Experiences of motherhood - Cultural care received by Portuguese and immigrant mothers in Portugal

  • Emília Carvalho Coutinho
  • Alcione Leite Silva
  • Cláudia Lopes
  • Vitória Parreira
  • João Carvalho Duarte
  • Paula Nelas
  • Cláudia Chaves


The experience of motherhood coupled with immigration entails differences in care due to underlying cultural practices influencing satisfaction with care, the very experience of motherhood and the adaptation to the host country. This work focuses on the meeting of different cultures who experience the transition to motherhood in the context of immigration, or not, in an attempt to contribute to the provision of culturally congruent care. Qualitative research, using the semi-structured interview. The verbatim of eighty-two interviews, 60 of immigrant women and 22 Portuguese women, was subjected to content analysis, supported by NVivo 10. Overall, immigrant mothers felt that their cultural practices were observed, no significant cultural conflicts occurring in a part of the culture, contributing to satisfaction with the care received. Opposite results emerge elsewhere in the culture, showing that there is still a way to go in promoting adaptation to transitions due to the biggest barrier which is related to the linguistic difficulty, but also with the ignorance of their rights in Portugal which hinders access to health services, and increases the vulnerability felt.