I love to gather. This winter I organized an intimate and spiritual gathering for a friend of mine in her last weeks of pregnancy.
A blessingway is a celebration of love and life, pregnancy, and motherhood, in a peaceful, sacred, and love-filled atmosphere. It has evolved from a traditional Native American ceremony focused on healing, creation, and peace, in honor of the mother-to-be. The purpose of the blessingway is to nourish & nurture the new mama while affirming that she will have a beautiful birth experience.
I organized most activities for my friends blessing way during the last week of December after the busy days leading up to Christmas. I brought my children to bed and enjoyed spending my evenings researching and crafting for this special occasion.
If you too, plan on organizing a blessingway I have included a few steps on how to make your friends blessingway a self-care event for cultivating a community bond of women while establishing support for the new mama at the same time.
- Read poems in your circle / use them for a memory book
- Make a flower crown
- More circle activities
- Crystals for pregnancy and birth
- Birth affirmations garland
- Nourishing foods during pregnancy
If you are local to the Kaiserslautern area, Danielle Segui is a local Henna Artist with great talent. You can see her work and book her for a henna party or pregnancy blessing way here.
A treat for me was making a gemstone necklace for her and her best friends using crystals that are helpful during pregnancy. I enjoyed the research and learning about how to make a mala. Use pinterest to read more about crystals for pregnancy (two are linked above).
Furthermore, I decided to focus on making a journal for the new mama with brown paper bags. It included poems and well wishes that the guests could bring or write in by hand. I included pictures I had of her pregnancy & needed only a few craft supplies I had from my children. Moreover, I created a banner of birth affirmations, which can be downloaded for free here. I printed it in black and white and sewed each affirmation on linen fabric that I then gathered into a banner. The banner can be passed on from one mama to another and is already with the third expecting mama to be now.
We did a circle ceremony strengthening the bond between all women who gathered using red thread, wrapped it around each of our wrists when sitting in a circle. This created a special connection between us and emphasized our strength together for her in the coming weeks.
I believe that in our society today, and especially leading up to childbirth, we forget the importance of gathering. We concentrate on material things instead of strengthening and up-lifting the new mama with positive affirmations. It is vital for women to share their experiences about pain and fear. What mama and baby need most is encouragement and intimate gatherings to build strength, time to read, meditate, and focus on the bond between baby, family, and friends.
In addition to the time we spent together encouraging the soon to be mama, I made sure to be around my friend to talk to her during her last weeks of pregnancy. Furthermore, provide advice when needed and be there to help. I set up a meal train to help with nourishing foods after baby is born. When a new baby arrives the entire family needs rest and a previously established community can help the new family transition.
- Set up a meal train
- Offer to shop for groceries
- Offer childcare for older siblings
- Suggest simple home cleaning by friends & family
It used to be that grandma’s and mothers living in house or visiting came to help the new mama but our world is changing. I believe it is most important for us to recognize that the time after childbirth needs to be a time of rest to gain strength for the months ahead.
Visual Storytelling for this post was provided by Eva Maria Smith Photography. If you would like to read more about a minimalism, a slow approach to pregnancy and childbirth, and about slowing down after bith – my friend Eva blogs at House of Smilla.
Thank you for reading
About the Author: Sabine Bryant is the designer and creator of Kinderbonnets. She currently resides in Germany with her family of soon to be 5. Aloha Werkstatt Blog shares her inspiration for Kinderbonnets, environmentally friendly life choices, and creative craft projects inspired by the simplicity of nature, and love for gathering amongst women and families of young children – to inspire a sense of self-sufficiency, creativity, and less materialism.