Closing bone ritual

A ritual to celebrate the power of motherhood, a way to thank women’s body for bringing a life on this earth. Did you know of such a ritual or believe there is one?


When a woman becomes pregnant her body goes through a sea change to accommodate the growing baby. Diastasis is a common condition that can occur during pregnancy and postpartum. The belly muscles are stretched and the gap between the left and right belly muscles widens. It heals on its own or through physical therapy and exercises.

During my pregnancy, I had a huge belly already by the 25th week. My friends surmised that I might have twins. During the first meeting with my birth doula, she was very surprised to see my huge belly. She recommended using a sling to lift it up and position it at the core. She showed me how to wrap the sling.

Around the 32nd week I met my midwife. My belly had dropped lower. Though not a concern, it seemed as though my baby might arrive sooner than the proposed due date. She recommended that I visit a physiotherapist and also continue wearing the sling.

I met a physiotherapist around the 34th week. She taught me some exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor and creating space below the chest for breathing easily and also making room for the growing baby. It also helps the baby take the right position for birth. The results were amazing. Just within a few weeks my belly was up. I continued doing the exercises and did not need the sling to support my belly.

I had a team of midwives and doulas who were guiding me during pregnancy and childbirth. Read my story here. During one of the meetings with my midwife, Tereza Nožičková, I heard of “Closing bone ritual”. I was interested to experience it.

I discussed more on this with my birth team (doulas, midwives) and we scheduled it during the 4th month after delivery. I understand that it can be done any time after the delivery but the sooner the better after 6 weeks of postpartum.

Closing bone ritual is about closing a woman’s body after delivering the baby and initiating a mother in her. This beautiful tradition was gathered by Czech midwives who went around the world learning midwifery. This tradition was mainly derived from Mexico.


It was the month of January, 2023. At noon, my birth team arrived home. Firstly, they identified a room which best suits the ritual. They decorated the room with flowers, candles, gifts and snacks they had got. It changed the ambience and energy of the room altogether. Terezie, my birth doula, walked me through the plan. The ritual involves wrapping the body using 8 scarves as the main part. Besides that the woman is encouraged to share her birth story, good or bad and help her let go of any pains or worries she carries from the birth. Then she is welcomed into motherhood.

Tereza Nožičková, my primary midwife, had got a wonderful cocoa drink that she had specially prepared for this ritual. I heard it is a common drink for women during postpartum in the Czech Republic. She served us all with the delicious cocoa drink and babovka cake that she had baked. And, she welcomed us all to help ourselves with the snacks they had got. We all settled down.

They had prepared a pot of herbal tea for vaginal steaming. Terezie asked me if I would like to share anything from my birth. I was glad to share my pregnancy and birth story with them. I think I would never get tired of talking about my story. I was grateful for having that opportunity. I was truly blessed to have had such a wonderful birth team at my disposal during this journey to become a mother. They were all moved by my pregnancy and birth experience and thanked me for sharing it with them. I was full of joy.

The next step with the ritual was to wrap me up in the scarves. Scarves were laid on the ground. I slept over them at the center. Terezie initiated the closing bone ritual by wrapping the first scarf around my head and closing my eyes. She thanked my body for doing an amazing job of delivering a baby and stated that through this ritual we are closing the bones that got opened to accommodate and nourish the baby and then welcome the mother in me. Tereza and Ivana Bednářová, my postpartum doula and breastfeeding consultant, slowly and tightly wrapped each of the scarves on the other parts of the body, starting from shoulders down till my toes. When they wrapped the scarf around my chest I felt squeezed and uncomfortable. I did my best to relax and give up holding onto anything. This helped me ease. All the scarves were wrapped and silence fell everywhere in the room.

I felt I was somewhere in the woods. I was taking long and easy breaths. I did not think of anything but rejoiced that I am a mother now. The scarf on the eyes was a little uncomfortable. My eyes were struggling to open and see the world again. I reminded them to stay calm and relax. I fell into a deep sleep and woke up with a jerk. Did someone call me? I wasn’t sure if I heard something. Anyways, I managed to get my dose of relaxation. Silence started becoming uncomfortable. Thoughts started rushing in. I called out for my husband and asked him to stay with me. After a while, I decided to call it complete. My birth team gathered in the room and told me I can unwrap myself. I was sweetly surprised by that. I started to unwrap myself slowly. It was easy. They all clapped and welcomed me when I finished and came out of the shell like a butterfly from its cacoon.

I shared my experience with them and we parted shortly after. My husband then shared with me that they were all beside me for a long time while I was lying tucked in the scarves. It felt to me they were all praying for my good health.

I was in a state of bliss for the rest of the week and I still carry that energy which guides me to be a good mother.

This is an amazing ritual. Surprisingly, I understood not many know about this in the Czech Republic where you find such a wonderful community of doulas and midwives.

Dear mothers and mothers-to-be, after all the hard work you have done and have been doing, you deserve some pampering for yourself. Try it out!

Written on June 12, 2023