Revista Estudos Feministas
Print version ISSN 0104-026X
HOTIMSKY, Sonia Nussenzweig and ALVARENGA, Augusta Thereza de. Defining who lends support to whom in childbirth: an ideological issue?. Rev. Estud. Fem. [online]. 2002, vol.10, n.2, pp. 461-481. ISSN 0104-026X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-026X2002000200015.
Medical, juridical and public health discourses recognize the importance of support in labor and childbirth. However, the way in which the person responsible for lending support in this event is defined varies in the diverse discourses being considered. We describe patterns of support in the birth scene of an 'alternative' health service with a proposal of out-of-hospital midwifery assistance, discussing the relation between these patterns o accompaniment and different form of sociability, including gender relations, in existence among the women of different social origins who frequented this service. Finally we discuss the limits imposed, primarily by Sao Paulo State legislation and by the Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente [National Statute of the Child and Adolescent], to the range of "options" of support people made eligible to the woman giving birth and to the members of her social network.
Keywords : Support in labor and childbirth; family; gender relations.