Alternative maternities in Portugal: gender, religion and corporeality

Leading researcher: Anna Fedele
Research group: Circulation and Place-Making
Type of project: Post-doctoral research
Status: Concluded
Keywords: Religion | Spirituality | Alternative forms of mothering | Portugal | Gender

Main institution: CRIA
Participant institutions: n.a.
Funding: FCT
Reference: SFRH/BPD/47864/2008
Starting date: 01-09-12

More information: link


The aim of my research is to explore the importance of religious meanings ascribed to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding among women who choose alternative models of birthing and mothering in Portugal. Virtually no literature about this phenomenon in Europe exists and Portugal offers a privileged site because women do not dispose of any legally regulated procedures that support them in their choices to give birth at home. Nevertheless in Portugal there exists a striving movement for “natural” pregnancy and childbirth as well as groups to support breastfeeding women or women in their early maternity. The three thematic axes of my research are: 1) the sacralization of the female body, corporeality and emotion 2) the influence of religion and the role of Catholic inheritance 3) the role of gender and power in the construction of supposedly gender equal and non-hierarchical communities/relationship.

Researchers from CRIA

IDNamePositionProjTitleProject typeStatus
pub106*Antónia Pedroso de LimaSupervisorproj316*Alternative maternities in Portugal: gender, religion and corporealityPost-doctoral researchConcluded
pub22*Anna FedeleResearch scholarproj316*Alternative maternities in Portugal: gender, religion and corporealityPost-doctoral researchConcluded
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