Maternity in Portugal - Care and rights received by immigrant and Portuguese women during pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum

  • Emília Carvalho Coutinho
  • Alcione Leite Silva
  • Carlos Pereira
  • Alexandra Isabel Almeida
  • Paula Nelas
  • Vitória Parreira
  • Maria Odete Amaral


The quantity and quality of care provided during maternity are factors that influence its experience and the even the acceptance of parenthood. The objectives of this study were to identify the health care received by women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, in Portugal, to understand the meaning assigned to these life stages and also to identify social benefits enjoyed, or hoped for during these periods. The sample that integrates this qualitative nature study corresponds to 60 immigrant and 22 Portuguese women. To collect information a semi-structured interview was used and the data was analysed using aoNvivo10. The results indicate, for the most part, satisfaction with health care provided by the Portuguese National Health Service, which are similar to Portuguese and immigrants. It emphasizes the proper care and monitoring throughout the process, as well as the help and support they received from health professionals. The lack of such care translates into dissatisfaction. In general women were using the various benefits covered within the health system, with the exception of those women who did not know their rights.