Gathering with friends and family is a beautiful way to celebrate babies. It can also be a profound way of marking this passage into parenthood or the growing of our families. Having loving support around can give us strength as we face the unknowns of birth and parenting.
These gatherings are also a great time to get people signed up for the Meal Tree or other postpartum support. Or maybe friends go in together to get you gifts such as of month of diaper service, house cleaning, or larger baby items.
There are so many ways to adapt celebrations to suit you and your community. You can even have more than one celebration!
#1 Baby Shower
You can play silly games -or not! Have just women -or make the men folk join in too!
Go ahead and ask for what gifts you want! You can register or you can also give simple guidelines that will help your family and friends support your values.
You can even plan a virtual shower so that friends and family who live far away can love and support you.
#2 Baby Party
This is a casual, potluck style gathering celebrating both parents. Gifts are not necessarily the focus. After everyone has eaten it can be very sweet for the you and your partner to sit and hear people share wisdom, blessings, and strengths they see in you.
#3 Mama Blessing*
A Mama Blessing is a gathering of your close friends. Friends can express their love and support through simple rituals: a foot bath and massage, lighting candles, making a symbolic bead necklace, and forming the yarn bracelet circle. Again, friends can share wisdom, blessings, and strengths they see in you. Then share a delicious and nourishing meal. Often gifts are for the mother, not the baby. The Mama Blessing can be as simple as sharing a nice dinner with close friends -without children or partners present. *My understanding is that “Blessing Way” is a traditional Native American ceremony.
#4 Mother Initiation
This is a gathering of mothers, and can include more than one pregnant woman. It is a sacred space for each woman to share her story of becoming a mother. This sharing can give the first time mothers a deep sense that each of us has our own journey, full of love and full of strength to meet the challenges we face. Follow with a potluck style meal.
#5 Naming Ceremony
This celebration is for after the baby is born -and named! Another great time for gifts and delicious food and rituals from your own background.
I would love to hear what celebrations or traditions you love! Join the dialogue over on FB!