Nicole Valdespino Nogues



Nueve Lunas

Using information to prevent obstetric violence

Building Empathy: Personas

What are the things enabling obstetric violence? How could we prevent it?

Understanding the big picture

I started digging into some bibliography to understand how obstetric violence looks like and its potential causes and enabling factors. I found that there are several different sectors involved; financial, medical, and societal. 

... and narrowing it down

To solve this myself, I chose to focus on the social sector.  I conducted semi-structured interviews to uncover potential enablers of obstetric violence within the community.

A solvable problem

I found that most women rely on other women and their experiences to make decisions, solve doubts and insecurities, as well as to build their understanding of their pregnancies and deliveries. The problem is the misinformation being shared and turned into rooted beliefs in the community making room for obstetric violence to happen. Insights:

Women rely on other women's experiences to build their understanding and expectations of pregnancy and delivery

Women enjoy and try to talk about with women close to them as much as possible. Many rely on sporadic internet searches

Most women feel uncomfortable talking about their bodies and ask questions. Many of them experience pregnancy with many unanswered questions

Most women have experienced some form of obstetric violence without knowing it.

Brainstorm: Defining a

potential solution

I was able to narrow down and identify very specific features that my solution needed to have in order to cater to the very specific user needs I had uncovered

Using information to prevent obstetric violence

In an effort to prevent obstetric violence through the use of information, the creation of an educational website was the chosen approach. Giving women freedom and allowing them to create their own experiences by facilitating adequate information and resources with the ability to interact and learn from other women. 

  • The solution must prove to be reliable 

  • Implement the "woman to woman" experience and sharing 

  • Must be of easy access and educational

  • Give a sense of empathy and security

Iterate! Iterate!

Tested my paper prototype with ten representatives of the target user.  These are some of the main points that came up during testing:

Useless Chatbot

This prototype included a chatbot on the main page. I wanted to see if my potential users would be drawn to it. None of my users tried to use it at any point.

No-account option:  

Users mentioned they might be more interested in having access and exploring content without necessarily having to log in or have an account to track progress


The outcome

By facilitating adequate information that is supported by official health organizations and systems to make it reliable, and through an accessible information resource (Nueve Lunas); we are targeting one of the subproblems and enablers of obstetric violence through the most important stakeholders: women.

Next up

Women around the world experience obstetric violence.  Obstetric violence is the neglect, physical abuse, and lack of respect towards women before, during, and after childbirth. 

Obstetric violence happens on a wide-ranging spectrum, and includes the following:

  • Vaginal exams without consent

  • Forced cesarean surgery

  • Physical force to prevent birth while waiting on the doctor to arrive

  • Physical restraint during birth

  • Sexual comments or sexual assault during exams or procedures

  • Bullying into procedures, like induction, episiotomy, or cesarean, without a medical reason

  • Failing to get consent

  • Being treated/spoken to disrespectfully and/or without regard for autonomy