Study on social representations of pregnancy in bolivian women in the context of primary health care in the central area of the city of São Paulo

Maria Carolina C. Madi Ana Carolina Cassanti Cássio Silveira About the authors

The process of Bolivian immigration to Brazil has been bringing questions and the necessity of intervention through the Health Services in the city of São Paulo. The barriers that come with the Bolivian culture (like the language) and their fear due to their illegal situation in Brazil bring to the Services some obstacles to access this population. The objective of the study is to understand the pregnancy conceptions of the Bolivian immigrant women who attend Centro de Saúde Escola Barra Funda "Dr. Alexandre Vranjac" (CSEBF), in the following contexts: family, adaptation as immigrants, and space of construction of their personal life. The researchers performed a qualitative analysis of the interviews they conducted with Bolivian pregnant women older than 18 years old, enrolled at CSEBF. Some home visits were made in the company of a community-based health agent. Results showed that Bolivian women practice endogamy and monogamy. In Bolivia they never looked for a Health Service like CSEBF. A paradox was noticed when it comes to pregnancy and work, as they say they planned their first child although they agree that work - the main reason to come to Brazil - is negatively affected by pregnancy, childbirth and maternity. About childbirth practices, the Bolivian women wish and believe that natural childbirth is better than caesarean delivery, diverging from the Brazilian women's most common position. This study can contribute with knowledge about the Bolivian women's health conceptions, especially about pregnancy, so that the Health Service's actions, mainly in primary care, can be improved, increasing the organization capacity for receiving Bolivian immigrants.

Social Representations; Bolivian Immigrant Women; Women's Health; Pregnancy; Childbirth


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br