Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Faja

A couple of cultural differences between having a baby in the U.S. and having one in Mexico keep popping up and I want to share them so you guys can say "OOooo ME TOO!!" and "Ooo but look what they made ME do!" I love stuff like that. :P

After giving birth did your Mexican family freak out and tell you that you had to wear a "Faja?" (corset), they told me I need to wear a corset for 40 days and when I refused (over and over) they just stared at me like I grew four new eyes and started chewing my toes off for fun. When I asked WHY I had to wear a corset they shook their heads like "My gawd what PLANET does she come from!??" and told me that it's for my protection. Protection of what I have no clue but they seem pretty damn serious about this whole thing. Yesterday one pointed out that I'm still not wearing it and told me that I'm going to make myself sick. ????? I just don't know.

Manzanilla Tea. If one more person tells me to give my baby Manzanilla tea I'm going to freak right the shit out. Against my better judgement I actually broke down and gave her some in hopes of a magical colic cure but no dice, same screaming baby. LOL when I gave her the tea she did stop sucking for all of 2 seconds and look up at me like "WTF??" but quickly went back to it. That's my pigglet.

Here's my favorite, my sweet neighbor told me earlier in the week that to cure my babys tummy troubles I should take pig fat, warm it up, add salt and lime and put it on a washcloth and leave it on her tummy for 2 hours. Upon mentioning that to my Mexican friend here she laughed and told me that my neighbor is crazy that everybody knows you're supposed to use OIL, not pig fat. Well Duuhhhhhhh. :P

I don't mind any of this stuff, to tell you the truth I think it's fun as hell getting to know all of these different culture remedies. It's neat to see the way other people do things, even if I might not always agree. ;)

17 comments:

Ritamg said...

Did you bathe Daisy in lard for the first week after she was born? This is suppose to keep her skin soft. At least my grandmother swore by this old Czech wives' tale.

Upstate Broad said...

How is the colic going, BTW? Has keeping her warm and swaddled helped as much as all of us have been hoping for your sake that it would?

Kristi said...

That's keeping an open mind!

Vadose said...

I know! I've posted about some of the crazy things my in-laws have told me. I forgot to write about the faja, though. They mos def thought I was crazy for not belting myself. Told me my stomach would never flatten out from the pregnancy without one. The cammomile tea was a big one, too. We still get that. And the lard and lime concoction? Not limes the fruit - limestone, like what's in tortillas! And we're supposed to mix it with 7Up and get baby to drink it. The limestone probably does help settle things, and the 7Up is most likely for the carbonation. The lard makes it go down easier? I don't know, but we never tried it! My own remedy was just to attach my baby to the nipple whenever he cried. Just kidding. Kind of. And just you wait - there are more remedies on the way! And you'd best be putting shoes on that baby! Cutie pie that she is.

Abby Lee Macias said...

Is that why they wear that thing, I never knew why? Yes they are nuts with their ideas! GOod lord so old school and down here if you have a cough nothing cold! WTF, god they are nuts! Yes my sister in law gives the baby that tea, and he is 3 months old! It so did not work! LOL LOL!

PuertoVallartaGirl said...

My sister in law always put her baby the same age as mine in a lettuce bath. warm watter with lettuce. and gave a new baby all sorts of teas... what?

svillarreal said...

When my son had an upset stomache and it was hard, my mil put lard and baking powder in her palm and mashed it together and rubbed it on his stomach. It seemed to work, but who knows. Anyone hear of this one.

Lauren said...

Oh my god, I love all the old wives tales!! I have a dear friend who's mother is from El Salvador, and every time I bring my daughter over there I get pummeled with "in my country, we..." I smile and nod and "oh really?" but never seem to remember what she says. I do remember her scolding me for bringing Audrey outside before the required 45 days of staying indoors was over. Even though I argued I had to take her to the doctor to check her biliruben levels, she argued that the doctor should come to me. If only I had that option! And it was SHE who told me to bring her over in the first place!!

