The quality of birth experiences among middle-class Romanian women focusing on obstetric violence, potential tensions, and the perception of a good birth experience

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Kelsie Bernot, Ph.D.


Department of Biology

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019




Childbirth is a natural process that most women get to experience within their lifetime. There is very little data on Romanian births, and more specifically, Romanian women’s birth experiences. Since this data is very hard to find and report, this study was designed to get more insight about the birth experiences of Romanian women that included the frequency of cesarean sections, obstetric violence, tensions, and the overall perception of the experience. In this study, thirteen women from Cluj-Napoca, Romania were interviewed to gain more insight about their birth experiences. Only five interviews have been analyzed for this interview, while the remaining 8 are going through the analyzing process. Three out of five women delivered vaginally, the remainder underwent a cesarean section for parturition. In terms of obstetric violence, three of the women reported that they did not experience any violence. Contrastingly, two women reported their experience as negative and experienced some type of coercion or violence. In terms of tensions, three of the women reported that they experienced tension with their health care professionals in regards to birth plans and overall quality of care. In two of the women’s interviews, they experienced little to no tension and stated that the nurses gave them the best quality of care. In terms of the perception of the experience, three women described the overall experience as a positive one. Contrastingly, two of the women perceived their experience as a negative one. For the women who reported their birth experience as positive, they had a good relationship with their health professionals, had a relatively safe birth, and felt well taken care of in their respective facilities. For the women who reported their birth experience in a negative light noted tainted relationships with their healthcare professionals, the presence of coercion, and lack of autonomy in choosing the birth plan. In conclusion, the study supports that to move in the direction toward a more supportive and positive birth experience for women, it is essential to have a sustainable balance between autonomy, support, education and advocacy within the doctor-patient relationship.

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