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Baby Blessing with the Woods

Baby blessing

This month we are focussing on pregnancy and kids! A topic that is always very close to my heart, especially this month as we prepare to bring our third child earth side. For those of you who know our family personally you will know we love all things natural; pregnancy, birth and parenting is no different. We are gearing up for a what we hope will be a beautiful home birth, as it’s where we feel most safe and with the current climate we can have our family together which is very important to us. But like anything in life, especially when it comes to pregnancy, labour, birth and kids, life is unpredictable, so of course we have back up plans should we need to transfer to keep this little one safe.

In preparation for bringing our babies earth side we have always celebrated with a mother and baby blessing for each of our children. I’d love to share this wonderful experience with you as I know not everyone has heard of or experienced such a ceremony.

A mother blessing is a healing ceremony rooted in the Navajo tradition, helping to prepare the pregnant mother for the transition to motherhood. It is a sacred gathering of women centred more upon the mother, giving her love, nourishment and blessings more so than gifts for the baby and games. The ceremony is a time for the mother to gather with the women closest to her, toward the end of her pregnancy, and cultivate positive energy for her upcoming birth experience. There are so many wonderful activities and ceremonies that can be incorporated into a mother blessing and I’d love to share some of the special rituals I included in mine.

Each of our ceremonies have been different and perfect in their own way.

As everyone arrived they were smudged and cleared by our beautiful friends Talita and Paul Sheedy with the help of Maxim. Being a woman centred ceremony it was very important that Maxim had a special role to play too. Each person received a chakra crystal bracelet to signify unity and strength of our tribe which he helped to tie on their wrist.

Everyone headed upstairs to where we had prepared a beautiful space to share our ceremony. We sat in a circle on cushions around an alter that contained our mother candle, crystals, rose petals, sunflowers, oracle cards and specially chosen pieces we wanted to energise during the ceremony. Everyone chose a goddess oracle card and placed it in front of them. We went around the circle, calling ourselves in and lighting our individual candles. Each person introduced themselves, said one word as to how they were feeling and then everyone shared how they knew me and their connection with me.

We did a fire release ritual where we wrote a fear or something we wanted to shift on a piece of special fire paper that once put near the candle, burnt in front of our eyes signifying the release. We then wrote a positive affirmation to take home and hang somewhere to help us release the fear, integrate and manifest something positive, individually and collectively.

My beautiful friend Talita lovingly and mindfully prepared a cacao ceremony for us to share in. See below for a quick lesson in the difference between ceremonial grade cacao, cacao and cocoa as I think it’s interesting and important to understand if this ritual sounds appealing to you! Cacao ceremony’s are rooted in helping to re-balance the energies within us, and restore good health, plus they are delicious! Our cacao had been lovingly prepared using only natural, organically grown ingredients; ceremonial cacao shaved by hand, blended with some fresh nut milk, maple syrup, and naturopathic herbs. It was thick and delicious. We each took a cup, and held it in our hands as we blessed it, gave thanks and whispered an intention into it. We then took our first sip, feeling it’s beauty and nourishment warming us from the inside out. We kept sipping at our leisure and laughing at Mimi as she had it all around her face and was moaning with pleasure!!

Next we asked everyone to string a bead they had brought one at a time, with intension, sharing any meaning the bead might hold for them or a blessing it as they strung it. These beads are in our home birth room ready for me to hold during labour to remind me of the strength and support I have from my tribe. We have done this for each of our children. Maxim has his tied to his dream catcher and Mimi has hers tied on her house bed.

Everyone wrote their blessing or affirmation or wish on paper that I have then laminated and hung in our birth room.

We also created two huge 2x2metre canvases to hang in our birth room. Our friends and family have contributed with paint, crayons, texta and paint pens with pictures, quotes, affirmations and advice. Everyone has traced their hands to signify their support in the upcoming birth. They are beautifully hung for us to admire and draw strength from during labour and beyond.

For bubba number 3 we asked people bring a crystal which was placed with intention on a crystal grid to amplify their energy for labour, birth and beyond.

We then headed downstairs for a beautiful sound healing followed by brunch. It was such a lovely morning and extra special as my beautiful daughter Mimi was with me the whole time sharing and contributing to the whole experience. I hope it will be a memory she treasures for life.

A mother blessing can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. It’s super nourishing not just for the mother but also her whole tribe, which is something I loved and cherished. Thanks to all those who made it and those who zoomed in from afar. We could only have 10 people due to current regulations and I know there are many people who can’t even travel more than 5km from their homes as we speak. My heart goes out to you all and I urge you to connect with your communities as best you can, even if it is not the physical contact we all need and desire. Check on your friends, send them love whether energetically, via text, FaceTime, email etc. Hold your families close & utilise our services. Mental health is something I think is being seriously under estimated during these unprecedented times, so please reach out to your friends and family and here at Health Space. We are doing everything we can to stay open to serve and support our communities.

Love to you all.

Kate x

What is the different between ceremonial cacao, cacao and cocoa?

Ceremonial cacao is different to regular cacao and indeed cocoa, in that uses the whole cacao bean. Ceremonial-grade paste is made by fermenting and lightly toasting or sun-drying the beans. The husks are then peeled off, (usually by hand) and they are ground into a paste and set into a block. In this process nothing is added or taken out so you still have the bean’s natural fat contained, which gives the beautiful thick texture and also helps the absorption over a longer period of time. Nothing added, nothing removed. The bean’s fat remains intact to retain those important nutrients, balance its stimulating properties and facilitate absorption over a longer period of time.

Cocoa powder (not to be mistaken for cacao) has been heated for long periods of time at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure of the bean, meaning it loses most if not all of the beans nutritional value

Cacao powder, whilst often still marketed as “raw and a superfood is still highly processed and removes the beans natural fat content, which is known as cacao butter. Due to this heating and separation a lot of the beans living enzymes, energetic properties and healthy fats have been removed. With the fat removed it can also mean it can be quite over stimulating on the nervous system and taxing on your liver, much like coffee.

Yours in Health and Happiness,
Dr. Kate Wood
Owner / Director Health Space Clinics

Author: Kate Wood

Kate has represented Australia as an 800m runner, winning five Australian titles and competing on the international stage. She also lectured track & field at the Australian College of Physical Education. After being forced into an early retirement due to injury, Kate turned to helping others with their health and wellness, with a special focus on families, pre-conception, pregnancy and paediatrics.

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