Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
Celebrations surrounding pregnancy in past generations often focused solely on the welcoming of the baby. Baby showers, where gifts are given to the mother and baby nearing the time of birth or after the baby is born, are still common today. However, women today are also choosing to commemorate their pregnancies in additional ways. Celebrations that focus on the beauty of the mother's expanding belly and life changes are becoming more common.
There are many new and modern practices as well as ancient and multicultural celebrations that you can choose from in order to celebrate your own pregnancy. It's also becoming more popular for pregnant women to customize their special events to include several of their favorites.
It has long been common for the new baby to have pictures done, but now women are taking advantage of the current affordability of professional photography and booking sessions to snap photos of their cute pregnant bellies before the baby arrives. Maternity photos are a great way to document your pregnancy. Professional birth photography is also gaining popularity, documenting the entire birth process through beautiful photographs. Most photographers can do this type of work well; however, photographers from all across the globe are making maternity and birth photography their specialty.
Another creative way to capture your gorgeous pregnant figure is to make a belly cast. Belly casting works by laying wet plaster strips over the front of your chest and abdomen and allowing them to dry. This creates a mold or cast of your body (and belly) for you as a keepsake. Some women then go on to paint or decorate the belly cast for display. Belly casting is often a two or three person job. You may prefer to do a belly casting with your spouse as an intimate occasion or get together some friends to help out. A belly casting party is a fun way to get together with your supportive friends and family to celebrate the end of your pregnancy.
Belly painting is another similar celebration and practice where the mother's belly is painted or decorated with a special type of temporary tattoo called henna. Some women choose to have their belly professionally painted and then photographed.
A blessingway is a celebration in honor of a woman's journey into motherhood. Unlike a baby shower, a blessingway is about very close supportive friends and family coming together to bless and encourage the mother during the last part of her pregnancy and nearing the time of birth. Like baby showers, blessingways often incorporate many celebratory activities and practices, including those mentioned above. It is believed that the tradition of the blessingway was originally a Native American celebration. Many times it has some spiritual aspects and can include the mother's own beliefs or religion. Women who attend the blessingway often promise to pray or care for the mother spiritually throughout her journey into motherhood.
However you choose to celebrate your pregnancy, remember to enjoy this special time. The memories that you make during your pregnancy are just as important as the celebrations and keepsakes that you make to commemorate this time in your life. Use this time to bring together those that truly love and support you, and want to share in your joy.