Motherhood is said to bring immense pleasure and bliss to a woman. The news that a baby is on the way brings excitement to the whole family! Although the expecting mother is delighted yet she can also feel nervous and worried. Especially for first-time mothers anxiety are quite common.
Therefore, to make her feel optimistic her friends and family give a celebration in her honor. Blessingway or Mother Blessing is an all-woman festivity to celebrate the mother-to-be.
Her mother, grandmothers, sisters, and other women gather on this day to indulge her and also give the boost she would require for the upcoming birth of her baby.
What is a Blessingway?
Blessingway or Mother blessing is a ceremony to celebrate and support the new mamma. On this day, the women who are close to the expecting mother spend time with her. Besides that, they would pamper and pray for her and share their birth stories to motivate her.
Blessingway is a beautiful custom to bless a mother-to-be and make her journey to motherhood memorable. It is a ceremony especially observed to honor the new mother. It could be said as a traditional baby shower that has originated from the Navajo or the native American tribe.
This is a warm gesture towards the expecting mother by showering her love and support by the other women. The mother-to-be is the guest of honor on this occasion and she receives a lot of attention and care from her loved ones.
It is a woman-only ceremony where the relatives and dearest friends of the mamma-to-be would pray for her, perform some rituals and share their stories to make her feel confident. This is a ceremony to prepare the expectant woman towards glorious motherhood.
How different is Blessingway from a baby shower?
While the baby shower is a celebration for the expected baby, Blessingway is a traditional ceremony to celebrate the expecting mother. The expectant lady receives blessings, prayers and tons of love from the important women in her life.
Baby Shower is a popular function to celebrate the anticipated baby. It is a party thrown by the grandma-to-be or a best friend. It’s mainly a gift-giving custom for the baby and a feast for all the gathered adults. On the other hand, Blessingway or mother blessing is an age-old tradition celebrated through generations to celebrate motherhood.
Several rituals are performed to give protection and blessing to the expecting mother. Besides that, the women who gather on that day will cheer her up and give confidence. They would pamper her like a queen and tell her inspiring stories about natural birth and uplift her mind, body, and spirit.
Among the most important rituals in a Blessingway are the Vowing, Bead ceremony, Cord Ceremony, Belly casts, and Belly painting.
As Blessingway is a sacred ceremony, there are a few ritualistic performances done for the good of the new mamma. The most common ones are:
- Space Clearing: The room is smudged with sages before Blessingway is performed. This is to bring positive energy to space before the start of the customs.
- Vowing: The women who gather would circle around the expecting mother and chant prayers and blessings. They seek Divine protection for the mother-to-be and each woman resolves for her wellbeing. Candles are lit while making the vows and the women form a sacred circle of positivity and safety for the expectant woman.
- Bead Ceremony: Each guest brings a bead which is then tied into a necklace or bracelet. The guest of honor will wear this ornament till the time of her delivery as this will act as a symbol of protection and love for her.
- Cord Ceremony: Each of the guests will tie a cord of red wool around their wrists until their beloved enters the labor room. When they hear the news of the delivery taking place, they all cut the cord to symbolize the detachment of the umbilical cord and arrival of the newborn.
- Flower Crown: The mother-to-be is specially adorned with a beautiful flower crown! This is to make her feel like a queen as it is her day of celebration to mark the journey towards maternity.
- Belly Painting and Belly Casts: The women who gather will do things to amuse the guest of honor like painting her belly! Often belly casts are carved out of plaster to keep it as a fond memory.
- Storytelling: The elderly women present would share their birth stories and occurrences of natural birth. They recall how they had given home birth to their children. These stories will bring laughter and positive vibes to the expectant lady. The motive behind it is to encourage the lady and to make her mentally prepared for the journey to motherhood.
- Foot Massages: After these traditional customs are done, the would-be mamma is pampered with foot massages in warm water with aromatic liquids and exotic herbs.
How to arrange a Blessingway ceremony?
It’s better to talk about the details with the lady herself and get her approval on the guest list and other things. Also, plan the rituals beforehand to make them an absolute success!
- Invitations: Usually, the mother or a close friend of the lady will arrange a Blessingway. But as it is her function it’s best that she decides which of her friends and family would she like to include in the celebration. So sit with her before preparing the guest list.
- Planning the rituals: Plan beforehand for all the rituals. For the bead ceremony, for instance, you must inform each of the guests to bring a bead for the custom. Also, discuss the rituals with the lady. She might not want a belly cast or permit for the belly paintings!
- Set an intention and say it to the guests: The main reason you are throwing a Blessingway is that you want to support and encourage the expecting mamma. Informing this to the other ladies will make them share uplifting stories and wise advice to the new mother.
- Healthy feast: Arrange for healthy foods following the rituals. This would be a great way to close the ceremony.
While planning a Mother Blessing often the hostess feels anxious about whether all the rituals would be performed with perfection. But it is not about how perfectly you celebrate, it is about how good you make the lady feel on this day! The motto of this celebration is to provide comfort and support to the lady before the childbirth.
Important Tips to make Blessingway success
- Ideally, all rituals and activities are performed on the floor. So throw some comfy cushions on the ground. Also, make a special seat for the guest of honor so that she can sit on it comfortably.
- Request all your guests to remove their shoes before entering the room to keep the floor clean for the rituals.
- Play soft music to create a pleasant ambiance.
- It is expected that the guests will bring gifts for the new mamma and her baby. You can plan with your guests to present the items that would make her feel special. Items such as bath salts, perfumed candles, crystals or books on maternity and child care are always better gifts than chocolates or fancy items.
- Inform the expectant mother to wear a loose, comfortable dress on the day because the celebration will be continued for day long.
Blessingway is celebrated mainly to provide assurance and backing to the expecting mother. The rituals performed are nothing but ways of expressing your love and support to her. You might make it fully traditional or you can skip some of the rigid rules and replace it with fun and exciting stuff like games and entertainments.
Nowadays some people combine Blessingway and Baby Shower! A Blessingway or Mother Blessing is a celebration of a new mother. A woman is encouraged before the delivery. From a sacred ceremony, this has become a familiar function where women would gather to support and cherish a new mother.
Ishita is a published author, poet and freelance writer. Being an avid reader from early childhood, she has always loved books more than anything else in the world! At the start of her career, she has worked in the corporate as well as the academic sector being a double master's degree holder - M.Sc and MBA. But now she is a fulltime writer. She believes words have immense power and writers can make a huge impact in the world! She wants to bring positivity into the lives of the readers through her association with TheMindFool.