Vendor Spotlight: Ximena Fernandez of Baby Trapoz
Mexican rebozos have many uses! Among them: belly binding in pregnancy for back pain relief, during birth by doulas using a technique known as Rebozo Manteada, to shift baby into place and help to comfort the birthing person, after birth for the sealing ceremony, belly binding again to help get the tummy back in place and for baby wearing!
As a Mexican woman and mother, Ximena felt called to share the versatile and traditional practice of the Mexican Rebozo with every woman she could, and so Baby Trapoz was created. This piece of fabric is handwoven one by one and is infused with love and patience. It’s a practice passed down mother to daughter, midwife to midwife, since pre-Hispanic times. A forever comfort to the birthing person, family and baby.
Ximena and the Baby Trapoz team are more than happy to share with you, the magic and tradition of a Mexican Rebozo, for birth, postpartum and baby wearing.
What is a Rebozo?
Locally and traditionally referred to as Rebozos, these pieces of beautiful cloth can be closely compared to the use and function of a shawl. Located in Mexico City, Baby Trapoz’s Rebozos are woven using an ancient pedal loom technique with 100% yarn dyed cotton in vibrant colors, creating different sizes and patterns. A rebozo consists of two parts: the body, woven in the loom, traditionally woven by men and the fringe, knotted by hand by women.
CSWS: Where do you live and where did you grow up?
Ximena: I live and grew up in Mexico City.
CSWS: How does being a mom impact you as a business owner?
Ximena: Sometimes it’s very stressful, because it’s hard to separate one thing from the other during the day.
Most of the times I need to switch from work to house, to mom activities, all day long, so at the end of the day I’m kind of mentally exhausted, but at the same time it’s the engine that makes me want to keep going and growing my business, so I can be my own boss and distribute my time as needed.
CSWS: What inspires you?
Ximena: My kids.
I want them to learn that they can be entrepreneurs and that they should not be afraid of it. And also that it takes hard work but it’s satisfying when you achieve your goals.
CSWS: What is your vision for postpartum care?
Ximena: I think not many people give the needed importance to the postpartum period (at least here in Mexico City)
I think all countries should have a long maternity leave of minimum three months, so our bodies can fully recover and get pampered. Because when a baby is born all the attention goes to the baby and no one takes care of the mom.
CSWS: Do people in your community have ways that they honor their sacred window?
Ximena: Not where I live [in the city], but I know in small towns, they still respect tradtions for new moms..
like getting herb baths to recover. Their moms or grandmoms put bandages on them with a special preparation, so their womb returns to its natural place and reduces inflammation and other things. In other countries where the traditions remain or are being restored, families and neighbors and friends participate.
CSWS: Tell us about your own experience using rebozo.
Ximena: It was great to have my baby close to me all the time…
and to be able to move everywhere easily, not having to use a big and heavy stroller. Also it was very helpful when nursing, because my arms did not get tired of holding her. Additionally when nursing in public, I could cover with the rebozo. Also my back did not get all tired and I knew my baby was very comfortable because she fell asleep a couple of minutes after getting in the rebozo.
CSWS: What inspired you start Baby Trapoz?
Ximena: I was introduced to baby wearing when I was pregnant the second time, 10 years ago.
It was not that common in the city (it was more a tradition of small towns) and I found it was wonderful to have my baby
attached to me all the time and still be able to do my activities. So I thought I needed to share with other women and I started making fabric carriers. Then the baby wearing movement started to grow and I thought, If here in Mexico, we have rebozos as a tradition for baby wearing and more, why not share it with the world. Then Baby Trapoz was started! Now I see that the rebozos are highly appreciated for natural birth following the Mexican parteras tradition.
CSWS: We would love to know about the weavers. Who weaves the rebozos and what is their process?
Ximena: One of the main weavers is named Marcelino. He has been making rebozos for 14 years now.
He learned the tradition from his wife’s family. They have five looms and he has a team of three guys that help him. Normally the guys are the ones who make the main part of the rebozo and the women are the ones that knot the ends. He has only one son and he will teach him how to weave so he keeps this tradition.
CSWS: How does your product support a new mom during their postpartum period and how do you visualize people using the rebozos?
Ximena: Our rebozos can be used for sealing ceremonies…
for belly binding after birth and to carry their baby for long periods of time, knowing that fabric won’t hurt the baby’s spine, so they can bond easily. It can be used after birth and baby wearing. Rebozos can be used as a shawl or home décor and it will be a beautiful way of remembering when your baby was little.
CSWS: What makes your rebozos special?
Ximena: Our rebozos are made with love and patience from our Mexican artisans following hundreds of years of traditions.
They put their heart and soul into them because it is what they know how to do. It’s their way of living. This love and patience comes from knowing that their pieces will help a life come to this world and will also help a mom and a baby to bond.
Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.