This study analyzes patients' expectations at a public maternity hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, concerning childbirth care. The methodology was based on a thematic analysis of interviews held during the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy. The study analyzed women's information on humanization of childbirth care, experience pertaining to care received during previous deliveries, their notions of ideal treatment during the current delivery, and attention received from the health care team. The results show that women's expectations focus on three main elements: speedy hospital admission, guaranteed admission to the maternity hospital, and treatment by an attentive and skilled team that cares for the patient's own health and that of her infant. Conflicting information on quality of care in the maternity hospital is a source of additional stress for these women, since in their view quality of care is more a matter of luck than routine institutional management. Based on these expectations, the authors assess the challenges for humanization of childbirth care currently under implementation in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Humanizing Delivery; Maternal-Child Health Services; Prenatal Care