It's exactly what it sounds like - moms in need of maternity wear and other goods can have mother-to-be showers thrown for them in addition to, or instead of, baby showers, and the event can even call for an old-fashioned sentiment.
Marla Ballard of The Times-Journal wrote about an event like this that she recently attended, which took place in an English tea room in afternoon tea attire a la Kentucky Derby.
The ladies noshed on finger sandwiches, sweets and cheeses and presented modern, chic maternity clothing to the expectant mom as well as matching jewelry and toiletries. To aid her through the winter, her friends also bought her robes, slippers and winter sneakers, as well as a pedicure gift certificate for when she wouldn't be able to see her feet anymore.
Not that you'll have to hearken back to the 18th century for your event should you choose to follow in a similar vein, but mother-to-be showers can provide an interesting twist to existing conventions, and they won't require you to scrap the baby shower either.
Instead of baby booties, guests can bring fuzzy slippers to the expecting mom, who will appreciate the toiletries as much as diapers and wipes for her impending arrival.