The proposal of “humanization” of childbirth care has gained ground in the last decades in Brazil, having spread mainly in the urban middle strata. However, through its incorporation into the public health system, the proposal was also extended to women from the lower classes. This reality has posed some challenges and has raised questions about the format that “humanized” assistance has assumed in public institutions. Based on the analysis of two specific situations experienced by women of different social classes (one assisted in the public sector and the other in the private sector), the article seeks to reflect on the notions of “natural” childbirth and “humanized” childbirth, pointing out, in each of these contexts, different perceptions about “humanization” and, consequently, considerations on what could be viewed as its opposite: “obstetric violence”.
Childbirth; Humanized assistance; Social class; Obstetric violence