some things that my friends/community of women do...
include bringing candles. We light the candle at the beginning of the blessing, and introduce ourselves with our maternal lineage (our mother's name, grandmother, great grandmother, who our children are...). Then, at the end of the ceremony, we blow out the candles. The mother keeps them and re-lights them at her birth (or in the instance of a hospital birth, she can light them while in early labor or take the candles with her to the hospital) - the message behind it is that we all come from women through birth...and these women are all protectors of each of us through birth.
We also use yarn to tie around our wrists - we sit in a circle and go around, wrap the yarn a couple of times around our wrist, while telling our birth story or the most important thing we learned from our birth experience. We pass the yarn ball to the next person, etc. At the end of this part, we are all connected together, and someone usually comments on the essence of community and support for the birthing mom. Then, we cut each other's yarn, tie it to our wrists and wear them until babe and mom are safely transitioned into the world. We ask the women to send prayers and blessings to the mother/baby when they look at the yarn until the birth.
We eat, too! We set up a little altar in the middle of the circle of women (mainly with things that the mother has in her home or things that mean alot to her).
Someone usually makes a head wreath of fresh flowers, or in this time of year, usually leaves and baby's breath.
We usually bring a "gift from the heart" - a poem, something painted/drawn, made, found in nature, etc., for the mother.
Have fun! Let us know how it goes!
Oh, my friend Linda has more info at her site: http://home.earthlink.net/~eaglefalc...essingway.html