Self-acceptance in pregnant women and postpartum women: a qualitative research


  • Juliana Fernandes Filgueiras Meireles Kennesaw State University, Atlanta
  • Clara Mockdece Neves Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora
  • Fabiane Frota da Rocha Morgado Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
  • Maria Elisa Caputo Ferreira Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora



The objective was to investigate the main attitudes related to self-acceptance of pregnant women and postpartum women. 14 pregnant women (age average = 33.43 ± 3.76 years) and four postpartum women (age average = 33.33 ± 3.53 years) took part. Four focal groups were performed based on a semi-structured script, three groups consisting of pregnant women and one composed of postpartum women. Content analysis was used in the data interpretation. Four categories were identified: 1) Feelings and beliefs of body acceptance (attitudes of love, happiness, appreciation, thoughts, and expectations directed at the body); 2) Behaviors of body acceptance (practicing pleasurable exercise, adopting a healthy diet, pampering the body (for example, massages), seeking medical assistance for prevention); 3) Acceptance of pregnancy or motherhood (admiration for her own abilities, positive qualities, and characteristics, evaluation and appreciation of the functions performed); and 4) Cognitive protection filter (ability to select the information received, in order to protect yourself from unfavorable messages or negative judgments transmitted by people or media). The evaluation of self-acceptance in pregnant women and postpartum women should focus on intervention of different health areas professionals, which could reflect on the maternal and child psychological well-being.



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