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Mi Madre Tierra de Oaxaca: Alejandrina’s Story

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

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

Photograph: 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 I moved to Oregon at 8 years outdated. My reminiscences of Oaxaca have been at all times very inexperienced and of fresh air. On the time, my household in Oaxaca would harvest fruits, greens, and corn. I clearly keep in mind choosing my very own oranges, mangos, and watermelon. After college, we’d spend time taking good care of 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, choosing strawberries and blueberries. We have been remoted from the town as a result of my dad and mom have been farm staff. We spent a number of time open air working. On the finish of the day, we had little or no time to do enjoyable actions. However, we have been all blissful as a result of we have been outdoors, 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, a number of households, because of 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 might miss my time enjoying within the farm, constructing homes with rocks and dust. I merely missed cooking outdoors and tenting, it was our routine in Oaxaca. Our household was lucky to have an in depth friendship with an American couple, who took us beneath 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 take pleasure in walks.

Strolling on the farm in Oaxaca.

I  assume the largest factor that we will do as dad and mom in constructing a connection to nature with our children is to easily take them outdoors.

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

Allow them to be free in an open house, whether or not that’s in our backyards, or a park. As they play freely they’re constructing a connection to nature and studying via sensory play. Because the pandemic turned our new actuality, I might let my 2 yr outdated be outdoors and take in the solar with me. I wanted to get open air, my stress stage was much less as soon as I obtained outdoors. I used to be capable of clear my thoughts for a couple of minutes and simply breathe. Nevertheless, this may not 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 might get intimidated to be round skilled hikers, I might begin asking myself, “am I carrying the proper provider, stroller, climbing gear?” However then I noticed none of these issues matter. I turned assured, began strolling with supportive mates, and all of us discovered alongside the way in which. Getting open air with kids 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 children to inexperienced areas. They’re nature conscientious as a result of I took them outdoors from start. My being pregnant and postpartum interval have been all about being open air as a lot as doable. My self-care right this moment nonetheless entails a stroll outdoors.

When the chance got here to connect with Hike it Child, and for me to guide a gaggle 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 might be scary once you don’t know easy methods 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 colour open air, and normalizing what it means to be adventurous and outdoorsy, we are going to create a brand new technology of outside neighborhood. As dad and mom, we want extra schooling, 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 lots of myths in our Latino neighborhood in regards to the postpartum interval and what which means for brand 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 have to 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 transferring after having their infants and of lowering layers on infants for his or her security, and to speak to them about SIDS (sudden toddler demise syndrome). 

I like the concept of a Cuarentana as a supportive household care bundle. Throughout the postpartum interval, each mother is exhausted, and advantages from outdoors help. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply staying indoors together with your child for 40 days. As a brand new mother, getting outdoors is a should. Being inside the house is miserable. Postpartum despair is quite common, due to this fact its necessary to have methods to manage, and typically getting outdoors is your best choice. Newborns will sleep higher, and mother will get a while to herself strolling. 

My Recommendation for New Mothers

  • Get outdoors, no matter cultural beliefs. Caring for your thoughts and soul is your private resolution. Whether or not you’re a primary time mother, or it’s your second time, the stress and lack of sleep by no means modifications. Subsequently, getting open air, respiratory within the contemporary air, new surroundings, all of it actually helps with despair. 
  • Then, discover a group of mates, household, one other new mother, somebody to stroll with you and your child. Spending out of doors time with mates makes it all of the extra precious, and you may share the challenges motherhood brings.
  • Final, don’t be afraid or involved whether or not or not you will have the proper gear to be outdoors. Your infants are excited to easily be transferring and with you.

Watch’s Ale’s Story beneath.


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