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Looking for a different way to celebrate your pregnancy other than a baby shower? Then, consider a “blessingway”.

A traditional Native American custom, blessingways center around the pregnant woman and her upcoming rite of passage into motherhood. This ritual doesn’t include playing games and giving gifts for the baby. The idea behind the blessingway is to surround the mom-to-be with support and encouragement as she counts her days down to the birth.

Activities to plan for a blessingway:

-Create a labor bead necklace:
Ask guests to write out one wish for the mom-to-be while she is in labor and one wish for the baby at the time of the birth. After the party, string beads together to form a necklace. Each bead should represent one wish. Tip: use pink beads to represent the labor wishes and blue beads to represent the wishes for baby at birth. (Any color bead will work)

So, if you have 15 guests who participated in this activity, you should have 30 beads on the necklace. Write out the wishes in a journal or notebook for a nice keepsake. Present it to the mom-to-be. Let her know that the meaning behind this activity is that she should pack the necklace in her labor bag and pull it out when labor begins. The necklace will let her know that everyone is thinking of her and the baby at that special time. Having the necklace can be a source of positive energy and strength for her in the time she needs it most! A great activity for the mom-to-be who lives far from family and friends.

*An alternative to this activity is to have each guest bring a bead, go around the room and have each guest give their “wish” or “thought of strength” for the mom and then add their bead to the necklace.

-Create and decorate a belly mask

-Candle lighting: give candles to guests as they arrive at the party and ask them to light a candle for the mom-to-be and place it in the room. Another candle lighting that you can do is to give candles to each guest as they leave. When the mom goes into labor, contact each guest and ask them to light their candles while the mom labors. This is to send support, strenght and positive thoughts toward the mother.

-An herbal foot and hand bath for the mother.