I love any excuse to make a gift for a friend, especially if that friend is pregnant. I wanted to write a post about all the wonderful things that you can make and give to friends at their baby shower or mother and baby blessing.
What’s the difference between a blessingway, a baby shower, and a mother and baby blessing? “A blessingway is an ancient Navajo ceremony that celebrates a woman’s transition into motherhood.” The traditions are reserved for Indigenous peoples. A baby shower is of course a chance to shower the unborn baby with gifts and provide new parents with useful accessories and tools that they will need when the baby is born. My tradition, a mother and baby blessing, has pagan roots, with some traditions similar to that of a blessingway, and mom is showered with affection to prepare her mind, body, and spirit for giving birth. The main difference between them all of course is focus. Even though babies are special (and I love babies), I feel like sometimes we are so obsessed with the little one inside of mom that we forget about the beautiful and strong woman carrying that child. She’s working really hard to keep that baby healthy and safe and her job has only just begun! It is very important to me to make sure that moms feel safe, loved, and cared for – that’s why I love mother and baby blessings.
I’ve hosted a mother and baby blessing as well as been to a few baby showers and blessingways. Every single one has been wonderful. When I go to an event, I always try and bring something handmade for baby and something special for mom. I especially love making baby hats – they are so easy, fast, and adorably small! Some of the gifts I’ve been bringing to recent events have been:
- crocheted baby hats (pattern here)
- homemade tea (recipes here)
- birth affirmations
- mandala drawings
- essential oils
- homemade lotions or belly balms
- crystals for labour and birth (an excellent list here)
- groaning cake (especially if it’s a potluck! recipe here)
- baby books (like the Bernstein Bears or Curious George)
- anything off of mom’s registry
There are many beautiful traditions that you can add into your event to make mom feel special but I also suggest that you try making up a few on your own that you know mom will enjoy. I like to invite women (and men) who are going to be immensely supportive of mom’s journey – there’s no negativity allowed! Mom and baby are listening and we need to be very careful not to frighten moms (especially new mothers). Because seriously, what’s the point? Telling a mom that you had a “hell of a delivery” isn’t going to ease her fears and it’s only going to further contribute to the idea that childbirth is worse than breaking “all your bones at the same time” or whatever living hell television shows make it out to be. It can be better than that, I promise.
Planning and mother and baby blessing is really fun. Like I said before, I love any excuse to give a gift to a friend and planning an entire day to shower them with love is just my ultimate. I have some of my traditions below that you might want to try but I haven’t included your “regular” baby shower games and fun things. I love the game where you race to change a diaper on a teddy or when you write messages to the child when they turn 18. These are all cool things to do, I recommend finding a bunch of stuff that mom and the guests will feel comfortable doing and just have fun!
Here are some mother and baby blessing ideas:
- read poetry or prayers to mom
- massage mom’s feet, offer her a pedicure, brush her hair, etc
- paint pretty pictures on her belly
- every guest can bring a crystal or bead to be strung, while stringing the beads, the guest says a prayer, silent or aloud for mom and baby – mom can wear this necklace during birth, hang it over baby’s crib, etc
- make affirmation posters as a group
- guided group meditation
- serve mom food and bring her flowers
I’m going to a blessingway this weekend and I absolutely cannot wait! I’m so excited to bring the mother (who’s expecting twins!) all her gifts. Are you planning a baby shower? What kind of traditions are you going to include?