Right about now, I will be getting ready to start my latest Recipes for Normal Birth workshops, and my rebozos are already in my teaching basket … not just because they’re great shawls for this changeable March weather, but because this workshop includes a session on practical skills that we can use to help keep birth normal, and I like to include a couple of easy-to-remember rebozo techniques for occasional use at births.
For me, the word occasional is the most important one in that last sentence. Women’s bodies really do know how to give birth, and most of the time we don’t need any of these tricks and tools that we carry around, be they rebozos, amnihooks or peppermint oil. I often wonder how many women would be better off if we all spent more time sitting on – or perhaps knitting with – our hands and I like to talk about how the Mexican midwives use their rebozos as an everyday item of clothing (to keep them warm while knitting) and as an only occasional low-tech tool to help keep things normal.
That said, low-tech tools can be useful now and again, and if you’ve heard about rebozos and want to know more, I am today sharing five multi-media resources which you might find useful…
1. British midwife Jude Davis has been teaching rebozo skills, and she has recently donated her time in order to make a series of free videos for women and midwives who want to learn when certain techniques can be used and how to do them correctly. Her site is at http://midwifejude.com/ Jude has also written an article about the use of rebozo in an NHS setting.
2. The nice people at Midwifery Today have made “The Rebozo: A transcription of the rebozo workshop given by Doña Irene Sotelo and Naolí Vinaver” freely available on their website. It’s a great overview article.
3. I also have a bookmark in this brief but lovely video of a workshop led by Naolí, who taught me how to use a rebozo. You can visit Naoli’s website (which is in Spanish) at http://nacimientonatural.com/
4. There aren’t loads of books on the use of rebozos yet, but one that I have seen and liked is by Dutch doulas and childbirth educators Thea van Tuyl and Mirjam de Keijzer, who have now translated this and made it available in English as well as Dutch. You can see and buy their book from www.rebozo.nl/ and they have also written a blog post sharing the story of how they came to write the book.
Photo credits: Mexican woman by Phillip Martin (License).