I've been using shawls and scarves, such as, but limited to, the Mexican rebozo (but for simplicity I will refer to shawls as rebozos in this post), to support women through their pregnancies for around 10 years.
There is true magic in this incredibly simple tool to help pregnant women feel more comfortable and supported.
As I explain in my online rebozo course, pregnancy creates big changes in a woman's posture, tilting her pelvis forward and accentuating all the curves in her spine, putting extra tension on muscles and ligaments. The relaxin hormone softens all ligaments and muscles which can result in women experiencing discomfort or pain.
One of the problems with our culture is that on one hand few people are aware of these changes, but at the same time there is also an expectation that aches and pains are a normal part of pregnancy and that there is nothing that can be done about it.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I see so many women suffering needlessly during their pregnancy (if I had my way all pregnant women would be seen by a good osteopath or chiropractor as standard, to make sure their pelvis and associated muscles and ligaments are nicely balanced) . This not only helps women have a more comfortable pregnancy, but an aligned pelvis also maximises the chances of having a baby in the optimal position for birth and therefore an easier labour.
Whilst the rebozo techniques can help alleviate aches and pains and provide comfort measures, they won't fix a locked sacro-iliac joint for example (read more about that here http://pelvicpartnership.org.uk/contact-us-and-faqs/).
But the support the cloth provides can make a big difference to everyday comfort.
Rebozo techniques fall within 2 categories: rocking and wrapping.
A simple rocking of the hips or shoulders, or any part of the body that feels achy, provides a soothing movement and gentle articulation and relaxation and can go a long way to soothe both aching bodies and fractious minds.
Here is an example of a simple hip rocking technique which feels wonderfully relaxing and is incredibly easy to do https://youtu.be/FCpc1BQEt8w
Similarly, you can provide support to aching hips or a heavy bump using the cloth to wrap and provide support.
Finally you can also use rocking techniques to provide balance to the pelvis and surrounding soft tissues, as done in the bump sifting technique, which gives a chance to uterine ligaments and pelvis soft tissues to rebalance themselves and can help align the body and baby in preparation for birth.