Nationality: Mexican American
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-28-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish
Background: Informant, B.B. is a mother of 3, and was around 20 years old when she had her first child. She personally has abided by “la cuarentena” rules but was told about it by her mother.
Informant: After I had my first kid, my mom tried to be really strict about my healing process, telling me I need to follow “la cuarentena”.
Interviewer: What is “la cuarentena”?
B.B: Basically giving birth takes a huge toll on the body, so according to my Mexican mother, there are certain rules to follow postpartum. Cuarentena translates to quarantine, which describes how we were suppose to stay home in order to take care of ourselves properly.
Interviewer: What rules were suppose to be followed? Was it hard to follow them?
B.B: I was suppose to stay “in quarantine” for about a month. I was also not suppose to lift anything heavy, cook, or even clean because it could be too much for my body. I was also told not to shower, which was one of the hardest rules to follow and I didn’t. The logic behind not showering was that I could get sick from having wet hair. I wasn’t really able to stick to the rules, I only managed it for about a week or two before I tried my best to get back to normal.
Interviewer: Did you try la cuarentena for each of your kids?
B.B: No, I did not really believe in needing a whole month to myself.
Context: The informant is a relative, and we were discussing another family member who had just given birth and was already back at work. She was not too shocked about her not following la cuarentena because of how strict it is.
Thoughts: Thinking about having to quarantine after giving birth seems a bit extreme. Knowing how life being quarantined is because of the corona virus, I do not see myself going though with the full month either. I think it is easy to listen to our bodies and if we feel like it is okay to get back to doing certain things, then we should do so as long as we do not push our limits.