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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


PEDREIRA, Marta  and  LEAL, Isabel. Third trimester of pregnancy: expectations and emotions concerning the childbirth. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.2, pp.254-266. ISSN 1645-0086.

Transformations in the way of how pregnancy is experienced in the family, along with the facility of access to information on this subject, have challenged the perception of childbirth as being merely a medical act. This implies alterations on the representations of pregnancy. Consequently, we intend to analyze the emotional experiences and the expectations that the pregnant woman has in relation to childbirth in the third trimester. It consists of a qualitative, descriptive and exploratory research based on a sample of 30 pregnant Portuguese women whose average age is 32 years old. A socio-demographic questionnaire and a semi-directive interview entitled Interview of Maternal Representations During Pregnancy - Revised Version (IRMAG-R, Ammaniti & Tambelli, 2010) were carried out. The results show that on this stage of pregnancy there is an intense emotional involvement with the baby, which is projected on concerns regarding his well-being in the postpartum and, on a smaller scale, on concerns during childbirth. The expectations are positive. The pregnant woman expects a fast and easy childbirth, with little medical intervention, and pain is perceived as an intrinsic factor. She shows a confident posture, in which the experienced anxiety is characterized by the desire to know the real baby. She desires the baby's father to be present during birth and refers her mother as the main figure of support during the postpartum period. It is fundamental to help women during pregnancy in dealing with these issues and formulating healthy expectations in order to adapt to the new phase of her life.

Keywords : Third Trimester of Pregnancy; Childbirth; Expectations; Emotional Experience; Concerns; Social Network.

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