Introducing The Jiggle and Reflections on Why We Stopped Teaching the Rebozo

By: Gail Tully |
2021-04-05 |
Community Updates

From our April 2021 letter to our community from our founder:

The Spring of 2021 has begun in the Northern Hemisphere. As the season begins, equity and justice are priorities in our world and work. Birth reflects our larger society. Birth equity is when all births, including Black and Indigenous births, have equally good outcomes. We seek to do our part in this new era.

Indigenous Midwives, doulas, and others are talking about the use of the traditional cloth called a rebozo by non-Indigenous birth workers and birth organizations like mine. Spinning Babies® had respectfully promoted the rebozo for relaxation and taught it through our workshops and materials, crediting the origin and teachers.


New Understanding

As the complexity of racial injustice becomes more clearly illuminated in mainstream culture, so does cultural appropriation.  I learn about the harm that remains generations after the colonization of Indigenous culture. Birth and healing practices, including those with the rebozo, were suppressed for generations.

Worldwide, the rebozo has recently become a common part of a doula or midwife’s birth bag, i.e. favorite techniques. Indigenous people have told me how hurtful it is to see the rebozo separated from its culture context.  Fortunately, Indigenous midwives and healers are more able today to speak globally for their culture to preserve and teach the rebozo.

The rebozo now reaches the world directly from the midwives and rebozo practitioners teaching in depth workshops or apprenticeships.  Spinning Babies® was never a source for doula education and to make that clear we have removed instruction and practice of the few techniques we used to share. Read the history of Spinning Babies® use of the rebozo and keep up to date with the changes we are making on our page called, Rebozo Manteada.

Our deep gratitude for our teachers: Guadalupe Truba, Naoli Vinaver, Angelina Martinez Miranda, Elena Carillo and more.


We Are Listening

To move closer to an equitable society, we as individuals and our organization explore where we might misunderstand fairness and take new, and sometimes uncomfortable actions so that all people can stand side-by-side sharing concern for our world and the coming generations.

We seek to be engaged in doing our part for equity in birth work:

  • Spinning Babies® is no longer a source for learning rebozo techniques
  • We support and make room for Indigenous teachers in the marketplace
  • We give back 1% of our profits to BIPOC birth initiatives, including those to preserve the traditions of the rebozo
  • BIPOC access seat(s) to all Spinning Babies® workshops and trainings
  • Enough free online birth information to reduce suffering and save lives

The Spinning Babies® community, including our Parent Educators, and Aware Practitioners are being contacted to gain understanding of the changes for equity in our work. Human needs are expressed in work against appropriation (skimming the cream) and in the work against elimination (making invisible) of non-dominate cultures. We continue to respect the rebozo and are taking it out of our workshops and future materials.


We Are Changing

Our current curriculum teaches another way of oscillating to get the fascia jiggling. This technique, which I call, simply, the Jiggle, can also activate the parasympathetic nervous system, bring about relaxation, relieve tension, and the pelvis can be more ready for laboring. It’s a gentle vibration or gentle jiggle of the thighs and buttocks in a specific, conscious way.

The Jiggle comes through Approved Trainer and Aware Practitioner Instructor, Jenny Blyth. Jenny has been a body worker with roots that include Ortho-Bionomy and birth work. She has developed a style of jiggle taught in her Australian workshops called Birthwork with her training partner, Approved Trainer and Aware Practitioner Instructor, Fiona Hallinan. Jenny has taught our Approved Trainers a simplified version of her work that we can teach in our workshops.

We Seek Physiology First

We say Physiology Before Force, knowing that for some, if the “natural’ birth approach even activating the physiology in the ways we suggest, doesn’t work, then the cesarean and other interventions will be a lifesaver.

How does “physiology” emerge in cross-cultural relationships? We listen deeply. We hear the needs of all in the body of humanity and don’t rush to deny or rush to comply with strategies. With open, active listening, we can move forward in a more unified whole.

In gratitude,

Gail Tully
Founder of Spinning Babies®


Birth Tip: The Jiggle

The Jiggle comes to us through Jenny Blyth. Living in Australia, Jenny Blyth and Fiona Hallinan are Spinning Babies® Approved Trainers who also teach our 4-day Aware Practitioner to pregnancy-focused body workers and midwives as well as our foundational workshop for all birth professionals. Our version of The Jiggle is not the full Bum Jiggle as Jenny has developed teaches in Birthwork, her workshop that she teaches with Fiona Hallinan.

The Jiggle is a gentle process of getting the flesh and fluids inside the flesh of the thighs and/or buttocks to osculate, vibrate or gently shake. With soft hands, the full palm and fingers embrace a fleshy portion of the thigh or buttock and begin to vibrate the muscles evenly. Soon the fluid within the tissues ripples, or oscillates. The fibrils of the fascia respond with relaxation.

Try a Jiggle On Yourself!

During the physical distancing which is still important in much of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t always have someone available to jiggle us. So here’s a tip to jiggle yourself!

  1. Get comfortable on your side. Your top leg is bent for comfort. Rest your knee and ankle on a pillow. Once you feel comfortable, take some relaxing breaths. Tune into your body and baby.
  2. Hold your upper thigh or your hip close to your butt cheek. Let your hand rest in a comfortable location. Slowly begin a tiny vibration. After half a minute make it a jiggle. Jiggling is more gentle than shaking.
  3. Jiggle for about 5 minutes. By the end of this time, you will begin to feel the ripples up to your abdomen and maybe up to your ribs. You can jiggle the other side if you like, or just relax into a nice nap.

If done long enough, balancing can begin. Follow up with other body balancing techniques. We put our favorite techniques together in what we now call Three Ways to Body Balance.

The Jiggle is a relaxing vibration for pregnancy and labor. Deceptively simple, try The Jiggle for ten minutes before you sleep tonight!




Parent Educator Training

Are you interested in the Spinning Babies® Certified Parent Educator Training ? Watch Approved Trainer Jennifer Walker speak with Viviana Presicce a SpBCPE from Italy who attended the training.


See all upcoming events on our calendar here.

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