Cerrada- a closing ceremony
A Cerrada ceremony is closure to the cycle of pregnancy, labour and birth and can be done at any time after the mother has stopped bleeding post birth. In Mexico the ceremony is to honour the new mother’s hard work of carrying her baby for 9 months, the process of labour and birth and the bringing forth of a new life. It is a celebration of her wonderful body and her journey into becoming a mother, whether for the first time or every time she gives birth, it is to welcome her as a mother into the community.
Traditionally the mother is cleansed with herbs, bathed, massaged and wrapped and held, often by her midwives and family members. It is a nurturing way of honoring the mother’s hard work and it helps to physically and emotionally close her body after the opening of pregnancy and birth. A woman is opened spiritually, emotionally and physically by the process of pregnancy, labour and birth and can be left feeling very vulnerable and emotional. Everything about being pregnant, from your expanding belly, your growing baby, your focus and intentions, your pelvis opening and your uterus opening to release your baby is about opening up. After the intensity and hard work of labour to bring your baby into the world, traditional medicine and generations of wisdom say you need to close the body. Physically the Cerrada helps to ease the bones of the hips and the muscles of the abdomen and pelvis back into alignment. Emotionally the Cerrada ceremony helps women to feel nurtured and respected as mothers and helps them to feel strong again after the intensity of birth.
I attended a Rebozo Workshop with Stacia Smales-Hill and Birthing Babies in Nov 2013 which was really interesting which then became very useful in my doula work. I went to Findhorn in Scotland for the amazing and inspirational Healthy Birth, Healthy Earth conference in Sept 2016. As part of the conference we had the choice of many workshops and I attended the wonderful Rebozo workshop with Angelina Martinez–Miranda. Angelina is a traditional Mexican midwife who learned from her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who were all midwives practicing for around 40 years each! We learned about the traditional uses of the rebozo and we were shown [and practised] how to perform a Cerrada ceremony.
I’ve been offering the ceremony since being at Findhorn and everyone loves it ! I usually work with another doula or my colleague Annalisa Blake, who is a Massage Practitioner, Homeopath and Healer. The ceremony is done at your home, a friend or family member can also participate, all you need to provide is a warm space and something comfortable to lie on and a couple of towels or blankets. We will bring the music, herbs, massage oil, rebozos and lots of feminine energy..
“My Cerrada was a very emotional and spiritual experience, a calming and peaceful time to reflect on what my body had achieved. It was a celebration of my two pregnancies and births, I was suprised how sad I felt that I would ’t go through that again. I would recommend it to any mother. there is so little support and reflection postpartum”
Rachel Crozier 2018