Research: FLEISCHER,

Listed in Issue 161


FLEISCHER, Centro Feminista de Estudos e Assessoria, Brasilia, DF.  present ethnographic data, collected between 2004 and 2005, about the obstetric service offered by a group of 21 midwives in the city of Melgaco, state of Para, Brazil.


The literature has largely described the work of midwives in Brazil and in many other countries around the world. However, there is a kind of practice, which was analyzed very scarcely up to now.


The objective of this article is to discuss precisely the practice called puxacao, an abdominal massage performed mainly on pregnant women to alleviate indispositions, inform the position and sex of the foetus, help define the date and place of delivery, socialize women for maternity and put pregnancy into the context of the local patterns of reproduction, family, well being and health.


RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS: It can be observed that these midwives offer a very suitable and appropriate pre-natal service, well adapted to the specific needs of the women of the town. Even though homebirth has been slowly giving way to hospital birth, this personalized service and practice keeps increasing.



Fleischer S. [Come on my child, let's have some massage?"Puxacao", midwives and reproduction in Melgaco, Para]. [Portuguese].  Ciencia & Saude Coletiva. 13(3):889-98. May-Jun 2008.

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