“Natural” and “humanized” childbirth in the perspective of middle class and poor women in Rio de Janeiro

Olivia Nogueira Hirsch About the author

Abstract

This paper, part of a PhD research, aims to understand the meanings given by women from different social classes to the so called “humanized birth”. The investigation included interviews and fieldwork in two places, both of them in the city of Rio de Janeiro: in a public birth center and in a private pre-natal course, offered by a ReHuNa activist. The results suggest that middle class women give special importance to the reduction in pharmacological intervention and to the body experience, considered to provide a subjective growth. The poor women value specially the way in which they are treated by the nurses/midwives that work in the birth center and the fact that there they are treated as people, not only as a body that gives birth, as usually happens in public maternities in Brazil.

Keywords:
Humanized birth; Poor class; Middle class

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