Baby Showers are a rite of passage for many mums-to-be but – while nappy cakes and afternoon tea are delightful – there’s a rising trend for a more spiritual way of celebrating your impending birth... Known as Womb Blessings, Birth Blessings or Mother Blessings, these alternative baby showers have been inspired by the very sacred Native American Blessingway ceremonies that Navajo people traditionally perform to celebrate rites of passage throughout life. Instead of gifts, the emphasis is on nurturing and celebrating the pregnant woman: family and friends gather to pamper and entertain her and “fill her cup so it overflows with love and confidence,” says Shereen Zarroug, Doula & Hypnobirthing Practitioner at Belly Baby Mom.

They can be as hippy-dippy or down-to-earth as you like: generally everyone sits in a circle and shares food, but the details are up to you. Shereen suggests a Bead ceremony – whereby every guest brings a bead that is sewn into a necklace or bracelet for the mother to wear during her labour – or a Cord ceremony, wherein every attendee’s wrist is bound with a single cord of red wool, which is then cut when they hear the labour in underway, “as a symbol of unity and a nice way to remind others to be thinking of the prospective mother,” says Shereen.

Other details can include belly painting, decorating stones or designing birth-flags for bunting with encouraging affirmations for the woman to draw strength from during labour, and even creating fresh-flower crowns together.

Typically held around the 36th week of pregnancy, Belly Baby Mom hosts two kinds of Womb and Birth Blessings: a group ceremony where expectant mums come to be blessed at the same time (Dh250pp), or they can arrange your own bespoke ceremony and set-up for Dh1,500–2,500. Contact Shereen on 055 963 9633 or shereen@bellybabymom.com for details.

Hypnobirthing instructor Jasmine Collin and yoga teacher Stephanie Hamilton also recently teamed up to offer the BLESS retreat for pregnant women; a mix of yoga, fear-release and bonding meditations, journaling, belly blessings and making your own essential belly blessing oil. If you are interested in attending the next one contact jasmine.collin@yahoo.com.  

Interested? Read more on alternative birth and pregnancy practices here: 

Waterbirth, Hypnobirthing and Doulas: Your guide to alternative birth options in the UAE 

The Mummy-Sitters: The women using ancient practices to care for new mothers

Is a traditional approach to postnatal care the secret to preventing postpartum depression?

Why you might want to eat your placenta  

The new childbirth trend mums are loving