The Rebozo

There are many tools doulas have to be in support of the birthing woman, we need to be prepared to give the woman wants she wants and needs.

The rebozo is a beautiful tool for us.

The rebozo comes from Mexico and is has been used for generations as a tool to help assist the mother in labor, birth, and even to carry the child once they are earthside.

It can be used in pregnancy to support the pelvis and growing belly, especially to help prevent diastasis recti and support symphysis pubis dysfunction (which I had with my last two pregnancies...it sucks).

They are typically about 30 inches wide by about 6 feet long but they are as individual as the woman it is for.  In many cases, a woven wrap (more common here is the States) can be used as a rebozo in labor.

I have used both shorter rebozos and long woven wraps and they definitely each have their benefits.

Shorter wraps are slightly easier to maneuver, mainly because they don't have all the extra fabric but in pregnancy, don't wrap around the belly and over the shoulders for relief. See picture below.

 The rebozo wraps around the belly, crosses in the back and over the shoulders. Then, the mom can pull on the ends to help lift the belly, relieving some of the pressure on her growing belly.

The rebozo wraps around the belly, crosses in the back and over the shoulders. Then, the mom can pull on the ends to help lift the belly, relieving some of the pressure on her growing belly.

Longer wraps have more fabric and offer a lot of variation in movement because of that, but you are moving a lot of fabric around and when working in a hospital, it can drop on the floor (which may not bother other people as much as it bothers me but I try to avoid things on the floor in hospitals).

Below are some options for positions when using the rebozo while in labor. 

 This is the rebozo version of the double hip squeeze..it can be done in any position where the doula or partner has access to their backside....such as leaning over on a birth ball.

This is the rebozo version of the double hip squeeze..it can be done in any position where the doula or partner has access to their backside....such as leaning over on a birth ball.

 Belly sifting. Wrap the rebozo around the belly and slightly pull up on the rebozo. Slowly rock the rebozo/belly back and forth. This helps to relieve the pressure on the belly.

Belly sifting. Wrap the rebozo around the belly and slightly pull up on the rebozo. Slowly rock the rebozo/belly back and forth. This helps to relieve the pressure on the belly.

 The hip sift. Drape the rebozo over the butt and gather at the hips. Shake quickly. This helps loosen the mother up and encourages her to relax. In birthing class, this bring a lot of laughs but moms really enjoy is.

The hip sift. Drape the rebozo over the butt and gather at the hips. Shake quickly. This helps loosen the mother up and encourages her to relax. In birthing class, this bring a lot of laughs but moms really enjoy is.

 This one requires a more open birth setting...but instead of the doula, the rebozo can wrap around a birthing/squat bar. What this does is get the mother, who is choosing to birth in this position, to push or visualize the baby moving through the "right" spot. Many times moms push with the wrong muscles to the wrong spot (I mean, its a lot to go through!) and this puts the pressure in the right spot.  Be sure to keep the hands centered to encourage a well centered push.

This one requires a more open birth setting...but instead of the doula, the rebozo can wrap around a birthing/squat bar. What this does is get the mother, who is choosing to birth in this position, to push or visualize the baby moving through the "right" spot. Many times moms push with the wrong muscles to the wrong spot (I mean, its a lot to go through!) and this puts the pressure in the right spot.

Be sure to keep the hands centered to encourage a well centered push.

Additionally, the rebozo can be used to help mom tune our the environment...either to tune into herself OR to connect with her partner.

 This one can be used with essential oils or flower essences on the rebozo and discussed in prenatals. This helps to close out the environment and let the mother connect with herself.

This one can be used with essential oils or flower essences on the rebozo and discussed in prenatals. This helps to close out the environment and let the mother connect with herself.

 Oxytocin, the love hormone, is exactly the hormone we want to kick into high gear during labor. Sometimes having sex isn't an option but going under the rebozo is. Connecting with your partner under the rebozo can help that hormone flood your body.

Oxytocin, the love hormone, is exactly the hormone we want to kick into high gear during labor. Sometimes having sex isn't an option but going under the rebozo is. Connecting with your partner under the rebozo can help that hormone flood your body.

As you can see from my photos, I have used 3 different rebozos in this work. The light green one....used with my amazing friend...is what is stored in my doula bag for when the mom is in labor. 

The darker green is used in the my closing of the bones ceremony. A beautiful ceremony that encourages the mother to emotional and mentally transition from pregnancy to having a child (and is done for each child, not just the first). 

 Photo courtesy of Sacred Living Movement sharefile, available to those of us certified in these beautiful works. Each rebozo tied has a blessing to give strength and wisdom to the mother. I do offer these services.

Photo courtesy of Sacred Living Movement sharefile, available to those of us certified in these beautiful works. Each rebozo tied has a blessing to give strength and wisdom to the mother. I do offer these services.

The rebozo is a tool that links the generations of birthing mothers together. It isn't high tech...it isn't available only to the wealthy....it is for all women. 

I don't have any pictures on hand to show how to use the short rebozo to carry a baby but I did carry Emily (my youngest) with a short rebozo for a stint. There is a learning curve, but think about the good energy of that rebozo....the one that supporting you while pregnant, helped you in labor, and then helped you carry that child while earthside.

As I wrote this, I felt the tone shift from feeling more clinical and removed to feeling more connected and heard. The is the energy of the rebozo.


If you are interested in booking me as your doula...or booking me to perform a closing of the bones ceremony...please visit my doula services page to learn more.

In Peace.