Rebozo for Pregnancy: DIY Tips and Comfort Techniques

Mar 5 / Jade van Dijk
Are you looking for a natural tool to use in your pregnancy for pain relief, comfort and belly wrapping after birth? One such tool is the rebozo, a versatile Mexican shawl with a rich history dating back to pre-Hispanic times. One of the many uses of the Rebozo is to sift or jiggle the pregnant abdomen or pelvis. Vibration is a technique to improve fascia function to help pregnancy comfort and birth ease. Use of the Rebozo cloth is prioritized to practitioners of the Rebozo lineages (People with Indigenous connections to Mexico, Central and some parts of South America), but many women are using it themselves because of the benefits.

As a doula, this little shawl has multiple uses in pregnancy and labour and you can make your own at home! In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using a rebozo in both pregnancy and labor, along with a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate it into your routine.

How to use a Rebozo in Pregnancy

Alleviate Back Discomfort, Pelvic Pressure & Round Ligament Pain

Wrapping the rebozo around your body in various ways can help with pain relief in many forms. It also can promote relaxation, reducing stress, allowing for better sleep and overall well-being.

To achieve this the rebozo can be wrapped tightly around the hips to provide support to the pelvic girdle. The rebozo can be twisted and tucked at the front or at the back of the pelvis.
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Encourages Optimal Fetal Positioning

Gentle movements and exercises with the rebozo can encourage the baby to assume an optimal position for birth, potentially reducing the time in a long labour. 

Practice pelvic rocking by sitting on a chair, exercise ball or leaning against the wall. Placing the rebozo under your belly, gently rocking back and forth to ease pelvic discomfort. Another option involves leaning over a birth ball or balancing on your hands and knees. The rebozo is wrapped around the bump and lifted gently prior to sifting by a partner who stands over the woman. Once the right tension has been found, a gentle yet firm sifting motion is applied.
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How to use a Rebozo in Labour

The rebozo can be used in a variety of ways during labor, including as a hammock for squatting, a support for leaning, or a tool for gentle massage and counter-pressure. Experiment with different wrapping techniques to find what works best for you and your laboring experience. Below are some suggestions on how to use the rebozo to shorten labour and help turn a baby (if they don't do it themself)!

Shake The Apples

 "Shake the Apples" is a rebozo technique where the scarf or shawl is wrapped around the hips or lower back of the pregnant woman, and gentle or strong shaking motions are applied.
Use during labour to:
Loosen the pelvic floor if dilation is slow
Engage a baby during labour induction (tilt your bum up and head down for this effect).

Belly Sifting

This technique involves gently lifting and rocking the pregnant person's belly using a rebozo scarf or shawl.

Use during labour to:
Help turn a posterior baby into anterior during labour
Align a baby who may be malpositioned (if cervix dilation is slow).

Birth Sling

This involves using a rebozo as a sling to support a mother's weight. On a door, with a sturdy lock/knob, tie a knot on one end and hang over the door. After closing the door, gently test that it can hold your weight. The birth sling can be draped over the pregnant woman's shoulders or around their hips to provide support and comfort. It is mostly used to get into a supported, deep squat.

Use during labour to:
Support yourself in a deep squat (if it feels good).
Encourage strong contractions when you have reached 10cm dilation and the urge to push isn't strong.

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