BABY SHOWERS: HOW DID WE GET HERE?
A beautiful woman with a baby bump surrounded by a couple of other women. There is a flash of camera lights and happy faces. This prompts you to wonder how did we get here. Baby Shower is not a new trend. It has been practised for more than we can ever imagine.
They weren’t always about guessing games and diaper-shaped party favours. Although these celebrations got their start in the beginnings of human culture, they’ve continuously evolved. So when did the baby shower become the baby shower?
A long time ago—as far back as the ancient Egyptians and Greeks—families celebrated the act of bringing new life into the world. But instead of showering the expectant mom with gifts or pregnancy massages, she was hidden away for a period following the birth because it was believed the process was unclean. Celebrations included visiting temples or holding festivals during which the child was formally named. Ancient Greeks also engaged in shouting following labour to signify that peace was once again at hand.
During the Middle Ages, from the 5th to the 15th century, the celebrations were not so much about mom but about God. The primary birth celebration was the Christian baptism, which was held typically held just one day after the baby is born. Mom, however, could not be part of it because tradition dictated that she be sequestered for 40 days following childbirth. During the baptism, mothers counted on Godparents to play a central role. As spiritual teachers, godparents played a vital part in any child’s life. The role’s importance was evidenced by the costly gifts of silver that godparents often gave to the child.
Baby showers today retain the gift giving and celebration but they have entirely new dimensions as well. For example, these parties were traditionally hosted by the mom-to-be’s friends. However, more families are starting to take a hand in shower arrangements.