Rituals can be a powerful moment to acknowledge a transition. As a birth and postpartum doula in Berlin, I offer rebozo closing ceremonies, and I have repeatedly witnessed the depth of this act and how it moves mothers, fathers and companions.
A “rebozo” is a cloth garment originally from Mexico, a scarf or shawl. This scarf traditionally has many uses, including during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
During the rebozo ceremony, I use different scarves wrapped around different levels of the body to firmly hug, gently rock and release. The treatment is offered fully clothed, lying on mats and cushions, and focuses on the abdomen and hips.
It is deeply nurturing, and brings physical pleasure and a deep relaxation. The ceremony often feels sacred, it can bring up memories and emotional release. It is healing and cleansing on many levels.
Sometimes the ceremony is referred to as “closing the bones“: it is offered in the postpartum period, after the opening experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. Both on a physical and on a symbolic level, the person who allowed another being to be born from her now finds her own centre again.
The rebozo ceremony traditionally take place from 40 days after giving birth. It can be enjoyed even decades later, and support many other situations or milestones, such as a miscarriage, the end of breastfeeding, or any other transition that you want to acknowledge.
It is difficult to express in words the beauty and importance of this moment. Time seems to be suspended, we are carried and taken care of, emotions and thoughts flow like in water. I am each time grateful to the families who choose me to accompany them in this ritual.
Six weeks after the birth, we met for the closing bones ceremony, and at that moment, in a beautiful celebration, my baby was entirely born.