Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
A blessingway is a wonderful way of welcoming and celebrating a woman's passage through pregnancy into motherhood. It is a unique gathering of close friends of the mother-to-be. Unlike a baby shower which focuses on the baby, a bessingway is about honoring the mother-to-be. Blessingways are a spiritual celebration that usually include spiritual or religious aspects and elements that are important to the mother.
A blessingway may be held at anytime during a mother's pregnancy but are usually held In the last weeks of pregnancy, offering support and encouragement as she is nearing the time of labor. A blessingway often serves as a way to renew her spirit and give her strength during the final weeks of her pregnancy “journey”.
Origin of the Blessingway
Blessingways are thought to be a ritual that began with Native Americans. This ritual was used to offer blessing at many different life passages including pregnancy and birth. It is believed that the modern day pregnancy blessingway was derived from these Native American blessingway rituals.
How to Plan a Blessingway
There are no set guidelines to planning or hosting a blessingway. In general, you should only invite those who are very close to the mother-to-be. The mother herself should help make the guest list if at all possible. A blessingway is a very intimate celebration that should empower and bless the mother-to-be. It is not the time or place to invite anyone who may make the mother uncomfortable.
A blessingway may include many spiritual elements. You may wish to include prayers, poems, or special blessings that hold meaning and seek to encourage. Other activities include belling casting, belly painting, lighting candles, foot washing, and hair brushing and/or braiding. It can include spa elements, essential oils and fragrances, and meaningful gifts; Whatever is intimate and surround the mother-to-be with love, care, encouragement, and support. Wholesome and nourishing food and drinks may prove to be meaningful for the mother during this celebration as well.
Remember that a blessingway is supposed to be a positive celebration. You should seek to discourage negativity by not allowing negative comments or horror stories about pregnancy and birth. You might also think about discouraging commercial gift-giving. Consider only allowing gifts with special meaning and significance. You could end the celebration by having people sign up to bring a meal after the baby is born or help out in other ways.