Trying to plan a baby shower but tired of the typical baby shower games? Plan a blessingway instead! You can still invite friends and family and honor the expectant mother, but your party will be less about accumulating gifts and more about honoring the life-changing event that is about to take place.

Why a Blessingway?

Instead of focusing on the baby that will soon arrive, a blessingway celebrates a woman's transition into motherhood. The women in her life — mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, mentors — gather to show spiritual, emotional, and physical support as the expectant mother prepares for birth and beyond.

Also known as a Mother Blessing, the celebration is characterized by rituals that make a woman feel energized and empowered as she becomes a mother.

Ideas for Planning a Blessingway

There is no right way to plan a blessingway, but there are certain traditional ceremonies that are common to the celebration. If you're interested in hosting one for a mother-to-be, the following are some activities you may want to include:

Sharing Birth Stories

Invite the women in attendance to gather in a circle and share their own birth stories. Be mindful of the commonly held fears of first-time mothers and encourage participants to focus on positive and uplifting aspects of their stories.

Henna Belly Painting

Henna painting on the belly is a traditional pregnancy ritual that has been around for centuries. When done during the 8th month, it is thought to bring good luck.

Belly Dancing

Belly dancing is a great activity to help pregnant women prepare for the physical stresses of labor, and it's a fun activity that will get the entire group laughing.

Mothering the Mother

Pampering the mother-to-be is an integral part of a blessingway. Massages, foot baths, hair brushing, and nail painting can all be included. Be sure to serve plenty of delicious and nutritious snacks and drinks to nourish both the mother and your guests.

A Bead Ceremony

Invite all participants to bring a bead, and then string them all together into a necklace. The pregnant mama can then wear this necklace during labor as means of channeling love and support from the important women in the life.

Prayer Flags

A blessingway is not necessarily religious (origins date back to Native American tribes), but it is often spiritual. Guests are invited to bring notes, prayers, affirmations, or poems for the expectant mother, which they then use to decorate small strips of cloth that resemble flags. These flags are then strung together to create a banner the mother keeps near her while in labor.

A Candle Ceremony

Give each guest a candle to take home with them, and create a phone tree to notify everyone when labor begins. All guests can then light their candle and send positive thoughts to the mother as she brings her baby into the world.

Have you ever planned or attended a blessingway? To learn more about this special celebration, check out the book Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood.