A Mothering Ceremony is known by a couple of other names, such as “postpartum sealing ceremony”, or “mother roasting”. The whole purpose of this special ceremony is to acknowledge a woman’s journey into motherhood and bring healing warmth into her body. It addresses both the physical and emotional (and sometimes even spiritual) aspects of this journey. If the birth was exactly how momma envisioned it, it is a time to celebrate. If her birth was not how she envisioned it, whether there was some disappointment or trauma, it is a time to acknowledge that and grieve along with momma. This ceremony can be performed privately with just me (Ruthii), or with momma’s inner tribe.
The first part of every Mothering Ceremony is a cleansing ceremonial bath. It is symbolic of washing away the blood and mess of childbirth. Many cultures, such as the Chinese, traditionally have a “mothering in” period, in which the new momma does nothing but focus on bonding with and feeding her baby. During this time she doesn’t bathe, only doing sponge baths to clean herself. At 44 days, she takes a full immersion bath, and “washes away” the birth. This yummy bath is an opportunity to reflect, and if mom had a rough birth, there is some guided emotional release. I offer a beautiful milk & honey bath, complete with flower crown, flowers and candles. This bath is private during a group ceremony, her attendants to not participate in this part.
After the ceremonial bath, a Bone Closing is performed. During pregnancy our bodies are flooded with hormones, such as relaxin, to loosen up our bones, ligaments, muscles, etc to better allow a baby to pass through and be born. After the birth, our bodies are still loose for a time, causing discomfort, pain, and a sense of being wobbly and unsupported. The bone closing has a physical effect of literally pulling our bones back together, as each length of cloth is twisted around momma’s body. It also has a strangely emotional response as well, allowing momma to release and feel grounded and supported. It pretty much feels like the most amazing full body hug ever. During a group ceremony, momma’s tribe is present and holding space.
Following the Bone Closing is a head to toe Traditional Oil Application. One unique aspect of this is the massaging of the womb space. This brings deep honor and love to our womb which has worked so hard to grow and then birth our children. After our baby bump no longer has a baby inside, it almost becomes taboo to touch or acknowledge it anymore. This healing touch feels so wonderful, and brings warmth and movement back into our belly. During a group ceremony, momma’s whole tribe will participate in the oil application, and is such a loving way for them to honor her.
A Hot Stone Abdominal Press is a great add-on for the Traditional Oil Application. I use a heated Himalayan salt stone and 5 warming herbs bundled together in cloth to give some extra warmth and attention to a womb space.
At this point, momma is gently raised to sitting. If it is private, it is some wisdom from my own experience as a woman and mother, and as much love as I can give with whatever knowledge I have of momma’s birth. If it’s a group ceremony, every one in attendance will have a chance to give momma some love and affirmation. It’s truly my favorite part of the whole ceremony.
At this point momma can hopefully go to bed and rest with her baby. There are also the add on options of a Yoni Steam Bath (which can be a great way to come down from the emotional high of the ceremony) or Belly Binding.
For a group ceremony with momma’s tribe, I highly recommend planning on a communal meal beforehand, so that everyone’s body is nourished for the work ahead.
Ceremony in Momma’s Home ~ $350 ~
Please expect me to be in your home for about 4 hours. This allots time for set up and clean up. For group ceremony, it’s great to appoint a friend as the organizer, as this is meant to be a healing event for momma and she should have to do minimal work. Think of this as a fantastic bookend to a baby shower or blessing way.
The amazing Karen Dalton of Birth in Focus took these amazing photos, and I highly recommend mommas consider hiring a photographer to capture these moments of healing as it’s a beautiful process. To inquire after her services, contact her through her birth photography page: Birth in Focus.
Hot Stone Press ~ $25 ~
Click here to link to more info.
Yoni Steam Bath ~ $40 ~
Save $10 as an add-on. This service is $50 as a stand alone service. Click here to link to more info.
Click here to link to more info.