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What' s the general consensus on male midwives?

(97 Posts)
mimismummy Thu 15-May-08 16:05:26

Just curious really. Had a conversation with a friend today who says she would be fine with it. I'm not so sure, but I don't know why, really, as I am fine with male doctors and nurses caring for me. Just wondered what other people felt about this and whether anybody had any experience of this.

pollyblue Thu 15-May-08 16:14:17

I think the most important thing is how confident you feel in a midwife's capabilities and how well you get on with them. I don't think you have to be a woman to have empathy with a woman in labour - i met a couple of midwives when i was expecting who made me quite nervous - very good at their jobs but i wouldn't have been comfortable if they'd been with me for the birth. TBH i am surprised there aren't more male midwives, esp since it's common now for women to have their partners with them for the birth, it's not considered a women-only event any more.

ListersSister Thu 15-May-08 16:16:12

For me, for antenatal care - fine. For post natal care - fine. But for labour - no. I am with Odent on this one, for me, having a male presence when I am in labour would be inhibiting. In fact, I would prefer it to be just me for it bar the actual deleivery. Any presence felt intrusive, and I know that a male one would have felt doubly so. However, that is me, having hippy-dippy-home-water-births. I think for those that don't have physiological births, are in hospital with interventions etc, then the dynamic changes, and the gender of the midwife is less important.

I am sure that just as many women don't give a stuff as those that do though!

more Thu 15-May-08 16:17:49

The people in the delivery room were there to help me whether they were nurses, midwives, or doctors and I appreciated them all, male and female, being there for me. (and almost all them were gazing up and rumaging around my nether regions).

more Thu 15-May-08 16:20:14

If all the female midwifes were "taken" and your choice suddenly became, male midwife or no midwife. What would you choose?
It is more than likely that you are never going to see any of them again.

frogs Thu 15-May-08 16:21:03

If I had a choice between a fab male midwife or a fantastic female midwife, i probably would prefer a woman tbh. But I'd much rather have a good male midwife than some of the grumpy females I've had to endure in the course of giving birth 3 times.

charliegal Thu 15-May-08 16:24:42

i am with Michel Odent on this too-not for delivery.

LynetteScavo Thu 15-May-08 16:26:23

I had a male midwife deliver DS1, and he was fab, but to be honest when he started his shift, DH and I wouldn't have cared if a purple baboon had come to deliver our baby.

The birth was very "medical", though, adn it was a bit strange giving birth to a boy, with DH, a male midwife, and a male OB. (You should have heard the cheer when they realised DS was a boy!)

He was WAY better than the female witch of a midwife I had with DS2.

HOWEVER, I had a home birth with DD, which was very gentle, with no intervention, and I'm extreamly glad a had the kind gentle, female midwife who had delivered hundreds af babies, including her own grandchildren.

WigWamBam Thu 15-May-08 16:32:30

As long as the midwife was kind, efficient, confident and good at the job, their gender wouldn't bother me.

I hardly imagine that they would be at all interested in looking at my nether regions for any other reason than to get the baby out!

Being female doesn't automatically equate with being a good midwife, and it certainly doesn't automatically equate with being empathic; I had twelve (female) midwives throughout my 24 hours in labour with dd, and none of them came within twenty feet of me until I was fully dilated - apart from to bark orders and call me names when I became tired and upset. Anything, male or female, would be better than that.

FioFio Thu 15-May-08 16:33:45

Message withdrawn

bundle Thu 15-May-08 16:34:12

they tend to be men

jingleyjen Thu 15-May-08 16:34:28

I would have no problem with the antenatal care or delivery but am not sure how comfortable I would have been with the stitching up afterwards.

SKYTVADDICT Thu 15-May-08 16:36:31

We too had a fab male midwife with DS1. By the time he came on shift I don't think we cared either and it was mostly through his intervention and say so that we eventually got an emergency c/s. He was lovely afterwards too, bed baths etc.

Tbh didn't even think about him being a male.

His hands were much bigger than the females though - and that was after an epidural! grin

bundle Thu 15-May-08 16:37:05

what about female obsts? they ok?

<<hides thread>>

themildmanneredjanitor Thu 15-May-08 16:39:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

themildmanneredjanitor Thu 15-May-08 16:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thelittlestbadger Thu 15-May-08 16:41:11

I didn't have a male midwife but did have a male anaethetist when I was loudly demanding an epidural... Fortunately when he asked me to sit up to put the thing in my back he noticed that DD was well on her way and proceeded to deliver her and hand her over to DH in tears saying how pleased he was to have seen that (despite the poo grin) so I wouldn't think I would mind a male midwife in fact although I might mind the idea of one IYSWIM

LadyOfWaffle Thu 15-May-08 16:41:57

Wouldn't bother me - infact I would prefer it, I just get on with men better. I had about 5 people standing around in my labour, men and women and I really couldn't have cared less TBH.

mimismummy Thu 15-May-08 16:44:56

Glad to hear of some really positive experiences of male midwives. I really don't know why i feel this way about them and maybe if i was actually in labour, I would be like some have already said on hear, beyond caring and just grateful for some good support - which obviously can come from both male and female midwives. I have to say, i would not be comfortable with a male midwife for the after care - ie. for stitches (thankfully never had), directions re bf, advice re afterpains, etc . But, again, I can't rationalise the way i feel and am sure I am being slightly unreasonable and unfair to male midwives

mimismummy Thu 15-May-08 16:46:07

on here (duh)

MrsTittleMouse Thu 15-May-08 16:48:03

But I had a man sew me up anyway - he was a SHO, as I ended up in the CLU. I bet that a lot of women have men sew them up. He wasn't a great advert for men though - he made a right mess of it.

mimismummy Thu 15-May-08 17:15:18

Yeah, I can see what you're saying MrsTM - male obstetricians are the norm, really, aren't they - and i think whilst I don't like the idea of a male midwife, in reality, I probably wouldn't care as long as I got good care when I needed it

peppamum Thu 15-May-08 17:16:34

I had a male midwife with DS and like the others, wouldn't have cared if he was a baboon by the point I went to hospital. The advantage I saw was that at least he couldn't take a patronising 'I've had four kids and it didn't hurt, what are you moaning about!' attitude!( Not that any female midwife I've seen has either, but I have heard stories).

MrsTittleMouse Thu 15-May-08 17:39:58

Previous to my horrible birth experience I actually preferred men as I found that they were more gentle/respectful as they didn't have one and knew that they had no idea how it felt. I had a dreadful female GP give me a smear test that left me feeling violated. I think that she had strong religious beliefs (in retrospect) and didn't approve of a young woman in her 20s who was sexually active.

So I don't think that it would make much difference, as long as they were supportive and treated me well.

Greensleeves Thu 15-May-08 17:43:36

Hmmm.... there were loads and loads of people rushing in and out, shouting, playing with machinery and peering up my proverbial when ds1 was born. It was like Clapham Junction up there. I must say that when a bloke in a plastic butcher's apron shoved his meaty paw up me, ripped me the extra two inches and said "NOW she can push" I wasn't asking for his CV, recent relevant experience and job description hmm

<so long and thanks for the haemorrhage and blood transfusion, Dr Fuckface>

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