Natural labour: using a Rebozo
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Looking for natural pain management tips to support you (or your partner) in the birth of your baby? Have you considered the wonderful ways in which a simple tool such as a scarf can help you?
Rebozo means "shawl" or scarf in Spanish. It refers to a scarf used often by women for many things - including labour and baby-wearing. A scarf in labour? Yes! All you need is a scarf for the wonderful techniques described below - and for a visual of each description, please see the youtube video included. You can search for a traditional Mexican rebozo if you'd like or simply choose a sturdy woven scarf long enough to wrap around your belly a couple times - baby-wearing scarves work well for this!
These are useful in late pregnancy (if painful ligaments in the lower abdomen, try the lifting belly options), to help position baby for labour and most importantly to help during labour:
Sift belly with mom on hands & knees - by wrapping the rebozo in a U shape under her belly and standing over her holding the loose ends
Sift bum with mom lying face-up on the floor - using rebozo in a U shape under her bum
While mom is lying on the floor, as in #2, gently lift bum off the floor and back down
While lying on the floor, rest head on rebozo & sift side to side for neck and head relaxation - option to also raise head slightly off the ground and sift
Hands & knees - or resting arms on ball/bed: Without wrapping around bum (just place below the top of the hip bone, across the sacrum - the back of the pelvis), jiggle sacrum side-to-side
Hands & knees - or resting arms on ball/bed: Wrap rebozo widely around bum, tighten your hold on either side and firmly shake side-to-side. This is called shaking the apples.
While mother leans upper back against the wall, wrap rebozo around her back and face her, holding loose ends, then sift the bum gently side to side
Loop rebozo around under-side of belly and tie behind the back to lift baby up - especially if tension on the pelvic ligaments
Other, non-rebozo techniques in this video include:
Lift & Tuck (during contractions mom lifts front of belly and presses inwards)
Birth partner simply shakes all of mom’s big muscle groups (shoulders, back, thighs, hips, etc)
Other rebozo techniques for pulling/hanging during pushing (not in the video):
Tie a knot on one end of the rebozo, close the door on one side of it, and hang off of the other end.
If you have a birth bar on your hospital bed, tie the rebozo to the birth bar while in bed and pull back on it - ie. play “tug of war” during pushing - you can also pull on the hands of your birth partner(s) if you don't have a bar
Squat on the floor with rebozo looped around the birth bar, wrap each end around your hands and squat/bear down to push
More references describing rebozo techniques: