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Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental

versión impresa ISSN 1647-2160


MARTINS, Cristina Araújo; ABREU, Wilson Jorge Correia Pinto de  y  FIGUEIREDO, Maria do Céu Aguiar Barbieri. Suffering from returning to work after parental leave. Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental [online]. 2015, n.spe2, pp.69-77. ISSN 1647-2160.

BACKGROUND: The increasing female participation in the labor market raises issues related to the management of time between work and family responsibilities, with particular relevance when women become mothers. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand the experiences of mothers who returned to work after paid maternity leave. METHODOLOGY: Grounded Theory, with the participation of five fathers and five mothers (couples). Data collection used a semi-structured interview, before and after the mother’s return to work (total of 30 interviews). Data collection, codification and analysis were undertaken in a simultaneous and recursive manner, in a constantly evolutive process. RESULTS: Explain the difficult and challenging coexistence of roles played by the working woman when she becomes a mother. Describe the category suffering with the return to work, which reflects the experience of the mother perceiving herself withdrawn from the child in order to return to work, once parental leave expires. Integrate the subcategories: distress over the impending return to work,perceiving the wife upset over the return to workhaving the need to comfort the distressed wifeexperiencing conflict within the role of parentstumbling upon breastfeeding difficulties andsuffering less when having easier work conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The timing of the return to work is especially critical in the transition to parenthood, causing suffering in mothers and disturbing the whole family dynamic. It constitutes, therefore, a challenge to the resilience of women and their families and should be object of nursing intervention.

Palabras clave : Anxiety; Employment; Parental leave.

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