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7 Ways to use a Rebozo in Labor.

Over the last decade or so, the use of a rebozo in labor has steadily increased. These traditional Mexican scarfs/shawls are beautiful and usually very colorful. They can be incredibly helpful for comfort, support, and pain relief during childbirth. Different types of cloth can also be used as long as it is not too stretchy. You could use a sheet or sarong for example. We are very thankful that traditional midwives of Mexican decent have shared their knowledge with the global birth community to benefit many. Please do be mindful to always be gentle, listen to your body and get your medical care provider's approval before trying something new.

Here are some tips on how you can use a rebozo during labor:

Tip #1 - Counterpressure

A partner or doula can apply gentle pressure using the rebozo on the laboring woman's lower back, hips, or shoulders to reduce pain and help alleviate discomfort during contractions.

Tip #2 - Support and Positioning Aid

The rebozo can be used to support the weight of the woman’s belly during contractions by wrapping it under the belly and across the back and over the shoulders. She will have control over how much support to give her belly. This technique can also help the baby’s head engage into the pelvis if mom tilts her pelvis at the same time.

Tip #3 - Pelvic Rocking

Standing or kneeling behind the laboring woman who is on her hands and knees, a partner can drape the rebozo over her bottom area and hold both ends. Then gently rock her pelvis back and forth, which can help ease pelvic pain and encourage optimal fetal positioning.

Tip #4 - Sifting Technique

The rebozo can be used in a sifting motion under the mom’s belly who is again on all fours. This can help encourage the baby to move into a more favorable position for birth. During labor this technique can provide support and relief during contractions.

Tip #5 - Position Assistance

Supporting the laboring mom’s weight with the rebozo while they squat or are in a high child’s pose can help conserve their energy and make those positions more comfortable and sustainable during labor.

Tip #6 - Birthing Aid

The rebozo can be used to assist during the second stage of labor where the baby will be born. It can be hung from the ceiling or a door and the woman can hang onto it while in an upright position. If she prefers to be in bed or has an epidural it can also be used with a partner standing in front of her pulling on one end and her pulling, and bearing down, on the other. Both can be conducive to the birthing process.

Tip #7 - Mother-Child Bonding

After birth, the rebozo can be used to wrap the baby and mother together, promoting skin-to-skin contact and bonding.

Remember, it's essential to have someone trained in using the rebozo or familiar with its techniques, such as a doula, to assist during labor effectively. To learn more about our doula services visit our doula page. Additionally, always listen to your body and communicate with your birth team about what feels most supportive and comfortable for you during labor.


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