Cold Wind on a mother’s back


J is a 23-year-old Salvadorian-american and resides in Southern California. She’s heard various superstitions and stories from her family and friends. She heard this one from her mother after a family reunion.

The context of this piece was over a dinner when J was asked if she had heard of any folk beliefs from her family.


J: “I know of one that we always make sure to follow no matter how like dumb people think it is. Like my mom told me about this one so that when I have babies I wont get sick or anything like that. She told me stuff like women need to be wrapped up after having a baby. Kanda like a baby themselves. If they didn’t then stuff like the wind would get to them,”

Me: “The wind? What do you mean by it getting to those women?”

J: “Like if a woman left her back exposed after having a baby, then they’d get really bad back pain because of the wind. My mom said that the cold wind was the worst thing a woman could be touched by after giving birth. It’s because wafter having a baby the woman’s body is like weak and its sensitive. So she has to be covered in clothes or blankets so that her and her back stay like warm.”

Me: “So if the wind touches her back, it hurts her?”

J” Yeah so like wind is cold and since the baby took all of her warmth and strength the wind would leave her in pain. We just say the back is the most important part because that’s where they put like the shot thing for the pain so its left more out in the open. So yeah, now you know to always have you back covered up after having a baby”


I think it’s really interesting to hear about this folk belief because something as simple as wind could have a greater affect on someone’s body. I know that the wind is usually avoided as it brings the feelings of coldness but the way it is spoken of in this belief is somewhat animalistic. This belief connotes the wind negatively as it makes it clear that the wind is something that can hurt a woman and should be outright avoided. I think this belief is especially interesting because it revolves around a woman’s body post-birth. I know that in many cultures birth is sacred and the creation of a new life in the world is highly valued, so it was interesting to hear how the birthing process needs the after-care.