Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our New-Mom Family Tradition

Today, an academic and activist friend on Facebook shared an article about Cuarentena and New-mom traditions from around the world.

I feel really silly, because I never knew that this custom existed in "Latino" cultures. In my family, women and newborns are not allowed out of the house, except for the doctor's visit required during that period, for the first three months. There are no exceptions. Even if a beloved grandparent passed away--my aunt got in big trouble with the family for attending the funeral of my grandmother (her mom) a month after she gave birth to my cousin. Some attending folks from outside of the family just didn't understand "what the big deal was".

I was told that it comes from our Indigenous American cultures. I've never thought about researching its context. It may seem like a big inconvenience, but I do know that it does serve a few helpful purposes.

The women in our family all breast feed. Being home during that time makes it easier to do. The baby is supposed to be kept close to the mother during the whole time. There's no sleeping in another room. I think this helps with bonding, which is something that I initially had problems with because of PPD. It gives the baby's immune system time to develop before being introduced into the world.

It's also a time for skill-building. I was 18 yrs. old when I had my daughter and during that 3 months, I had my mother there to teach me all of the things I didn't know, like how to pin a cloth diaper on a baby and how to dress her without waking her up.

I hope that my daughter will carry on the tradition, if she ever has a baby.

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