I had dreamed up the idea of hosting a mother blessing that would be open to the community a little less than a year ago now, when I was newly pregnant with my son. Having a mother blessing to celebrate my own pregnancy was something I had enjoyed with my daughter, and wanted to share with other women. I got in touch with Kate, knowing she would be the perfect person to team up with to put on the event, and we began the planning process.
In our birth culture, as it is currently, pregnancy is usually celebrated by showering a woman with gifts. So many of us, though, really need and crave a deeper emotional and spiritual connection with those around us as we prepare to journey into birth and motherhood. Women need a reminder, especially as they navigate the vulnerable territory of pregnancy, that they are a part of a wider, supportive community of women and mothers who understand them and who love them.
The concept of the Community Mother Blessing was that Kate and I would gather a handful of local doulas and birth professionals who would like to offer a service, completely free of charge, to the women who came to the event. The response was overwhelming, and our plans quickly began to gel.
Katharina Reed, of Passionate About Birth, offered a beautiful session on journeying with the labyrinth, where she spoke to the women about the labyrinth as a tool that helps us to explore and understand our journey into motherhood.
Alison Capstick, the talented massage therapist, doula, and newly anointed yoga teacher, offered foot massages.
Kate offered a prenatal yoga session, enjoyed by many, including a few gorgeous new babies! She also brought her famous nourishment tea, and helped us decorate the Women’s Council House to the nines!
Katherine Candline, massage therapist and doula extraordinaire, offered more massage in the second hour of the afternoon.
Adrienne Kehler of New Birth Doula Services offered a foot bath/scrub station that was a huge hit with all the mamas.
It’s hard to say whether it was because of Adrienne’s magic hands and loving personality, or because the recipients of the treatment got to wear a flower crown.
Ashley Ward, birth and postpartum doula, yoga instructor and artist, offered an opportunity for mamas to have their bellies painted.
Amy McAulay of Embrace Doula services offered an infant massage demonstration, which was quite popular with both the mamas-to-be and the brand new babies in the room!
I offered an opportunity for the attendees to participate in a group birth art activity where we painted on a piece of giant silk that hung in one of the doorways.
Of course there was a lot of great food…
And even more fabulous conversation…
We finished the afternoon together by gathering in circle and passing around the silk that each woman had contributed to painting, tearing strips off of it while setting a positive intention for our motherhood journeys.
Each woman took home a few pieces of the silk that had been decorated and infused with the strength and community that we had nurtured that afternoon.
I’ve used the term “1st Annual” to describe the event because there is no doubt, given the success of the afternoon, that we will make the Community Mother Blessing an annual tradition.
Our thanks to everyone who gave their loving care to the attendees, and to all the women who participated. Slowly but surely, we are changing the conversation around birth. We are coming together as women, recognizing and claiming our power in birth and in our wider community. We are supporting one another, asking for what we want, and have a strength that is undeniable.