This traditional Mayan postpartum healing ceremony, which was created to nurture the parent after their passage through giving birth, and the journey into parenthood. It is a celebration, a setting of sacred space, and a way to nurture. “Closing of the bones” is a traditional ceremony, commonly performed in Mexican midwifery. The way it unfolds can vary depending on the community that it has derived from. I offer what we have learned from traditional Mexican Midwife, Angelina Martinez of Morelos, Mexico.
People have described it as a warm hug, a feeling of safety, that they are coming back into themselves, and a nurturing and re-energizing experience. Traditionally this takes place six weeks postpartum but can be done later if necessary.
It can be a very healing gift for someone experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety.
The ceremony will begin with an herbal bath (herbs provided) that you will take in the comfort of your home. After your bath, you will dress in your own comfortable clothing and then the ceremony can begin. Traditionally you would have family there but you can choose if you want this to be an occasion for your close supportive friends and family or just you and your partner or close friend. The doula will wrap you in several rebozos (woven scarf) at each portion of your body, bringing support and “closing the bones” with the help of your partner/friend/family member. Then they can either pray or give well wishes for all that you have done to enter into parenthood, and all that you will do in parenthood. They may remain silent if they choose and the doula will lead this time with kindness and support. If you have a faith that is important to your family this can be incorporated into the ceremony.
Normally I only offer this to my doula clients however I will make exceptions if someone is suffering from postpartum mood disorders. Please contact me to discuss if you feel someone who has not been my client would benefit from this.