Part of my postpartum doula services includes a Closing of the Bones ceremony.
Closing of the Bones is a ritual that originated in South and Central America. There are also many variations of it found in Asian countries. It’s a way of honoring the path of a mother’s journey. The belief is that after the woman has given birth, she is open: both emotionally and physically. The intent of Closing of the Bones is to envelope the mother in assurance and respect of where she has gone and who she is.
This can be done with your partner, sisters, mother, or any individual in your community that you think would help bring healing and hope. It can be done six weeks, six months, and even six years postpartum. There are some women who have benefited from this ceremony 25 years postpartum. The purpose is to bring community, gratitude, health, and healing to the mother – which is always a wonderful thing.
It’s truly a beautiful ceremony. I count it as an honor to help bring the mother back into herself and guide her through the healing process. Since my ancestry is Latin American, I feel incredibly connected to this way of honoring the mother. It is a deeply spiritual experience. It’s beautiful because there isn’t one way of practicing it; the movement and words are tailored to fit the individual mother’s needs and comfort.