A while back I attended a baby shower for a dear friend of mine and it got me thinking about what a double edged sword these get togethers can sometimes be.
Everyone comes together to celebrate this new life and shower a family with all the things they will need for the next year. The atmosphere is joyous...and foreboding. Now I say that because while everyone is there being happy and giving gifts they are also sharing horror stories and negative words. Things like "That baby is going to be huge!" <-- now this might not seem like a big deal....unless you're the one looking forward to labor. I realize all these things are said in light. I realize that the people saying them are people that love the mom. People with good intentions that would never wish harm on mom or baby. But what they don't realize is that when they say things like this... they are laying a foundation. The expectant mother then starts playing the mental "what-if" game, wondering "What if it happens to me" then doubt seeps in where confidence should be. Some moms can brush this type of thing off but not all. Now when they go into labor they will go into it with tension and fear.
I can tell you that this is not a good state of mind for a birthing woman. Her tension and fear will actually work against her. When she is tense, she will be in more pain. When she is afraid her labor can slow or even stop. This is primal instinct not failure to progress. "There is danger. Lets slow down until we feel safe" Safe. A laboring woman needs to feel safe. She needs to feel supported. She should feel empowered. This is a woman's work. As my midwife would say "Her great act of love."
I get it, you had an experience or you have learned some amazing evidence based facts and you want share them with this mom. You want her to have an amazing birth and you feel like you know something that would help her achieve that. Or something happened to you that you are having trouble with and you don't want that for her.
I have been there. When I fist started to educate myself I wanted to shout all the amazing things I was learning from the rooftops. And I do, selectively so, on my social media account, Where mom can safely scroll on past if its not something that interests her or if she feels like it may effect her negatively. You cant push your stories, opinions or education on someone that doesn't want it and you shouldn't.
When a woman is pregnant, she is in the middle of a miracle. She is literally right there. In the center of this most amazing process that God has given to us. She is at her strongest. She is at her weakest. That barrier is so incredibly thin. Words can hold so much power for the expectant woman. The negative words as well as the positive words.
So treat her with love. Lift her up. Encourage her. Support her. Remind her of how amazing this is going to be. Remind her that she can trust her body. Offer her peaceful gentle guidance if she asks for it. But save the stories for another time. Don't disrupt her miracle with words of doubt.
Because every time a baby is born so is a mother. It's a journey they share. No matter how many times she has gone through this journey, no matter the method (natural, medicated, surgical) and no matter the outcome. She is always reborn a mother. My hope, my prayer is that she comes through it rejuvenated. Strengthened and confident in her purpose set before her by the Lord.
Take a look at this beautiful baby we had the unique pleasure of welcoming earthside on the 10th!
Sweet Ezra was in a big hurry to make his debut and was born peacefully into his daddy's hands at home to the amazement of his parents and the Family Way Birth team who were by their side.
The family decided to stay at their Nineveh, Indiana home and were attended by a wonderful local midwife who graciously came and oversaw their well being in the postpartum period. Mother and baby are doing beautifully. It was an honor to serve this family!
As a doula I have attended a lot of baby showers, blessingways, and baby showers with elements of a blessingway incorporated in and around Franklin, Indiana. On Saturday I had the honor of attending a blessingway held in honor of a dear client of mine, put together by New Journey Postpartum Doula. What a wonderful event. I wanted to share a little of it with you.
First, what is a blessingway or a mother blessing? Well at its base a blessingway is a group of like minded women coming together with the purpose of lifting the mother up and celebrating her. Only positive thoughts, prayers, and intentions are brought into the mother's space. It's a passage of wisdom, its a place to feel safe and encouraged, and its a place to celebrate the joy and strength that comes with this most ancient journey; the birthing journey
What's the difference between a blessingway and a baby shower? Well, that's really all up to what the mother wants. Typically there aren't any gifts for baby, this event centers on mom. If gifts are brought they are for the mother. Slippers, essential oils, herbal teas, gift certificates for services like massage, chiropractic care, pedicures and so on. There are not really any games, instead attendees spend that time pampering mom, creating keepsakes and offering mom positive words and encouragement.
Imagine how great it would be to have a group of strong knowledgeable women. Lifting you up, offering you love and joy, reminding you how amazing this is going to be. Women that you respect and love coming together with the sole purpose of pampering you. What an amazing atmosphere that creates. It is, without a doubt, powerful to know that as you begin your birthing journey you have the strength of these women behind you. Lifting you. Just Love. It's all Love.
Would you have a blessingway? Did you have a blessingway? Baby shower? What are some things you loved? What are some things you would change? Did you leave feeling excited about the path you were on? I would love to hear about your experiences if you are willing to share them!
I feel like a blessingway would be beneficial for any mom gearing up for birth. Maybe you? What a wonderful event.