Women’s experience with cesareans in Uruguay: the woman’s right to be accompanied by a person of her choice and difficulties with enforcement

Carolina Farías Alejandra López Gómez About the authors

The article aims to analyze how women are accompanied by a trusted person during cesareans, as guaranteed under Law 17,386 on “accompanying persons during labor and childbirth”, enacted in Uruguay in 2001. The findings are part of a larger study on the experience and meaning of cesareans for Uruguayan women. An exploratory, descriptive qualitative methodology was used for this purpose. The technique involved in-depth interviews with 31 women whose cesareans were performed in their first pregnancy in the city and greater metropolitan area of Montevideo. Based on the findings, the conclusion is that having a trusted accompanying person during labor and childbirth is experienced by women as a factor for emotional protection given the anxieties generated by a major surgery like a cesarean. Nevertheless, for the women interviewed in the study, “being accompanied” was not a continuous process, but characterized by a series of separations, both from the accompanying persons and from their children, causing anxiety, anguish, ambivalent feelings towards the newborn infant, and difficulties in mother-infant bonding, especially in the immediate postpartum.

Reproductive Health; Cesarean Section; Obstetric Labor

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br