My former sister-in-law had many wonderful ideas for my weight loss, including swallowing papaya seeds, adding an extra seed per day for seven days, and then decreasing one per day for seven days. I always wrote off her remedies as witchcraft, but now I'm kind of curious.

Krissie said...

I hope you haven't washed your hair for 28 days after you gave birth, because if you did, well, I don't know what exactly, but I hear it's not good.

And you must tie red string around Daisy'y wrist to protect her from... um.. evil? or something.

It's serious business, woman. LOL

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Rita - Say what? Well damn I guess she's cursed to use lotion? OMG.

Upstate - Colic is a bastard but you kinda just get used to it. Plus there will be a day every once in a while (like the day I thought blankets were the cure) that she'll just sleep the whole time and leave you a tad bit more sane. It sucks balls but whatcha gonna do?

Kristi - Lol right!?

Vadose - HAAA I love how some of the magic cures are so similar yet so different Lard! No Oil! No Lime No, LimON! Love it. And it makes me feel better that someone else has been plagued by the faja :)

Abby - lol "old school" sometimes more like "bruja school." :)

P.V.G. - Hey I've got some lettuce in the fridge! Where's the olive oil? I'm gonna make my own magic cure. :P

SV - For real? Shit, I'm buying some lard. (ok I don't have to buy it, it's totally in my cupboard - for shame) :P

Sparx said...

Hi gal - dropped you an email... did you get it? I may be in your spam folder... I didn't wear a corset after giving birth or rub Charlie in lard so perhaps I've not made it past email border control down there!

stephvalentine said...

When my son was first born, I was told by my in-laws that when we took him places that before we left we had to have everyone touch him so that he didn't get "ojo"??spelling? And if he started crying for no reason and we couldn't get him to stop then ojo was probably the reason and the cure you ask...to take an egg, still in its shell and rub the egg over his body, then crack the egg in a glass of water, something in the way it turned out would determine if the baby would be "cured".

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Steph - Hi!! So neat that you stopped in here :) And I think you're refering to the evil eye maybe? Malo ojo? Mexicans have some crazy superstitions going on, I love it. Eggs huh? Ah well, it'll be good for her skin I guess, hell maybe I'll do a face mask for myself while I'm at it :D

belsmommy said...

Oh my god. I'm due in May and in July I'm going to Mexico to spend some time with my fiance's family. Is this what I have to look forward to?! One of my friends already told me that I should wear a safety pin on the outside of my shirt near my belly button so that, I don't know, the sun's rays won't hurt my baby or something.

Blue Lotus said...

Hi there,
I don't know if what you describe are truly the "Mexican ways". I am Mexican and I am alien to all of the ones you mention. They seem to be small-town customs and superstitions, I would be surprised to find them in large cities. I am from Mexico City and, like many (if not most) middle class children, my upbringing was heavily influenced by Dr. Spock's "Baby and Child care" -a book that you will find in any decent bookstore in Mexico City. My parents used that book as a guide, and I grew up fine all the same. Never in my life had I heard of the faja, let alone pig's fat treatment! I dare say you live in a small to medium town. Or I may be mistaken, I have a strong bias since my social circle is mostly middle-class, college-educated. In any case, I thought you'd want to know that there is another Mexico that may be dull to you because it ain't exotic -it's the mainstream Western child-rearing school, based on the recognition of a child's individuality and the belief that children are logical,rational creatures that try to understand their environment (mostly the ideas of Dr. Spock and through him, of Jean Piaget)
PS- Your blog's awesome, I found it thanks to LP's TT forum.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Blue - LOL I thought you were in total bitch out mode half way through your comment and then you complimented me! LOL Thank You! :) I live in Reynosa - a tad over half million people here which compared to your 20 million in Mexico City sounds small, but no, not a village or anything like that. :) ALTHOUGH, the circle I'm in here definetly isn't middle class so that could explain a lot. :) Thank You again :)

Tera said...

I actually plan on wearing a faja. Brooke Burke is making quite a bit of many selling them. Helps fuse the tummy muscles together so you don't get a pooch...unless you happen to want or not mind one.