The Essence of Mother Roasting (No Ovens Involved, I Promise!)

Photography: Marijke de Jong

By Marta Willis

As a new mother I ached to be held, nourished and taken care of. To be supported at a time when everything was new, confusing and seen through very sleep-deprived eyes.

When I had my babies, I didn’t get any help or support (apart from my amazing husband but he was working full time) and people saw me as someone who ‘has it all and can cope with anything’.

But I didn’t and couldn’t. The lack of sleep was tough, really tough, and as a qualified midwife and massage therapist, I realised there had to be more ways to honour mothers at this time and so my search began…

Photography: Marijke de Jong
What is Mother Roasting?

Mother Roasting is the practice of keeping a woman warm immediately after birth and in the first few weeks following birth. It rejuvenates her body, helps her to focus and connect with her newborn baby and nourishes her back into being. It also seals up emotional, physical and spiritual gateways that have been opened by birth. Traditional Mother Roasting services include healing massage, cooked foods for nourishment, herbal support and warmth, through binding the womb space, warm teas, herbal baths and herbal tummy paste application.

For me, it’s all about putting the mother in the sacred centre to give them a sense of coming home, just as I received during journey to becoming a Mother Roaster.

Why mamas love it

Warming, nourishing and nurturing. It helps women regain their emotional and physical balance through a deep heart-centred honouring ceremony carried out in a conscious way. It’s a combination of soft voice, gentle touch, healing hands and a listening ear in a soulfully designed and prepared environment.

Mother Roasters across the world (myself included!) handcraft their balms, tinctures, teas and all remedies used in the honouring ceremonies, which reconnects them to their deeply planted, inner wise woman tradition. This is a sacred connection with each and every substance being used and all ingredients are pure and organic. It’s such a delicate spiritual time that deserves humility, expert care and warmth to help the mother heal and seal her birth story.

It is a sacred vow to women to be there for them, and to hold their hand during their special transition from maiden to mother. It is truly my privilege to being able to hold this healing space for women.

Photography: Marijke de Jong
Photography: Marijke de Jong

See next page to learn about belly binding…

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Laurie Proffitt

    Do you teach other perinatal massage therapists and doulas belly binding and other traditional and holistic healing techniques? This is beautiful and I would love to be able to work my clients in this way.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *