The rebozo techinique is performed by wrapping the shawl around a pregnant mother, with each end held by a birth servant or loved one. The birth servant/loved one then gently moves their arms up and down (or back and forth) creating a sifting motion which rocks the mother. For the mother receiving the rebozo treatment it is very relaxing, not unlike what it must be like for newborn babies when they're rocked to sleep in their mama's arms. As well as being relaxing, this sifting action has been shown to aid foetal positioning and increase a woman's comfort during childbirth.
1. The Garden of Birth 2. South Wales Birth Support 3. Breech Sifting
4. Rebozo Massage 5. Midwifery Knowledge 6. Comfort Measures
7. Midwifery Knowledge 8. Natural Beginings 9. South Wales Birth Support
Another rebozo method, which is sometimes referred to as "closing the bones," involves wrapping the shawl around the mother, but instead of sifting, the birth servant places the ends of the shawl in the hand on the opposite side of the body and then pulls both ends away from the mothers body, leaving her being gently squeezed or hugged by the shawl in the middle.
During the last five weeks of pregnancy I found "closing the bones" rebozo to be very soothing. My body was beginning to ache from all the stretching caused by pregnancy. I wrapped my woven wrap (made and bought to be a baby carrier) around my hips to close myself up and found walking around easier that way.
After the baby was born my wrap took a babywearing backseat to my other carriers, until last week. Last week I attended my first Melbourne Babywearers gathering, hosted by Brie from Tinoki slings. There were wrap-lovers aplenty! They rekindled my wrap love and helped me master a back carry. It's rather thrilling to take one long piece of cloth, work magic and end up with a happy baby securely attached to your back. All week strangers have been stopping to ask what on earth I've got my baby in and how it works. I even scored an "Ooooh, Wow! That's amazing!" on the train one afternoon.
Having discovered so many uses for my woven wrap it has more than paid for itself. Before owning and using a wrap I thought $100 (approx) for a piece of cloth was steep. But having had one that's in as good condition today as it was four years ago, after all it has done for me, I think they're absolutely worth their price. Heck, just the comfort it gave me in those last weeks of pregnancy was worth $100! And I'm told they can get a decent resale price too. Our pram cost more than five woven wraps, it's faded, repeatedly needs new wheels and servicing, all it can do is move forward and it has never helped me get to sleep ;) We're planning a big family and I know that our youngest will be worn in the same wrap we bought for our first, I can't say that for our pram (or even our nappies and baby clothes).
Another great use for your wrap, belly support during pregnancy:
A bit of a rebozo 101
Rebozo Sifting, or jiggling - foetal positioning
About rebozo on the Spinning Babies website
The rebozo technique photos
Photos of Aussie midwife Lisa Barrett using rebozo
Transcription of rebozo workshop
Workshop run by a traditional midwife shared on Midwifery Today.
Using rebozo video
Footage of rebozo in action with links underneath.
Birth week round up
Previous blog post featuring photos from a rebozo workshop I attended, includes how to use rebozo for posterior babies.
Rebozo Me Tenderly
To purchase your own Mexican shawl
I had the pleasure of attending one of Fiona Hallinan's rebozo workshops a few years ago
Review of my wrap
To purchase your own woven wrap
This section of the forum is devoted entirely to discussing wraps: choosing them and using them.