I’m seeing a lot of understandably anxious pregnant women since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. What will happen to my appointments and when I go into labour? Will I have to give birth alone? What will happen after the birth?
I’ve tried to address as many of these questions in this blog about pregnancy and the pandemic, this one about postnatal recovery, and this one about online support.
But I’d also like to offer a simple practical way to relax that you may not know about.
A rebozo is a traditional Mexican shawl, which, besides being used as an item of clothing, is use to provide great comfort by rocking, jiggling and wrapping a woman’s body, especially during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum.
I’ve been using rebozos for 7 years, as well as teaching the techniques to parents and birthworkers.
I have had so many mind blowing experience using rebozos shawls and scarves in my work to support women through pregnancy, birth, the postpartum and beyond, I’m on a mission to pass on this skill to ask many people as possible.
What the rebozo does, by gently rocking and wrapping you, is calm you right down and bring you back to you body.
As a species we exist in two extreme opposite states: the fight or flight, and the rest and relaxation stage.
Right now, understandably, many of you are stuck in the fight or flight state. It’s made worse by the fact that you literally cannot “flight” because we are all stuck at home.
The simple techniques I describe in this blog are incredibly effective, yet super simple to do, and anybody can do them. You don’t even need a rebozo to do them, something simple like a scarf or a pashmina will do.
Here are 3 simple relaxation techniques you can use during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period (or at any other time! These aren’t limited to pregnancy-anybody regardless of gender or age can benefit from their relaxing effect).
- A quick 5 min “reboot” to get you out of your head and into a more relaxed state
- This is an easy routine to warm and loosen your muscles. It is especially helpful if your energy could do with a boost or if you feel stiff from having sat down for too long (especially after working at a computer), or if you feel anxious or stressed. The technique starts with some shoulder stretches, followed by a shoulder, back and buttocks rub, and finishes with a foot rub. After doing this quick and easy routine you may find that you feel happier, warmer, more relaxed, and more energised 🙂
Wrapping the shoulders
- Wrap the rebozo or scarf around the shoulders, cross the ends, then gently tighten and hold. This can be done standing up, sitting down, or lying down. It is a very calming and grounding technique, because the gentle tightening around the ribcage encourages you to breathe deeper into your belly.
Rocking the pelvis
- This consists in wrapping the rebozo or scarf around the pelvis, then gently rocking the pelvis. This can also be done with the woman resting her back or arms against a wall for support, as well as lying down on the floor, or sitting on a couch.