Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Explaining Birth Beads

I'm not actually sure where I first learned about birth beads. The idea is somewhat connected to the tradition of giving a pregnant woman a Blessingway, as an alternative to a baby shower. That article explains then this way:

Birthing Beads - the coordinator can either collect beads that are meaningful and specific or she can request that each guest bring a special bead to string on a necklace or bracelet for the mother to wear until labor commences or through to the time that she has birthed. This ceremony can be coordinated by having all of the women sit in a circle and pass a length of cord around, hand to hand. At each turn, the guests add their bead or beads (can even suggest a bead for each birth a guest has had). When it reaches full circle to mom, she strings the final bead to represent her birth or child(ren) and then it is tied on mother. The birthing beads/jewelry symoblizes support and strength of the birthing women who surround, support, and strengthen her through shared experiences and history.

I didn't exactly have a Blessingway, but still took the beads my sister made and some that Sofi bought and fastened them into a necklace to wear during labor. It was especially significant because that particular sister wasn't at the birth-- except through the beads she made :)

I have a great shot of Judah, right after birth, clutching the beads with his tiny little newborn fingers (not appropriate for general internets consumption, sorry). They sort of became my nursing beads after the birth, too. A two-for-one deal!


Debbie said...

This sounds like a great tradition! I love it.

Matt and Laurie Beardsley said...

I love that story!! I have a friend who's pregnant now and I think I'm going to suggest that for her shower!!!