Self-Care and Empowerment in Postpartum: Social Representations of Puerperae

  • Dafne Paiva Rodrigues State University of Ceara
  • Ana Carolina Maria Araújo Chagas Costa Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza
  • Mônica Oliveira Batista Oriá Federal University of Ceara
  • Régia Christina Moura Barbosa Castro Federal University of Ceara
  • Ana Beatriz Azevedo Queiroz
  • Nayara Souza de Mesquita


INTRODUCTION: The puerperal period occurs when starting the restoration of the woman's body after the situation of pregnancy phase, with a transition period in which mothers need to practice self-care for their own benefit, welfare, and health. The care of health professionals in this period should involve guidance to postpartum women, so they understand the importance of taking care of themselves and become able to perform self-care. The aim of this study was to investigate the social representations of puerperal women about self-care and their relationship to the empowerment postpartum. METHOD: This is a descriptive and a qualitative study conducted with 19 mothers from five family health centers. We used the Theory of Social Representations as theoretical and lexical analysis method, using ALCESTE software - version 2012. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Self-care of mothers is surrounded by influences, beliefs and practices, which are derived from the experiences of other women in the family and social environment. The contents of the social representations of puerperal women about self-care announce that it is mainly related to the biological dimension of women, valuing the care of the body. CONCLUSION: Nursing must provide the necessary support for the postpartum women, so they feel able to perform self-care and encourage their own empowerment, developing their autonomy, knowledge and skills so they can have greater control over the factors that affect their health and are trained to the practice of self-care.

Jul 30, 2016
How to Cite
DODOU, Hilana Dayana et al. Self-Care and Empowerment in Postpartum: Social Representations of Puerperae. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 9, july 2016. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 sep. 2021. doi:
Obstetrics & Gynecology


Women's Health; Postpartum Period; Self-care; Health Promotion; Nursing