A mother blessing ceremony is a gathering of (usually) women celebrating the journey of a pregnant person among them. Rather than a baby shower where the focus is on commercial baby gifts, a mother blessing focuses more on honouring the expectant parent and the path they are travelling. The aim is to empower the parent for the birth ahead, and for them to leave the blessing filled with love, inspiration, belief and confidence in themselves and their body.
A mother blessing is NOT a blessing way. A blessing way is a Diné Navajo traditional ceremony that is deeply spiritual. To call what a modern mother blessing looks like now a ‘blessing way’ is cultural appropriation and is something I strive hard to not be a part of. A women’s online group stated “1. In 2004, Native feminists wrote us to request that the term ‘Blessingway’ no longer be used to describe non-Navajo prenatal ceremonies such as the one described in this article. They explained that the term ‘Blessingway’ refers to a sacred spiritual ceremony performed by the Navajo people to celebrate rites of passage that occur throughout the entire life cycle, and not only the passage into motherhood. They suggested the term ‘Mother Blessing’ was a more appropriate term for a ceremony that was influenced, and respectful, of this tradition, but not practiced in accordance with the Navajo faith and culture.”
Many cultures celebrate the step a woman takes from maiden into mother, encouraging them to embrace their right of passage into the next chapter of their life. Marking a female’s transitions through life has roots in every culture, however, this joyous event is becoming more and more popular in our modern society. We can, however, celebrate this in an inclusive way, celebrating any gender of birthing person and their steps along the path to parenthood.
I offer a complete mother blessing experience for clients in York and the surrounding areas, working with you or one of your close friends, to create a wonderful, inclusive, and inspiring event.
I have been involved in so many mother blessings now! Some I have been a guest at, some I have organised with friends for another mother, and some I have led myself, even travelling to Derby to lead one. I have also attended one for one of my beautiful doula clients this year, which was a magical experience. I also contributed to my own whilst pregnant with my two youngest children. Each one was beautiful and unique, tailored to the preferences and personality of each mother. From using a theme of eggs and nests, to lions and peacock tones, from low-key, noisy, and irreverent, to wonderfully spiritual, it’s up to you!
Mother blessings often last a couple of hours, with most following a similar path. We begin with guest introductions, welcoming one another into the sacred space, creating a circle to surround the mother with our love, support, and strength. Often group activities follow, whilst sharing inspiring and positive pregnancy tales, birth stories, and motherhood experiences. Then we open our circle and celebrate with food and drink together.
Typically, guests are adult women that the mother trusts. Babes-in-arms are usually welcomed, though toddlers, older children, and male partners or friends are rarely present, instead joining the mother and her friends for the feast at the end. This is to ensure that we are not interrupted or distracted, and the mother is able to connect with the space and not worry about the needs of others. This is entirely your choice, and I am happy to discuss ways to incorporate your child/ren in the mother blessing. It is also worth noting that these celebrations are meant to be inclusive of any pregnant person, regardless of gender identities.
Your blessing could include;
– facilitation of a Facebook group to organise and connect with the people you wish to invite
– colour scheme of your choice, echoed throughout
– handmade cake made to your dietary requirements if you have any
– fresh flowers
– I arrive early to set up
– I am present to lead or assist in guiding a trusted friend of yours to lead the mother blessing
– I also stay afterwards to clear up
– use of my aromatherapy diffuser for the duration of the blessing, with pregnancy-safe essential oils
– photography by me with my beloved Canon DSLR
– You also get your choice of two or three of the following group activities (I will also be adding further information and giving a deeper explanation of each of these activities shortly);
- web bracelet with hand dyed yarn in your colour scheme
- a candle ritual with a real or electric pillar candle, plus colour-coordinated hand-dyed cotton thread and yarn
- a guided meditation tailored to your birth choices (choices include but are not limited to; fear release, raising positive energy within your home birthing space, bringing joy and positive energies to your hospital birth space)
- positive birth affirmation cards (a full set of my own hand illustrated and professionally printed cards, and then additional blank ones with the use of art materials for guests to create some)
- a handmade crown base with a mix of foliage, fresh flowers, handmade paper, felt, and fabric flowers, for your guests to add their own floral creations to.
I can also provide recommendations for where to find custom-blended oils for hand and foot massages for the mother. If you have a big enough garden, I also own a beautiful 5m bell tent, perfect for outdoor gatherings.
With regards to cost… It’s a funny thing. I started off wanting to charge for this as it takes considerable time and effort to coordinate something like this, but I have recently moved into valuing both my time AND the necessity of events like this for mothers. As a result, my Mother Blessings are now pay-as-you-feel. There is a suggested payment amount, though do not let that put you off. Do contact me if finances are tight, I will always do my best to be as inclusive of all birthing people in all situations. On one occasion, each guest at the blessing contributed to the donation.
In addition to this, any donation made doesn’t go to me. It goes into my MamaPixie fund that is then saved and gets put towards the cost of doula care for women who can’t afford one. It means that I can continue to offer support to women and families who might not otherwise have the finances for a doula. Alternately, if I am fundraising for a particular group or charity, the donation may go towards that if you’d prefer. (Previously that has been SANDS and for 2017 is my local homebirth support group, to help replace two of the pools we had to retire this year!)
AMETHYST – 2 activities, complete with all the required materials and instructions, prepared and ready for you to do it yourself, taking some of the hassle out of the organisation. Suggested donation £15
PEARL – 3 activities, complete with all the required materials and instructions, prepared and ready for you to do it yourself, taking some of the hassle out of the organisation. Suggested donation £20
SAPPHIRE – 2 activities and Facebook group, cake, flowers, set up/clean up, diffuser, leading/assisting someone to lead, and photography. Suggested donation £30
EMERALD – 3 activities and Facebook group, cake, flowers, set up/clean up, diffuser, leading/assisting someone to lead, and photography. Suggested donation £35
The only things you need to add are your friends and yourself!
And for those of you further afield or want to do it yourself or simply only need one activity kit, I offer that as well. These are provided with all the materials you need, and clear instructions. Please contact me for details. Many of these kits are also suitable for Red Tent group activities as well.
You can read more about mother blessings here;
—> my own mother blessing (as part of my daughter Gaia’s birth story)