Humanized childbirth: how does it work? Can you do it for SUS?

Talking about humanized childbirth, sometimes, involves a series of information that is somewhat mismatched. This is because not all professionals have the same definition of what, in fact, he is.

There are those who indicate that humanized childbirth is one that does not use surgical procedures, always respecting the time of the mother and baby. Thus, if there is no medical need, normal delivery with minimal clinical intervention is performed.

But there are also those who argue that women’s choices prevail. Thus, if the choice is for anesthesia or even cesarean, as long as it is the mother’s decision, it can be humanized.

In this case, care and reception are equally focused on the maternal process, always aiming at the mother’s well-being and reducing or avoiding unnecessary clinical procedures.

But one thing is a consensus among doctors, doulas, caregivers and advocates of humanized childbirth: he values ​​the maternal moment of giving birth, focuses on the mother, respects her decisions, takes information about risks and drastically reduces procedures unnecessary. That is, he is, in fact, more human.

Continue reading to learn more about the topic!

What is humanized childbirth?

Humanized delivery is not a type of delivery, but a process of assistance and respect for the mother and baby. This considers that normal birth is physiological and, most births, can occur without medical interventions.

Likewise, it is argued that the mother’s body is generally capable of leading, controlling and allowing the entire process to take place safely.

The medical team must then accompany and assist the woman, respecting her choices and understanding that that moment is unique. Every intervention must be communicated to the mother and her wishes must be prioritized.

For humanized delivery, it is also essential to ensure that the mother can see and take the baby immediately after birth, as well as having contact with him during the entire hospital stay or hospital stay.

World Health Organization guidelines

Guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate protocols that should be part of mother care and childbirth assistance, aiming at reducing medicalization and unnecessary hospitalization for healthy childbirth.

Thus, it appears to WHO that the mother has:

  • Right to choose the companion during labor and birth;
  • Right to respectful care and assistance;
  • Right to clear and complete communication about all the procedures that will be performed;
  • Guarantee that your wishes, manifested before and during childbirth, are respected, except at risk to her or the child’s life;
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality;
  • Freedom for pain management (use of anesthesia), position for labor and birth.

What is the difference between normal and humanized delivery?

Humanized childbirth is one that aims to make birth less medicalized and protocolized. In other words, the method wants to make childbirth as human and cozy, respecting the woman’s wishes and needs, as well as the baby’s birth time. But it can’t necessarily be done in hospitals.

Normal delivery, however, is one that is not cesarean, that is, vaginal. This implies that he is not necessarily humanized, little medicalized or better suited to the mother.

This means that even normal childbirth can violate the mother’s wishes, applying anesthesia (or not applying it), requiring the woman to remain in uncomfortable postures or performing an episiotomy (cutting in the perineum region) unnecessarily.

Although there are health or childbirth professionals who argue that humanized childbirth is only what occurs naturally, there are others who argue that even a cesarean section can be humanized. To do this, it is sufficient to reduce unnecessary clinical interventions to the maximum.

Thus, it can be considered that humanized births can be natural, performed at home or in hospitals, in addition to cesarean sections. They can use anesthesia if the woman needs or desires it, as well as other procedures when authorized and desired.

How long does a humanized delivery take?

The time of normal humanized delivery is different for each pregnancy. After the woman has reached 4 cm of dilation, with frequent and regular contractions, the average time until the baby is born is 15 hours. But this is relative, and there may be mothers who deliver much faster and others who exceed 15 hours.

In humanized delivery, this time is respected taking into account the health of the mother and baby. In other words, procedures are not carried out to accelerate birth, nor is a cesarean section contemplated just so that the birth is faster.

If there are risks to the life of the mother or baby, or the woman expresses the desire for medical intervention (due to very severe pain, for example), then options for cesarean delivery, hormone application or anesthesia are considered.

What is humanized home birth?

Humanized home birth is done at home, in an environment prepared for the birth of the child. Although done at home, it does not mean that there is no monitoring of specialists, as nursing and medical professionals, in addition to doulas, can accompany and assist the mother.

Although some professionals are cautious when considering childbirth at home, some argue that a healthy pregnancy and good planning can guarantee safe home births.

This is because, in emergency cases, there would be no clinical or hospital support to assist the mother and child.

However, studies also indicate that if all procedures indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for checking safe childbirth are followed, there is no greater risk of complications or deaths due to home birth.

Women who choose this process, in general, want to experience the moment of giving birth in more affective, familiar and comfortable environments. In addition, with the presence of professionals involved in humanized childbirth, the risks of unnecessary procedures (such as the application of hormones to accelerate birth) are reduced.

Humanized hospital childbirth: does it have SUS?

Yes , although – as with private networks – it is not as frequent as it should be. The Ministry of Health has campaigns that promote the circulation of information about the importance of humanized childbirth and its practices.

The organization argues that mothers are entitled to peaceful, private, airy environments with good facilities for their reception. In addition, the woman is entitled to the presence of her or his companion during the entire process.

This campaign aims to bring information and awareness to mothers, but also to health professionals and hospitals that deliver.

Following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, the guidance is that the entire public network favors normal birth and disseminates the benefits of it.

In addition, even when vaginal birth is not possible, care and respect for the mother and child must be present practices. Therefore, yes, there is a humanized delivery by SUS.

As in the private network (health or private plans), the ideal is to meet the medical team that will deliver the baby, talk to the obstetrician who accompanies the pregnancy and make clear the desire to have a little medicalized delivery. .

Confidence in the professional and in the place chosen for birth is fundamental so that there is less risk of obstetric violence or disrespect for the mother’s wishes.


Pregnancy is a time of intense changes in a woman’s life. Many wait anxiously for the moment of giving birth, which may involve various feelings, such as fear, anxiety and expectation.

The medical team or other professionals and family members who will accompany the pregnant woman during labor must prioritize humanized, respectful and safe care.

Therefore, more and more mothers and health entities point out the importance of defending humanized childbirth, even if it is done in the hospital.

See more tips and information that involve motherhood, from pregnancy to childcare, at Minute Healthy!

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