How do Muslim women give birth in England?(13 Posts)
DD asked me about this because of privacy issues and contact with men. I wasn't sure how to answer and DH (who has taught RE) didn't know.
Is there any consideration or sensitivity shown in hospitals ?
I imagine like anyone else. I have a friend who is a very devout Muslim and she had a fouth degree tear. She had male consultant sew her up because it was a matter of life and death. My impression is that most Muslims see that emergency medical treatment to save someone's life is more important than dignity. Certainly her husband was relieved that his wife and daughter were alive.
I imagine that muslim women hate internal examinations as much as the rest of us. Lots of women prefer a female doctor/ midwife whenever possible.
I hope that sensitivity and consideration is show to all women whatever their beliefs are. I doult that anything extra can be done for Muslim women.
I'm Muslim and hv 4 dc, it makes no difference to me the gender of the dr/midwife as long as they delivered my babies and gave me lots of drugs in the process
I am muslim n have had male/female doctors at all of my births.. as have most of the most muslim women I know.
all of my inhibitions go out the window when there is a baby stuck in my naan bread!
I am Muslim. I did/would generally prefer a female midwife if possible. If it gets to an "all hands on deck" type situation, then I really don't care as long as they're good at their job!
After having dd, a male midwife came for a home visit, as soon as I answered the door, he rang his colleague to swap with her, which I really appreciated. But, again if I needed to community care and only a man was around to do it, then fine.
There was a small study looking at this a few years ago:
ha we laugh about this alot my friends and i. everyone has their ideal about how their birth will go. in my birth plan i had requested that i wanted midwives only at my birth. i wanted it to be female led and female only so opted for a birth at a birth centre rather than the hospital. i weighed up the fact id lose out on advanced pain relief with the advantage that a birth centre was less likely to have male doctors and other professionals. i had some friends who wanted to have home births also just to have more control over who saw them during the birth. but they were also the type to prefer natural to modern medicine which i didnt mind.
my first two births were straightforward and just attended by midwives throughout but ds2's birth was complicated and ended up being transferred to main hospital. and i found quite naturally in the throes of labour and childbirth all traditions and conventions on modesty flew out the window!
i read that report beginnersluck and found it very interesting. i never stayed in a hospital upto 24 hours as i found the privacy and food issue very difficult and preferred to go home where i would be more comfortable. the maternity ward people were telling some mothers 'you can go home now' but with me saying 'you have to stay here longer'!
I am not muslim but DH is and we live in a muslim country. I see a male gynaecologist so presumably lots of other women do. Interestingly though, there is always a female chaperone but my DH is not allowed into the examination room which I found really odd. DH suggests it might be something to do with some men not liking seeing even a male Dr examining their wives in such a way. This Dr attends many births but generally here childbirth is something husbands keep well away from, mothers and sisters are more likely to be birth partners.
the same way as everyone else!!! most people i know put women midwife only on the birth plan, but then if its an emergency that can go out of the window. i had male anasthatistic and doctors with some of mine, especially with my oldest - he was born in theatre with an emergency forceps situation so loads of men were there, but by that point i did not really care tbh
some ppl go for home births to avoid the issue of men being around totally - but then like everyone else, sometimes medical issues means u cant go for home birth!
I also opted for a birth centre to avoid a make consultant (all midwifes there were female). That worked fine first time. I also chose to remain dressed as I was more confortable like that, dsil give birth with a sheet over her legs and me at head end so I couldn't see.
With second baby everything got more complicated. I was sure baby was imminent and got dh to call an ambulance. He hurriedly dressed me, as I didn't care much at that point, in hindsight I'm grateful he did! Especially as he thought I was going to have to go out house and to hospital in ambulance. I could feel the baby's head and knew I wasn't going anywhere but could articulate that!
One paramedic was male and he 'knew' how I felt somehow? And so he took responsibility for baby and the female paramedic looked after me (they always split apparently) and he ran back to the ambulance (before ds was born) leaving female paramedic with me. I really appreciated that, but if it had been two male paramedics I wouldn't have complained as I was grateful they were ther just in case although luckily it was a very fast and extremely simple birth and we both got to stay at home afterwards.
Second time was more
The ideal as far as medical contact goes is to be attended my females if possible, if not then muslim males (who would be aware of the issues) and then by non-muslim males. Correct me if I'm wrong someone???
The reality here in the uk is somewhat different. Like crescentmoon I was hoping for a natural birth attended by midwives (though there is a male midwife in our maternity hospital so not sure what I'd have done if I got him1). Then I had a breech baby who came early, and it was medical medical all the way, with lots and lots of men!
When it comes down to it, most Muslim women just do what needs to be done I think. Personally I wanted to keep my headscarf on despite having much worse parts of me revealed, which may not be logical but that's how I felt. I also wanted to be covered up as soon as possible, despite knowing that these people had seen me uncovered. Although immediately after c-section i was so out of it I wasn't really aware of anything like that.
Other women I know who have had more natural births have prefered to keep it women only, and also prefered to stay as covered as possible (for example a friend were a long jersey dress which she only lifted up at the last possible time!).
I spent a lot of time in hospital and was very frustrated by the lack of awareness. No-one was intending anything bad, but it was so hot and I had to keep my headscarf on at all times as no-one ever knocked before coming in etc etc. I suppose it's just one more thing to think about when you're working in a busy hospital.
I live in the middle east and a friend of mine is pg here now. She says that at the local women's hospital where most ladies have their babies, the husbands are not allowed in the hospital at all - not even to be with their wives for labour, yet the majority of the doctors and obs/gyns are men.
I think they have some kind of accepted prvilege whereby they are not really seen in the same light as 'random men' when acting in a professional capacity.
I guess, same way I will. I have PTSD from an assault, so having any men at intimate examinations would be ... less than ideal. I'd just make sure it was on my notes that I would really not deal well with male health care practitioners.
Join the discussion
Please login first.