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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


GARCIA-JORDA, Dailys; DIAZ-BERNAL, Zoe  and  ACOSTA ALAMO, Marlen. Childbirth in Cuba: analysis of the experience of medically supervised delivery from an anthropological perspective. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.7, pp.1893-1902. ISSN 1678-4561.

Knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum in Cuba is currently deficient. Childbirth has been fundamentally studied as a medical event from its clinical aspects. Analysis of the reproductive process from the Medical Anthropology perspective could contribute to healthcare services providing more humane treatment and empowerment for women and men as the persons primarily responsible for their reproductive processes. This study investigated the experience and perception of childbirth in three hospitals in Havana. The scope of this research was to understand the representation and practice of childbirth and to describe the experiences of women during this event. Qualitative investigation techniques were used, together with interviews and participant observation of 36 women in labor, ten family members and nine obstetricians. The qualitative data was analyzed using Grounded Theory methodology. All the childbirths occurred with numerous medical interventions and the maternity experience was very intense. The participation of men was limited. From the anthropological perspective the routine use of some medical interventions and the institutional regulations described are considered manifestations of physical and gender violence.

Keywords : Childbirth; Labor; Medical anthropology; Motherhood; Medically supervised delivery; Qualitative research.

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