Tuesday, August 7, 2007

An alternative twist on baby showers

A friend came by yesterday afternoon and was lamenting about going to a baby shower and how commercialized and misguided the Americanized version of baby showers has become. I suggested that she consider giving her friend a Blessingway. She kind of looked at me funny and then I explained that it is an ancient ceremony based upon Native American traditions and it focuses on the pregnant mother who will be experiencing the life changing event of the birth process. It changes the focus from being solely on the baby, who is really still an unknown entity, to the mother with whom we already enjoy a friendship or relationship with and for whom we care deeply and wish to send into this experience with good wishes and warm, loving thoughts.
I did some research and took some info. over to my friend's house in exchange for some fresh basil and oregano from her garden. I learned about this wonderful segue way into motherhood and hope that someday I can be a part of a Blessingway or Mother's Way celebration.

Some wonderful ideas include; creating birthing necklaces and bracelets with everyone in attendance, hair brushing, foot massage, sharing positive birth stories, passing on blessings and good wishes, giving meaningful gifts to the mother-to-be and feasting on potluck fare.

You could also make a belly cast beforehand and have the attendees write something special on it or take turns decorating mom's belly with henna ink or passing around a blanket for each guest to paint on or embroider.

The ideas are endless but the sentiment is the same; good, positive, loving thoughts and meaningful gifts are showered upon the mother and new baby and are a source of strength and encouragement as the woman begins her journey into the laboring process. With the thoughtful gifts given to her, the pregnant mom can place them around her or wear them when she is in labor and it will remind her of all those women and children who have gone through labor before her and who are sending their love and support as she steps into the all encompassing birth process.

As we reclaim the power and beauty in pregnancy and birth, we can also change the traditions surrounding these life altering events. Putting a new, empowering twist on the traditional baby shower shows support and love for the mother-to-be and a deep respect for the female bodies' powerful way of giving birth. It is a well intentioned celebration which will set the stage for the natural, awe-inspiring birth of a new soul. Consider it for someone you love...

1 comment:

Red Pomegranate said...

I'm SO excited about my own Blessingway! I didn't have one with my son, so this will be a new and (I know) moving experience.