Blessingway – an Empowering Alternative to a Baby Shower

Baby showers can be a great way for new moms to be celebrated, but let’s be honest – it can get a little old playing the same game of guessing what candy bar has been melted in a diaper.

What if there was a different way to come around an expecting mom so that she leaves feeling empowered, uplifted and blessed?

It’s called a blessingway, a tradition that is based in Navajo tradition that blesses the home and the pregnancy.  The focus of a blessingway is very different then a baby shower.  During a baby shower, the focus can feel around the gifts (and they are often very much needed), but a blessingway is focused on the expecting mom.

I recently co-hosted a blessingway for one of my best friends.  She was expecting her second (and as a surprise to everyone, her third) and wanted a different type of celebration.  So, together with a circle of her close friends, we threw her one of the best pregnancy parties I have been to.

Instead of games, we had different activities for everyone to participate in:

We decorated cloth flags with words of affirmation that was later hung in the room in her home where she gave birth.

We all helped mix herbs that she later used to heal her bottom postpartum.

Each lady brought a meaningful bead that was strung together as a birthing necklace to remind her of her tribe.

An artist used henna to paint her belly while we took turns chatting with her, encouraging her, and giving her hand and foot massages.

We danced with her in an African drum circle.

And at the end of it all, we circled around her and told her encouraging words, prayed for her, and blessed her.

And each attendee took a candle that was the lit when she went into labor as a reminder to send good wishes, prayers, and thoughts while she brought her child (ended up being children) into the world.

She walked away feeling supported by her tribe of women.

And the amazing thing about blessingways is that it can be customized to whatever is important to the mother – you can include things that are important to her, her faith, or whatever she would like.  The most important thing is that she walks away feeling empowered, and blessed, by the women around her.

It was the most beautiful pregnancy party I have been a part of.

Have you been to a blessingway? What unique activities did you do?

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