Caution: These are broad generalizations and should not be used to stereotype any individuals.

Communication
Personalismo: emphasis on personal relationships. Ask about the patient's family and interests before focusing on health issues.

Family/Gender Issues
Allow family members to express their love and concern by spending as much time with the patient as possible. Allow them to assist patient with ADLs if patient is reluctant to do self-care.

Realize that they may be reluctant to discuss emotional problems outside the family.

Modesty may be important, especially among older women. Try to keep them covered whenever possible.

Accept that older, more traditional wives may defer to husbands in decision-making, both for their own health and that of their children. Involve the family in decision-making.

Time Orientation: Present
Many have a present time orientation, which may impede use of preventive medicine and follow-up care.

Expression of Pain
Patients may tend to be expressive (loud), though varies with audience (males may be more expressive around family members than around health care professionals)

Pregnancy & Birth
Pregnancy is seen as a normal condition, so prenatal care may not be sought.

In labor & delivery, the woman's mother may be the preferred birthing partner.

Laboring women often yell out "aye yie yie" -- a loud form of controlled breathing. Others will be stoic.

Traditionally, new mothers avoid cold, bathing & exercise for 6 weeks post partum. Respect post-partum prescriptions for rest. Sponge baths may be preferred.

Since pregnancy is traditionally thought to be a "hot" condition, birth depletes the body of heat. Restoration of warmth is important. Offer liquids other than ice water, which may be deemed too "cold."

End of Life issues
Since family members may want to withhold a fatal diagnosis from the patient, ask patient upon admission (or before the need arises, if possible) whom should be given information about his/her condition.

Health related practices
May refuse certain foods or medications that upset hot/cold body balance. Offer alternative foods & liquids.

Avoid ice water, unless requested.

Among more traditional women, "fat" is seen as healthy. Many Mexican foods are high in fat and salt. Nutritional counseling may be necessary for diabetics and individuals with high blood pressure.

Some may believe that complimenting a child without touching the child can cause evil eye. To be safe, touch the child when admiring him/her.

Ask what herbal remedies, if any, the patient uses. While most are effective or neutral, azarcón (a bright reddish-orange powder) and greta (a yellow to grayish-yellow powder) which are used to treat empacho (stomach pain) have lead and can be dangerous.

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