Since their insertion in the delivery rooms of public hospitals, nurse midwives have striven for humanized care in childbirth.
To identify the practices employed by nurse midwives in childbirth care in public hospitals and their contribution to the consolidation of humanization of childbirth.
A descriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional, study, held in maternity hospitals of the public health system in Rio de Janeiro, evaluating records of 4,787 childbirths, of which 2,914 (59.73%) were attended by nurse midwives.
In Maternity Hospital A, 68.50% of childbirths were attended by nurse midwives, while in Maternity Hospital B, the figure was 43.07%. The adoption of upright positions was predominant (78.95%). Encouraging walking occurred in 37.29% of deliveries. Episiotomy occurred only in 4.0% of childbirths.
The most frequent practices were those that do not negatively influence the physiology, contributing to the humanization. The occurrence of interventionist practices represents an ongoing process of change.
Obstetric nursing; Humanizing Delivery; Women's Health; Medicalization