resources

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

birth-related

Ina May Gaskin http://www.inamay.com

Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE) www.alace.org

Spinning Babies-Optimal Fetal Positioning http://spinningbabies.simplwebsite.com/

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services http://www.motherfriendly.org/

The Big Push for Midwives http://www.thebigpushformidwives.org/

Sacred Birthing by Sunni Karl http://www.sacredbirthing.com/

International Ceserean Awareness Network (ICAN) http://www.ican-online.org/

vaccine information

National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org

parenting

Attachment Parenting International http://www.attachmentparenting.org/

Mothering Magazine http://www.mothering.com

Natural Child Project http://www.naturalchild.org

The Daily Goove with Scott Noel http://www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove

local resources in Austin, TX

acupuncture

Alighta Averbukh (512) 302-3737

Melissa Light (512) 775-4057 http://www.lightfamilyacupuncture.com/

Judy Osborne (512) 206-0730

chiropractic

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 http://www.inspiretouch.massagetherapy.com/

Maya abdominal massage

Gb Khalsa (512) 694-0990

Michelle Brown (512) 740-6263

doulas, midwives and other birth-related practitioners

Central Texas Birth Network http://centexbirthnetwork.org

Central Texas Doula Network http://centxdoulas.org/index.html

Association of Texas Midwives (lists Licensed Midwives in TX) http://www.texasmidwives.com/

Texans for Midwifery http://www.texansformidwifery.org/austin/index.html

parenting resources

Attachment Parenting International - South Austin Chapter http://www.southaustinapi.org
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southaustinattachedparents/

Attachment Parenting International - Central Austin Chapter http://www.centralaustinapi.com/

Austin Attached Families Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AustinAttachedFamilies/

La Leche League Austin http://www.lllaustin.org/

photography (child, family, wedding & maternity)

Rene Renteria Photography http://www.renerenteria.com/