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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


QUEVEDO, Michele Peixoto; LOPES, Ceci Mendes Carvalho  and  LEFEVRE, Fernando. The meanings of maternity to high-risk pregnant women with valvar heart disease and diabetes. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2006, vol.16, n.1, pp. 12-21. ISSN 0104-1282.

The objective of the present work was to identify the social representations of maternity in women with Diabetes mellitus or valvar heart disease, who had high-risk pregnancy and were hospitalized during a period of the pregnancy for fetal and maternal monitoring. The instruments of data collection were semi-structured interviews whose scripts had been previously piloted. Twenty pregnant women were interviewed; 11 of them had valvar heart disease and 9 had Diabetes mellitus type I and II. All of them were hospitalized in the third trimester of gestation. The Discourse of Collective Subject methodology of analysis was adopted. The topics used to analyze the subjects' discourse were: aspects of the pregnant women's relationship to their health, expectations and meanings regarding maternity and the baby, feelings in relation to the gestation and the baby, and the ways they dealt with hospitalization. The results showed categories related to the way in which women with valvar heart disease or Diabetes mellitus lived with chronic illnesses; to the meanings of high-risk pregnancy for pregnant diabetic women and pregnant women suffering from valvar heart disease; to the experience of high-risk pregnancy, including hospitalization and the pregnant women's fears in relation to themselves and to their babies. It can be concluded that the representations that emerged in relation to maternity and the child were related to the feminine imagery, but that the presence of a chronic disease can also influence the meaning of maternity in this group of women.

Keywords : High-risk pregnancy; Valvar heart disease; Diabettes mellitus; Social representation; Chronic illness and pregnancy; Woman's health.

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