A 'closing ceremony' is an ancient postpartum tradition that extends from Russia to Spain, to Mexico. We have reason to believe that a tradition like this has existed for humanity in all cultures, before mass colonisation of traditional healing practices.
It is a nourishing event that acknowledges the huge rite of passage that is becoming a mother, for the first time or the tenth. It is a beautiful, shared ritual that supports the mother to integrate her pregnancy and birth experience in order to embody a new version of herself, witnessed by the women in her life.
The main principle of this ceremony is warmth. The traditional Mexican midwives believe that during birth, we die a little bit. This is why it is seen as a period of cold, in all postpartum care traditions around the world. This ceremony makes sure life is brought back to the woman's body through warming practices. Historically, this consists of a long ceremony of herbal baths, hot teas and meals, and the wrapping of the body in warm blankets. This is bodywork and spiritual work, and is ideally done within the first 40 days to 2 years postpartum.
The modern version which I deliver was taught to me by a Mexican midwife and mother who gave me permission to share this deeply sacred and caring practice. I acknowledge that this ceremony has a strong legacy of being handed down, woman to woman, in many cultures. I do not seek to emulate traditional midwives, but seek to attend to the physiology of the postpartum woman, needing warmth and witnessing. The ceremony I does not seek to replicate the traditional sacred practice inherent to traditional Mexican midwifery.
I acknowledge the lineage from which this knowledge comes, via my teachers at Innate Postpartum Care.
Women in the mother's life are invited to attend and participate. No number is too much or not enough.
Each attendant is invited to bring a plate of warming, nourishing food to share.
The ceremony consists of:
Sitting in circle with hot tea and listening to the mother share her conception, pregnancy and birth story
Soaking her feet in a warm herbal bath and/or yoni steaming stool
Collective massage with warm, herbal body oils - arms and hands, legs and feet.
A wrapping of the body in blankets and warm cloth.
This is facilitated by me, and all women can participate.
The mother rests in this deeply held state and the group can either share blessings for her mothering journey, prayer, song or silence. This is dictated by how the mother is feeling, sometimes she will go into a deep, restorative rest state
When the mother is ready to be unwrapped, she is given a robe and warm socks, and food is shared around the circle.
The event runs for around 2 hours and can be facilitated in the Bush Church, or in your home.
Coordinate invites and RSVP's
Set-up for food and decorations
Herbal support for foot baths, oils and steaming
Provide sweets and fresh flowers