength and encouragement to me. All of us kept the yarn bracelets on until after the birth as a daily reminder of the birth to come. We burned sage, and I recieved a lovely herbal foot bath and foot massage. A list was passed around for a food tree. Each of my friends signed up to bring us meals for a month after the baby arrived. How wonderful!
After the mother blessing I felt refreshed, encouraged and fully supported. These were the things I needed to prepare myself for a new baby and all of the changes that were going to happen in the next year of my life. Not a single baby gift was given. Just love, support, a bit of good food, and empowerment.
We would like to hear from you. If you have any other mother blessing stories or traditions, please comment.