Based on an ethnographic field research, we followed the therapeutic paths of caregivers of children with the Zika congenital syndrome in order to understand the way different contexts (discovery, household, health units, social work, associations) contribute to creating notions about maternity and childhood. The concept of “vital conjunctures” in generational rites of passage singularizes experiences that lead to stabilization and/or inverted paths in the passage between stages. The practical and symbolic construction of maternity and childhood oscillates among a multiplicity of meanings marked by the obligatoriness of women to strive in the task of caring and experiencing suffering and care sacralization, in a daily reality that ties their lives to searches for causal explanations and diverse therapeutic answers without marked generational changes. Those who take these therapeutic paths build a multifaceted image of themselves in a direct or indirect relationship to maternity, childhood and their social and biological affiliation.
Therapeutic paths; Care; Maternal-child images; Zika; Vital conjuncture