Have you heard of a Mother Blessing celebration? From gender reveals and baby showers to sprinkles and sip and sees, we’ve culturally nailed the whole celebrating new babies thing. It can feel like new and expecting moms receive gifts every step of the way, and while all the baby gear and gadgets are a legitimate must, what we’re learning moms need more of is support.
“Women’s circles have been making a big comeback,” says Janae Bell, a certified yoga and meditation instructor, moon circle teacher, and founder of Goddess and the Moon. “When we come together as a collective and heal together it allows us to call our power back.” For moms who need help remembering their power and strength, a Mother Blessing is the ultimate women’s circle. “When you’re able to slow down with your sisters and those closest to you, it helps you spiritually and mentally prepare for birth,” says Bell.
What happens at a Mother Blessing?
A Mother Blessing or Mama Blessing is an intimate gathering where the expectant mother is ceremoniously honored and supported by her close friends and family as she prepares for childbirth and motherhood. “It provides a safe and loving space for a mother to express her vulnerability, excitement, and fears and to celebrate this rite of passage which we don’t do often enough,” says Bell.
While the ritual stems from indigenous blessing ceremonies, Bell suggests respectfully creating your own unique experience. “Do what the mother likes rather than trying too hard to do what other people have done. At the end of the day it’s about making it a special experience for her,” she says.
Where to host a Mother Blessing
It’s best to choose an intimate space for a Mother Blessing that can hold 10 to 20 of the mom’s closest family and friends. That may be in a living room, a friend’s garden, a yoga studio–anywhere the mom will feel most comfortable. In this space, it’s common to set up an altar. “It doesn’t have to be super witchy or religious,” says Bell. “I like to incorporate natural elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, and I set out snacks and light incense to engage all of the senses.”
The best time to have a Mother Blessing
A Mother Blessing is commonly held at the end of the pregnancy or around 36 weeks. “The best time to have one is during a new moon,” says Bell. “It’s a time of setting intentions and welcoming new beginnings and fresh energy into your life.” Full moons are a good time for a baby blessing since they invoke feelings of celebration and release.
Activities for a Mother Blessing
Mom and her guests should be seated in a circle. To break the ice, start by sharing your astrology sign and a favorite memory of the mom. “Think of times she’s held you, supported you, and made you laugh to make the mother feel good,” says Bell. Next, allow the mother to discuss her fears or write them down on paper. At a recent Mama Blessing that Bell facilitated, each guest also wrote a blessing or a wish or a piece of advice on a dissolving paper and placed it into a jar of water. You can also make mom a flower crown, paint her belly with metallic tattoos, and give her a foot bath. “It’s about choosing activities that help the mother feel empowered,” says Bell.
Mother Blessing Meditation and Prayers
Typically a Mother Blessing is spiritual versus religious. You can lead the group in meditation or play a guided meditation for love or support, says Bell. It’s also common to share a reading, poem, short story, song lyrics–choose something that’s meaningful and sets the intention. “Whatever speaks to you and the mother will be best,” she says.
Mother Blessing Gift Ideas
Unlike baby showers, gifts are not always necessary. But if you feel inclined, think about what the mom may need or want for birth or recovery, or what she might need personally in those first days or weeks home from the hospital with a newborn. Bell recently created candles with fresh herbs for all of the women at a Mama Blessing. “We set and built the intention of the candle with love and support, then when she went into labor we all lit the candle,” she explains. “It was a symbol of positivity and a way for her to remember her strength.”
“After you do a mama blessing the first time it tends to become a tradition,” says Bell. When you’re pregnant and entering motherhood, it helps us honor the connection between physical and spiritual realms.”