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Arquivos Brasileiros de Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1809-5267


SALES, Cecilia; CASTANHA, Alessandra  and  ALESSIO, Renata. Breastfeeding: social representations of mothers in Recife. Arq. bras. psicol. [online]. 2017, vol.69, n.1, pp. 184-199. ISSN 1809-5267.

Breastfeeding is a topic of great social importance, especially in the debates in the field of health, as it is internationally recognized as capable of improving maternal and children's health. This study aims to analyze the social representations of breastfeeding shared by adult mothers of a health district of the city of Recife. For this, a qualitative research was conducted with by 36 mothers. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed by content analysis. The results indicate that the representations of breastfeeding are anchored in hegemonic conceptions aimed at women and motherhood, such as dedication and sacrifice for the benefit of the children, as well as elements derived from scientific knowledge regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for children's health. Some implications for health education are pointed out, such as the importance of understanding and discussing individual and group possibilities and limitations in relation to the development of breastfeeding.

Keywords : Psychology; Breastfeeding; Motherhood; Social representations.

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