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“A tragedy after giving birth”: stories of women who have lost newborn children


The aim of this study was to learn how mothers interpret and explain the death of a newborn child. The study used a qualitative approach. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 women in São Luís, Maranhão State, Brazil, whose newborn infants died between July 2012 and July 2014. Data were collected from April 1st to August 29th, 2014. The interviews included questions on labor, delivery, birth, and postpartum. Thematic content analysis was performed. The mothers’ testimony evidenced weaknesses in the network of care. Many of the mothers linked the care they received to events leading to their infants’ death. Core meanings identified by the analysis included slow and negligent care in the maternity hospital, revealing a context of obstetric violence against the women. There is an evident need to create strategies to promote humane care during labor and childbirth, strengthening comprehensive and integrated public policies to meet the demands for care for pregnant women and their infants.

Neonatal Mortality; Humanization of Assistence; Obstetric Labor

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