When you’re pregnant there is so much focus on the baby – when are you due? is it a boy or a girl? have you chosen names? can I touch your belly? (aahhh… no) – that sometimes the pregnant Mama can be left feeling like a big birthing vessel who’s lost her individuality (hellooo… remember me?).
Enter the beautiful ceremony of a Blessingway – a unique special gathering of your closest female family and friends to fill you with love and support as you move into motherhood. An afternoon with your best gal pals that’s all about YOU – what’s not to love?!
flower photography by antony carr
The Blessingway is taken from a Navajo Native American Indian ceremony which marks the journey from woman to motherhood. The Blessingway forms a circle of love and empowerment around the mother for her to relax and receive – to release her fears associated with birthing and mothering, to relax knowing she is supported and held by her womenfolk during this sacred time, and to receive their gifts of wisdom, love and beautiful birthing energy. A blessingway turns what can be a lonely and fearful time into a beautiful, spiritual time where the blessed mother feels incredibly special, closely connected, and very, very loved (as she should!). A perfect place from which to approach and embrace birth and motherhood.“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers–strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” Barbara Katz Rothman
For the fabulous friends who choose to hold a Blessingway there are no hard and fast rules, the aim is to make the Mama feel sensationally relaaaaaaxed and ready to go. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
* Create a space that feels special – somewhere that enables everyone to be present, centred, and there for the Mama. Form a circle with the Mama to encircle her in your love – ideally sitting on the ground, perfect if it can be outside close to nature. Touch knees, hold hands, share food, get close, cuddle up.
* Have everyone bring a flower to make a crown for your birthing goddess (c’mon, every chick loves a daisy chain in her hair). Flowers represent new life, fresh growth, bright beginnings. As you weave the flowers together, talk about the connection between the Mama and each of you – how did you meet, how long have you been friends, why you chose the flower you bought. Reinforce the circle of sisterhood, togetherness, and feminine strength.
* Share stories about the Mama’s strengths to remind her of how fantastic and amazing she is – funny stories, inspiring stories, empowering stories, encouraging stories (note: this is NOT the time to be sharing any horror birth stories). Remind her that she can birth beautifully, that she is empowered and capable, that she is a birthing warrior goddess.
* Paint her belly with a beautiful, creative, meaningful design – something that will make her feel unique and special. Here’s an amazing shot of Karly and her chilled-out, tuned-in babe after her recent blessingway, an event that felt to Karly like a ‘celebration of me as a woman’. Did you hear that? A celebration of ME as a woman. Not the baby… not the hubby… not the obstetrician. ME. Celebrated. The best possible gift you could give to a woman on the brink of motherhood.
Sharing touch during a blessingway is a beautiful intimate way to connect with a Mama – massaging her feet, painting her nails, brushing her hair, painting her belly. How fabulous. Look at that luscious belly, I love this shot! Definitely one for the 21st birthday party 🙂
* Bring a charm or bead to create a bracelet, pendant, or anklet for the Mama. Weave the jewels together during the blessingway and adorn the Mama with a gift to wear from now until the birth – a gift that carries all of your love and birthing blessings. Reach out and invite overseas friends and family to contribute a bead and love note to be read out to the Mama – such a fabulous loving way to connect faraway friends.
* Weave a birthing circle with a thread, wool or ribbon. Each woman in the circle wraps the yarn around their wrist before passing to the woman next to her to do the same. When the yarn has gone right around the circle (including the Mama, of course) each woman cuts the ribbon linking them to their lovely neighbour and ties it into a bracelet around their wrist. Each woman keeps the bracelet on until the baby decides it’s time & the birthing experience starts – once the string is cut, the bracelet releases the good birthing tidings to the Mama during labour. I love this circle of powerful love! How fabulous to know that your womenfolk are there for you, supporting you, holding you, during your birth.
I was fortunate to be blessed with a virtual Blessingway before the birth of my recent babe. Amazing + spirited + connected women from across the country got onto Skype and held circle for me whilst I released my fears, shared my inner-most feelings, and listened to their intuitive words of wisdom. All from the comfort of my couch! I loved it and felt even more excited about my forthcoming birth. I truly felt like I was part of some special girly birthing love-in. Awesome awesome awesome!
So how about creating a space for your precious Mama that is all about her? A sacred women’s space to empower, connect, and surrender to the beauty of birthing. Oh, and cake. I don’t think there’s anything in the rules that says no cake. Definitely bring cake x
The Rockstar Birth Magazine
Scared of birth? The Rockstar Birth Magazine is born from a desire to inform and empower pregnant mamas to approach their birth with excitement and awe. Less fear, more trust. Less pushing, more flowing. Less focus on risk, more on self-belief. My mission is to provide pregnant mamas with the tips + tricks + deep soulful trust to make their birth journey one of the most expansive and uplifting experiences of their lives.
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