Many cultures around the world have their own ways to care for and nurture the postpartum body. While each practice may be unique in detail, they all share principles of love, warmth and support. At Woven Postpartum, we offer hands-on postpartum care and ceremonies, and commit to upholding the techniques as they were passed down to us from our teachers. It is with deep gratitude that we offer the following hand-on postpartum ceremonies:
Bengkung Belly Binding
Bengkung Belly Binding is a Malaysian postpartum method of wrapping the birther's abdomen in a long narrow piece of muslin or light weight cloth. Wrapping the belly can be a supportive daily ritual in a birther's postpartum experience. This technique aids the body to heal and recover often in a shorter time period. A sacred belly wrap provides a birther's body with 360 degree support to assist the abdominal wall muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments, allow for ease in the pelvic floor and provide support to the torso while vital organs rest and reconfigure.
Zulu Belly Binding
It is an honor and a privilege to share this Zulu tradition with blessings from our teacher, Kama Tai Mitchell, and her teachers before with the Zulu Birth Project. This methodology takes 45 minutes-1 hour depending on the birther's alignment. We begin with gentle scalp massage while the birther lies comfortably and fully clothed on a floor mat. Intentional stretches and compressions are performed while standing/kneeling over the client. Using a woven cloth and my hands, I help to release muscles on the back body from the head to the ankles, focusing intention on aligning the pelvis and hips and balancing spinal musculature.
Womb Centered Castor Oil Treatment
Ayurveda encourages warmth and oil during the postpartum window and womb transitions. A castor oil treatment offers both qualities, in addition to the many other benefits you could experience. Castor oil packs over your abdomen can gently support your recovering womb, digestive system, cesarean scar tissue and hormone regulation. They can also be placed over the breast/chest tissue to help open blocked milk ducts and ease inflamed breast/chest tissue. Castor oil packs can also encourage lymph flow, support organ detoxification, and nourish stretched abdominal tissues.
Closing the Bones Ceremony
A tradition stemming from Ecuador and Mexico, but practiced in many countries, Closing the Bones is a postpartum closing ceremony to assist in a woman’s recovery after childbirth. In Russia, it is referred to as "swaddling the mother, and in Malaysia it is referred to as "sacred belly binding." This ceremony provides a cocoon for the postpartum body to heal, reflect, and honor the body's journey. Birth opens the body to a life-changing experience. In some cases, we will have opened ourselves to trauma.
The closing of the bones ceremony assists in the physical closing of the hips back to their standard width. This practice also allows any emotions and trauma resting in the hips to be held, and ultimately released. The Closing the Bones ceremony can be carried out at any time after birth, even many years later. Sessions are offered 1:1, with a support person, or with a group of support folks.
In Ayurveda, an essential part of postpartum care is Abhyanga, or warmed oil massage. The vata dosha is often out of balance after birth, and daily abhyanga helps to pacify vata with warmth, lipid hydration, and slow, intention connection to the physical body.
We teach clients the art of self abhyanga, as well as abhyanga for infants!
We would love to hear which supportive practices you've experience during your postpartum rest. Or perhaps you'd like to share which hands on support you're most looking forward to receiving!
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Blog post published by Christine Anderson of Woven Postpartum.