Closing the bones, placenta eating – ritual and care after the birth of your baby
Having a baby is one of the biggest transitions you will ever go through. I want to help you prepare for this so that you can thrive alongside your child. Here is a link to more resources to help you to do this: https://journeyintoparenting.com/
Today I spoke to Sheena who does seasonal yoga, holistic therapies and ceremonies for women after they have given birth. https://www.yamyoga.co.uk/classes/
The ceremony is based on a Peruvian practice called “closing the bones”. Women traditional wear a piece of cloth called a roboso around their hips during pregnancy to help with pelvic alignment and to perform massage and rocking motions to help with the process of birth. After the birth the same piece of fabric is used to carry the baby. After nine months the ceremony is performed, a binding of the hips takes place to help the skeletal structure of the mother but also as a way of witnessing her in her new role as mother so that she experiences the support of her community.
The way that we care for our children creates the foundations of our society, it literally shapes their brains. Therefore acknowledging it fully and honouring this process is important. If you are not nurtured and honoured yourself it is difficult to do this properly.
I reference the work of feminist sociologist Ann Oakley who interviewed over fifty women in the months before and after giving birth. She discovered through this that what is often labelled as post natal depression is not in fact depression but the result of exhaustion or lack of the right skills and support.
The courage to ask for what you need during the first few weeks of your child’s life can really help to make this transition easier. Often people are happy to be invited in to that inner circle after the birth of a child: Having the courage to ask for help can be an act of community building.
Placenta eating is also a practice which has been shown to have many benefits in post natal recovery. Myself and Sheena both found that it had an almost instant effect in restoring a feeling of vitality. You can find placenta recipes here: http://www.mothers35plus.co.uk/placenta-recipes.htm
It’s important to have realistic expectations of yourself during the first 40 days, it’s an important time to bond and connect with your baby. You may spend much of the time just feeding. Doing one thing a day for yourself such as having a bath or soaking your feet in salt water can really help you to stay well.
You can start establishing a connection with your baby before they are born by consciously connecting with them and talking to them. There is now evidence that this helps us to bond after the birth.
Parenting is a skill, often we don’t have a community around us to learn from. Via my courses I hope to bridge this gap.