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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123


NUDELMANN, Carmen  and  HALPERN, Ricardo. The role of life events in mothers of malnourished children: the other side of malnutrition. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.3, pp. 1993-1999. ISSN 1413-8123.

The objective of this article is to describe the life story of mothers of malnourished children and their possible associations to socio-demographic and psychosocial aspects. It is a cross sectional study carried out in a public health basic unit in Porto Alegre (RS, Brazil), with a total of 82 mothers. It was used a structured questionnaire with socio demographic, reproductive variables and mothers' live events. A descriptive analysis and chi-square were used to investigate possible associations among the selected variables. Mothers had low schooling, low income and were multiparous besides, suffered parental abuse, had negative experiences with alcoholic parents (67%), were neglect in infancy (65%), have rejected the undernourished baby during pregnancy (70%). They related depression symptoms during pregnancy (70%) and postpartum (60%). The study showed a difference of proportion between mothers who suffered abuse in childhood and those who not suffered according to pregnancy rejection (p<0,001), depression during the pregnancy and after delivery (p<0,001). This study associated mother's life stories with live events that, beyond the social and economic disadvantage, could develop a weak interaction between mother-baby that contribute to malnutrition.

Keywords : Childhood malnutrition; Maternal and child bonding; Alcoholism; Maternal life events.

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