A baby blessing at LOOM in Los Angeles
Have you been to a baby blessing, mamas? Our dear friend Kelly is expecting her third child next month and it was so lovely to attend this little celebration for her last weekend at LOOM in LA. Her dear friends Paige and Margaux planned the gathering and Erica Chidi Cohen led a super special ceremony for Kelly. So many things were wonderful about this day so without any further introduction, I will just start.
If you haven’t been to baby blessing or blessingway ceremony it’s such a special, heartfelt way to celebrate a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood, and to welcome a new life into a community of women. It’s profoundly moving for the mother being celebrated and a beautiful recognition of the change for this mother as she grows her family, without having a traditional shower. Third time mamas might not need a baby shower, but it sure is nice to have her friends gather together to acknowledge the child joining her family.
Everyone cried, everyone hugged, everyone ate delicious snacks, and watched Kelly open sweet baby boy presents. It was perfect and simple, and Erica’s version of the traditional Navajo ceremony was so beautifully thoughtful and considerate. There wasn’t any belly-rubbing or body painting, but there was a lot of super positive supportive energy flowing Kelly’s way and I know she left feeling filled up to the brim.
Of course there was yummy food and pretty flowers and perfectly pastel decorations because you know, ex-event planners don’t do it any other way. But a blessing doesn’t need all of this (though it makes for great photos!). A blessing is simply about celebrating the woman as she awaits the arrival of her baby, and marking this moment in her life as something important and sacred and worthy of pause and celebration.
The pretty mala beads were held by each woman as she shared something she loved about Kelly and a wish she had for her as she welcomed her new baby into her family. (Cue all the tears!) They are meant to serve as something for Kelly to wear through labor so that she feels the support of her community during birth. I had something similar, but different for each of my births and I loved marking the transition to labor with an object or adornment meant to carry me through childbirth. (Side note: even if you can’t gather all of your friends together while pregnant, you can have each person send a special bead or stone to be strung on a necklace or bracelet to wear during labor.)
Finally, we each took home a candle that we will light when Kelly goes into labor and (hopefully) keep burning until her baby is born. I love this tradition of birth so much! Being reminded that something momentous and also completely ordinary is happening, while celebrating quietly with her as she labors is powerful stuff. But so is placing your baby on your chest for the first time, and everything that follows in motherhood. It’s all so worthy of being celebrated and honored in any way that you like.
It really was lovely. And LOOM. It’s so beautiful. If you’re in LA and pregnant, trying to become pregnant, recently pregnant with a new baby… or in any other stage of motherhood, you should visit. The space is amazing and so is everything they offer.
Thank you for sharing these photos with us, Paige and Margaux! And congratulations to mama Kelly on your soon-to-be family of 5.
Planning: Paige and Margaux / Photos: Max & Friends / Location: LOOM / Blessing: Erica Chidi Cohen of LOOM / Flowers: Moon Canyon / Catering: Whoa Nelly / Floral cookies: Lori Stern / Wine: Hi-Lo / Candle gifts: Simone LeBlanc