Mi Madre Tierra de Oaxaca: Alejandrina’s Story

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This weblog is a part of our Elevating Voices collection in partnership with LL Bean.

Meet Alejandria Felipe. Ale is one among Hike it Child’s Convey it Outdoors program facilitators and ran the primary Flip the Blues Inexperienced program collection. She’s a mama to 2 wonderful kiddos, and works full time as an Obstetric Nurse in Portland, Oregon. 

Picture: Andrea Leoncavallo @lionhorsephoto

My Childhood Connection to Nature

I used to be born in a small city in Oaxaca. I moved to Oregon at 8 years previous. My reminiscences of Oaxaca have been all the time very inexperienced and of unpolluted air. On the time, my household in Oaxaca would harvest fruits, greens, and corn. I clearly keep in mind selecting my very own oranges, mangos, and watermelon. After college, we might spend time caring for the animals and crops. Subsequently, my connection to nature was effectively established from start. 

Alejandrina’s daughter and mom in Oaxaca, Mexico.

When my household arrived in Oregon, we lived in farming camps, selecting strawberries and blueberries. We have been remoted from the town as a result of my mother and father have been farm staff. We spent plenty of time outside working. On the finish of the day, we had little or no time to do enjoyable actions. However, we have been all completely happy as a result of we have been exterior, and it nonetheless felt like being in our native nation. 

My upbringing and early reminiscences of Oaxaca offered me with a connection to nature that my different fellow classmates didn’t have. Whenever you come to the town, and also you come to america, plenty of households, attributable to financial obstacles, are pressured to dwell in crowded residences . As a younger teen, I didn’t see the connection of my childhood in Oaxaca to nature, however now as an grownup I can see how these early exposures have been basic. I’d miss my time enjoying within the farm, constructing homes with rocks and dust. I merely missed cooking exterior and tenting, it was our routine in Oaxaca. Our household was lucky to have a detailed friendship with an American couple, who took us underneath their wing, they actually adopted us and took us on out of doors adventures. The couple had the means to take us on day journeys to Nationwide Parks, to lakes, and out to get pleasure from walks.

Strolling on the farm in Oaxaca.

I  suppose the most important factor that we will do as mother and father in constructing a connection to nature with our youngsters is to easily take them exterior.

How Dad and mom Can Nurture a Connection to Nature For Their Households

Allow them to be free in an open area, whether or not that’s in our backyards, or a park. As they play freely they’re constructing a connection to nature and studying by sensory play. Because the pandemic turned our new actuality, I’d let my 2 yr previous be exterior and absorb the solar with me. I wanted to get outside, my stress stage was much less as soon as I obtained exterior. I used to be in a position to clear my thoughts for a couple of minutes and simply breathe. Nevertheless, this won’t be the case for a lot of households. Working households have many disparities that put them at disadvantages in having fun with the outside. I’d get intimidated to be round skilled hikers, I’d begin asking myself, “am I carrying the proper service, stroller, climbing gear?” However then I spotted none of these issues matter. I turned assured, began strolling with supportive buddies, and all of us realized alongside the best way. Getting outside with youngsters shouldn’t be that arduous. 

We have to make the outside extra equitable and normalize what it means to be outdoorsy.

I’m lucky to have the means to entry nature with my household and expose my youngsters to inexperienced areas. They’re nature conscientious as a result of I took them exterior from start. My being pregnant and postpartum interval have been all about being outside as a lot as doable. My self-care right this moment nonetheless includes a stroll exterior.

When the chance got here to hook up with Hike it Child, and for me to guide a bunch of Latina mothers, I used to be excited as a result of that is what I wish to do! We began from the fundamentals, like sorts of strollers and carriers to make use of. Carriers may be scary if you don’t know the best way to use them, it’s one factor seeing somebody utilizing it, and it’s one other factor placing it on and strapping your child in.  By getting extra households of coloration outside, and normalizing what it means to be adventurous and outdoorsy, we’ll create a brand new technology of out of doors group. As mother and father, we want extra training, we have to give households the instruments that they should discover the outside.

Alejandrina main her group of mothers on a hike as a part of Hike it Child’s Flip the Blues Inexperienced Program.

La Cuarantena: Dismantling Myths about Postpartum Well being

There are various myths in our Latino group in regards to the postpartum interval and what meaning for brand spanking new moms. For instance, la “Cuarentena.” Throughout this era, postpartum moms are informed to remain in mattress, have minimal strolling, no lifting heavy gadgets, drink heat fluids solely, don’t be uncovered to chilly air, and to put on an stomach binder (la faja). Plus, our infants should be bundled with many blankets, hats, and mittens, whatever the climate. A part of my instructing as an Obstetric Nurse is to elucidate and share with new mothers in regards to the significance of shifting after having their infants and of reducing layers on infants for his or her security, and to speak to them about SIDS (sudden toddler demise syndrome). 

I really like the thought of a Cuarentana as a supportive household care package deal. Through the postpartum interval, each mother is exhausted, and advantages from exterior assist. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply staying indoors along with your child for 40 days. As a brand new mother, getting exterior is a should. Being inside the house is miserable. Postpartum melancholy is quite common, due to this fact its vital to have methods to manage, and typically getting exterior is the best choice. Newborns will sleep higher, and mother will get a while to herself strolling. 

My Recommendation for New Mothers

  • Get exterior, no matter cultural beliefs. Caring for your thoughts and soul is your private choice. Whether or not you’re a primary time mother, or it’s your second time, the stress and lack of sleep by no means adjustments. Subsequently, getting outside, respiratory within the recent air, taking a look at new surroundings, all of it actually helps with melancholy. 
  • Then, discover a group of buddies, household, one other new mother, somebody to stroll with you and your child. Spending out of doors time with buddies makes it all of the extra helpful, and you’ll share the challenges motherhood brings.
  • Final, don’t be afraid or involved whether or not or not you might have the proper gear to be exterior. Your infants are excited to easily be shifting and with you.

Watch’s Ale’s Story under.

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