blessing circle (also known as blessingway or mother blessing)

A blessingway is a traditional Navajo ceremony to celebrate important life passages. It is a great alternative to the typical baby shower. Out of respect for the Navajo people we draw from this beautiful ceremony to create a Blessing Circle. Blessing Circle ceremonies can be tailored to each individual's beliefs and ideology. The central theme remains the same, shower the birthing mother and baby with love and deep connection to other women and the earth.

Typically we begin the Blessing Circle by forming a circle, and welcoming mother and guests to the ceremony. We open the ceremony by burning sage (optional, of course) to clear the room and participants of negative energy or ideas about birth. Next, the mother receives a flowered crown for her head and receives an herbal foot bath and massage. We go around the circle and each woman strings a bead onto a necklace and offers a prayer/affirmation for the birth. This necklace can later be used as a source of strength and focus during labor. Last, we pass a roll of string around and each woman wraps it around her wrist. To close the ceremony we cut the string between each woman and they tie it into a bracelet. The women wear these bracelets until after the baby is born. After the ceremony we eat chat and have a good time!

Blessing Circles can be performed for the birthing mother alone or for her partner as well. I like to add songs to the ceremony to create positive energy, build community, and help smooth transitions between the pieces of the ceremony. An important aspect of the Blessing Circle is that it is not outcome-focused. The focus is on giving the mother the support and love she needs to draw on her own strength to travel her birth journey, whatever it may be.

If you are interested in having me facilitate your Blessing Circle please contact me for rates and availability.

recommended reading

(these books, and many others, are all available in my lending library)

web resources


Ina May Gaskin

Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE)

Spinning Babies-Optimal Fetal Positioning

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services

The Big Push for Midwives

Sacred Birthing by Sunni Karl

International Ceserean Awareness Network (ICAN)

vaccine information

National Vaccine Information Center


Attachment Parenting International

Mothering Magazine

Natural Child Project

The Daily Goove with Scott Noel

local resources in Austin, TX


Alighta Averbukh (512) 302-3737

Melissa Light (512) 775-4057

Judy Osborne (512) 206-0730


Dr. Lisa Barnett (512) 444-1070

Dr. Ron Burnett (512) 708-0905

Dr. Kimberly Heinrich (512) 795-0707

cranio sacral therapy

Marcela Billig (512) 589-8764

Gb Khalsa (512) 694-0990

Sally Leissner (512) 964-9031

Judy Osborne (512) 206-0730

MeriJayd O'Connor (512) 589-8165

Maya abdominal massage

Gb Khalsa (512) 694-0990

Michelle Brown (512) 740-6263

doulas, midwives and other birth-related practitioners

Central Texas Birth Network

Central Texas Doula Network

Association of Texas Midwives (lists Licensed Midwives in TX)

Texans for Midwifery

parenting resources

Attachment Parenting International - South Austin Chapter
Yahoo Group

Attachment Parenting International - Central Austin Chapter

Austin Attached Families Yahoo Group

La Leche League Austin

photography (child, family, wedding & maternity)

Rene Renteria Photography