Feelings of mothers of infants with microcephaly: A qualitative study

Cláudia Maria Sousa de Carvalho, Antônio Adeilson Mendes Pereira, Geany Ferreira de ABREU, Lourena Joyce Matos Paz, Lydia de Carvalho Pires, Camila Aparecida Pinheiro Landim Almeida, Fernanda Cláudia Miranda Amorim, Magda Coeli Vitorino Sales Coêlho, Adélia Dalva da Silva Oliveira, Ana Raquel Batista de Carvalho, Guilherme Guarino de Moura Sá*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Microcephaly is a congenital malformation in which the brain does not develop properly. It can be the result of a series of factors, from malnutrition of the mother, drug abuse, infections during pregnancy, among others. In the family context, the birth of a child with microcephaly, produces profound changes and needs in the psychosocial and financial dimensions of the family. Based on this, the objective was to unveil the feelings experienced by mothers of infants with microcephaly. For that, a descriptive, exploratory study was developed with a qualitative data approach, carried out in a reference maternity hospital, located in a great city of Northeastern Brazil, with 20 (twenty) mothers. In order to process the collected data, the IRaMuTeQ software was used and the results were analyzed by the Hierarchical Descending Classification. Six classes were found: Feelings before the diagnosis of microcephaly; Feelings in coping with microcephaly; Acceptance of the diagnosis of microcephaly and the importance of family support; Feelings related to the limitations and the search of care for infants with microcephaly; Feelings related to the routine of mothers of infants with microcephaly and Feeling related to the mother's reaction to the prejudice of society. It has been shown that for mothers, the birth of a child with microcephaly is a delicate and conflicting moment in their lives, because it is a new and unexpected event in their life, also because it is the loss of the idealized baby, to be replaced by a baby who will need more specific care.

Translated title of the contributionSentimentos de mães de lactentes com microcefalia: Um estudo qualitativo
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1431
Number of pages10
JournalBioscience Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Emotions
  • Microcephaly
  • Nursing care


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