Women's experiences of maternity care: satisfaction or passivity?

Soc Sci Med. 2000 Jul;51(1):103-13. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(99)00443-8.


This study is a first attempt to describe Lebanese women's responses to the medical management of their pregnancy and delivery. A qualitative approach in data collection and analysis was adopted to gain an in-depth view of women's perceptions. Women of any parity undergoing a normal vaginal delivery during the three months preceding the interview were interviewed in different areas in Lebanon: one urban, one semi-rural and two remote rural. Childbirth for all the women interviewed was managed within the medical system. Findings show that women accord total trust to their physicians, and very rarely question the usefulness of many routinely applied procedures, even those which the literature shows are unnecessary. When probed, women report that many aspects of the technical care are intimidating and that they experience discomfort with these procedures. Women are more vocal about patient-provider communication and value good interaction with their provider. The extent of passivity and feelings of discontent women have varies according to their social class and the amount of psychosocial support they receive throughout the process of childbirth.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lebanon
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Postnatal Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Privacy
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Social Support