Three rebozo techniques for pregnancy and birth

I’ve had so many mind blowing experience using rebozos shawls and scarves in my doula 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.

Every technique is ridiculously simple to do, anybody can do it.

Yet this humble tool provides an unparalleled a level of comfort and relaxation. Everyone needs a rebozo!

There are hundred of things you can do with a simple shawl or scarf like a rebozo (it works with other shawls and scarves too!), too many to count!

All the techniques fall within either a rocking or a wrapping technique.

Here I share 3 simple techniques you can use during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period

Pregnancy technique

Hip wrapping

During pregnancy the rebozo can be wrapped tightly around the hips to provide support to the pelvic girdle. The rebozo can be tied at the front or at the back. Whether you are tying at the front or the back will have slightly different effects on the sacro-iliac joints Try it and be guided by the feedback from the woman depending on what feels best.
Remember whilst this will provide support and comfort, this technique won’t “fix” the cause of the pain/discomfort and therefore won’t replace being treated by a skilled bodyworker (like an osteopath). In situations where pain is present, such as pelvic girdle pain (the Pelvic Partnership is an awesome resource), however it can provide support and comfort whilst awaiting treatment. It should be used mindfully, as a treatment, and not 24/7. You can also use the rebozo to hold an ice pack or a hot pack in place.

Teddy the osteopath‘s view of the technique

Wrapping the hips-supports and stretches the pelvic ligaments (the broad and the round ligament) and helps support weight from the bump on the abdominal muscles and fascia. Many women experience lower pelvic tension and discomfort and band like pain around the front of the pelvis during pregnancy. This technique may also help the ache or soreness in the genitals that can happen during to pregnancy. Wrapping from the back instead of the front provides a similar effect but might be better later on in pregnancy as it provides a broader contact, less pressure at the front and more opening at the back. Both techniques have an impact on the sacro-iliac joints by opening them in slightly different ways. The front tying opens the joints more posteriorally versus anteriorally for the back tying technique.

Rocking/sifting techniques (for pregnancy and labour)

Sifting, or jiggling, the hips or abdomen (or any other part of the body) can relax tight ligaments and may help a baby rotate in pregnancy or labour more easily. Being rocked elicits a very primal feeling  (reminding us of being in the womb) and it is very calming and soothing for all ages. It can really help a pregnant or a birthing woman relax when she is tense or anxious.

Generally, these techniques relax the body so that the baby is more likely to take a better position.

Standing up-around the hips

This consists in gently rocking the hips or the bump of a pregnant woman whilst she is standing up. This can also be done with the woman resting her back or arms against a wall for support.

Teddy the osteopath‘s view of the technique

This provides movement between the lower thoracic spine and the lumbar spine, and helps with the compression forces caused by postural changes during pregnancy. It provides a passive articulation, completely removes the pressure, especially in the thoraco-lumbar joint. This can have a positive impact on breathing too as it also releases the diaphragm. Using a faster movement makes it more of a fluid technique/viscera (which can direct movement into the uterus and its ligaments) towards the front rather than the back. On the bump, faster movement again move the uterus rather than slower articulations.

Fluid health is about transition of fluids. Movement in the body causes pressure changes resulting in fluid pumping in and out of tissues and right down to the cellular level, increased fluid movement leads to more healthy body tissues. Fascial tightness or looseness (connective tissue) can govern the ability of fluid to move in and out.

Bump sifting on hand and knees

The woman is on her hands and knees, kneeling over a sofa or birth ball or chair, and the rebozo is wrapped around the bump and lifted gently prior to sifting. When lifting, ask for feedback from the woman so you can lift enough to take all of the weight of her bump from her spine. As well as providing relaxation and comfort, this technique can  help restore balance to the uterus and with the positioning of the baby during pregnancy or labour.

Teddy the osteopath‘s view of the technique

This loosens all the fascial tension from the front to the back: abdominal fascia and muscles, viscera (organ) ligaments, lumbar muscles and fascia. The vibration provides more movement into the uterus and uterine ligaments and helps to take the tension off it.

 You can download these three techniques as a handy PDF file for free by signing up via the pop up window on any page of my website.

This is a taster version of the full version of my self-study rebozo ebook, which is available here , or of my rebozo online course

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