The first trimester flew by, and during second trimester I was in the meat of my Ayurvedic training. By the time I was in my third trimester I felt it was almost impossible to plan a baby shower. Deep down I really wanted a baby shower and have a proper welcoming for our baby. My close girl friends and husband attempted to plan a surprise baby shower, but I found out and took the planning by the reins.
To Include Men?
My parents were skeptical when they were invited, asking why the guys were coming and why we planned the shower close to my 9th month. Back in the day, the group of women closest to the mama-to-be would gather, play games, share stories. My parents made me feel like we were doing something odd. When I asked my pregnant friends and acquaintances, it was clear the times had changed.
Celebrating Dads, Too
Dads are much more involved than ever in parenting and they want to and deserve to be celebrated, too. Instead of having a separate celebration for my husband and myself, it was a no brainer to have a baby shower for us as to-be parents. We figured it was an opportunity to see our closest friends for the last time before it could be months until we see them again.
Traditionally, during the 7th month there is a ceremony held called godh bharai which translates to “fill the lap”. It has different terms throughout different regions in India and other parts of south asia. In Ayurveda, it is said that whatever the mother feels during those 9 months will carry over to her baby. A baby shower is way of honoring the mother and cherishing her with love and blessings, which the baby will also feel. The rituals vary, but the essence of it is the same. The mother and baby are showered with gifts and fed sweets by the closest and dearest to the mother. Rituals are performed to protect the mother and baby from any negative spirits and energy. It is to celebrate and welcome her to motherhood and ensure she has a safe delivery.
Though this is a long held tradition, it too has evolved. Some like to keep it a traditional affair and others due to practicality or choice make it a modern day affair. Whichever it may be, the intention is to bless, celebrate and welcome her into motherhood.