Celebrating pregnancy

Exploring ways to mark and celebrate being pregnant

Exploring ways to mark and celebrate being pregnant

Becoming pregnant changes our lives forever. It is a time to put away our preconceptions, literarily the ideas we have before pregnancy and to move on to the next stage in our lives.
A first pregnancy is a time to think about our changing role as men and women, the shift from being primarily our parents’ children to becoming parents ourselves. It irrevocably alters the relationship between us and our partners, as the new baby become the centre of our lives.
A subsequent pregnancy often focuses our attention on what a new baby will mean for our existing child or children, and on how best to prepare them for a new sibling.
Despite these momentous changes we often rush through pregnancy, distracted by everyday life. We focus on coping with morning sickness and the discomforts of pregnancy. Or we may attend antenatal classes and go shopping, as we prepare for the birth and life with a new baby. But how often do we focus on the here and now, on the baby inside us.
Taking time to focus on our baby before birth can be a magical and enriching experience. It helps us to bond with our baby, feel more in tune with our health during pregnancy and can give us and our child a wonderful legacy to look back on.
Here are a few ideas of things to do to mark this life-changing event and to celebrate our bodies and our babies.

Meditate on it

Meditating on our baby during pregnancy can help us relax, deal with our fears about childbirth and parenthood and even make for a more comfortable birth. There are many approaches ranging from yoga, to hypnosis for birth.

Write about it

How about writing a pregnancy journal or diary. Get a beautiful notebook and set aside a short time each day to write, maybe in the form of letters to your baby.
Alternatively do it online, with a blog.

Don’t forget to take lots of photos

Cast your bump

Create a magical keepsake of the miraculous nine months you carry your baby inside you. Pregnant belly casts fascinate adults and children alike, whether you choose to hang yours proudly on the wall, or use it as a fruit bowl or more discrete ornament. Your belly cast will be a lasting reminder of how your body changed.
Once comfortable and smeared with Vaseline your bump is cast using layers of warm, wet plaster bandage. Get a Do-It-Yourself kit or book an appointment . Alternatively make an appointment for a high definition gel casting or true body casting.

Turn your bump into a work of art

Have a personal design painted onto your bump, and a photo shoot to immortalise this very special piece of art!

Pamper yourself

How about taking some time out to pamper yourself and your bump. many spas have special pregnancy treatments.
Another common way to focus on pregnancy is to attend an antenatal yoga class. The class is not only a time to exercise, but also an opportunity to relax and focus on your un-born baby.

Have a Baby Shower

How about throwing a party for a friend or relation? Baby showers, originated in post-war America, are increasingly popular in the UK. It is a chance to get together, usually about two months before baby is due, to celebrate the unborn baby, pass on experiences of motherhood and fuss over the mum-to-be. It is traditional to take this opportunity to hand over gifts to the new mum or baby, and play a few games, like ‘guess the baby’s birth weight’. You might want to have a theme such as Teddy bear’s picnic, or nursery rhymes. Baby showers are big business in the States, often with a no-expenses spared pampering session and party at a posh hotel. But a small party at home can be just as special!

Or maybe a Blessing Way

Another American import, the Blessing Way originates in a Navajo Indian rite of passage. It celebrates a life changing event such as becoming an adult, or a parent, passing through the menopause or any other life event that one wants to bless or celebrate. A blessingway is a personal version of a religious or secular rite of passage.
Each Blessing way is different, but they all involve a celebration or ceremony with friends and family, focusing on the emotional and spiritual needs of the mother-to-be. Each guest brings a prayer or gift. One common idea is for each guest to give a bead, accompanied by a song or blessing, which are then strung together into a special necklace to be worn during labour. Or everyone might join in with decorate the bump with henna art, or sew or write their names on a quilt square for the baby’s blanket.

Celebrating pregnancy around the world:

• Sephardic Jews celebrate a first pregnancy with a kortadura de fashadura, or “cutting of the swaddling clothes.” A party where cloth is cut to make the baby’s first outfit.
• In many places it considered important not to accept gifts or to celebrate the unborn baby. Drawing attention to a pregnancy might attract bad luck or jealous evil spirits.
• A Hindu Seemantham is traditionally held during the seventh month of pregnancy. It is organized by family and involves gift-giving and religious ritual. A prayer to fire is recited to soothe the expectant mother. Light instrumental music is played, and it is believed that this will refine the development of the baby’s ears.
• At the 5th month of pregnancy, Japanese women visit the temple on the Day of the Dog to pray and receive a hara-obi maternity sash to hold the baby in the proper position and prevent it growing too large