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AIBU to request no male midwife

999 replies

Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 03/12/2019 11:33

I know I'm probably being unreasonable, but I am due to give birth soon and at the hospital where I'm planning on giving birth, there are a few male midwives employed.

I think it's great that there are male midwives. It really must take a special kind of man to want to do that job and I expect they're very professional and amazing in their roles.

I know many women who've said that having a male midwife was better than a female etc etc as they were more sympathetic.

But for some reason, which I can't explain as I don't know why, I just feel so uncomfortable at the thought of having a male deliver my baby. It's not a sexual thing. I don't think a man will look at my vagina and get turned on or anything like that. I know they see plenty every day. I would feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, exposed and embarrassed if there was a man present (other than DH).

I know people will say "when you're in labour you won't care who's in the room", but I will care. I've given birth three times before and I did care then. I enjoyed my previous births and I was comfortable being surrounded by lovely women caregivers. I felt very feminine and powerful. I didn't care if the female caregiver had given birth herself or not, so it's not even a case of feeling the male midwife wouldn't have empathy or anything like that, which is what my friend suggested.

Am I the only person who feels like this?
How can I articulate my request to the hospital in my birth plan without sounding like a sexist pig? I feel so bad feeling his way as I know they're great at their jobs. I just know for sure I'd be so uncomfortable in my primal self giving birth and likely pooping myself in front of another man.

I'm the same with GPs and even dentists too, I just feel more comfortable under the care of another woman. What's wrong with me? Come to think of it, any make who is in a position of power/authority to me (eg senior colleagues) I always feel so vulnerable and inferior. Why?!!!! Help!

OP posts:
Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:36

I thought about this but then I read an article about Male midwives and there are barely any in the U.K. your chances of getting one are tiny. I can’t remember the exact amount, I’ll try and find it

moreismore · 03/12/2019 11:38

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable and I felt the same. I wanted to aim for a natural delivery with hypnobirthing techniques to manage pain and who was in the room was an important part of that.

I would say if for whatever reason my delivery had become an emergency, I wouldn’t have minded who came to help.

You can ask your midwife to record that you aren’t comfortable having a male midwife present. How your delivery actually proceeds and the setting you have chosen to give birth may well impact this though due to staffing... worth a conversation now.

Confusedbeetle · 03/12/2019 11:38

Are you uncomfortable with male doctorswho may end up delivering, or medical students who might stitch

Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 11:40

It's fine to request female staff*, and also ok to refuse the presence of students.

*tiny possibility that they may not be available, but only tiny

Selfsettling3 · 03/12/2019 11:40

Yabu to request a change of midwife for any reason.

Busybeebeebee · 03/12/2019 11:40

Having been in the situation where I had a male midwife for my first birth, I can honestly say at the time of pushing out a baby, especially a back-to-back or instrumental delivered baby, you won’t care who’s got what between their legs other than what’s coming out of between yours!

Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:41

@Busybeebeebee OP had already had 3 children and said she did care (as did I)

RoxytheRexy · 03/12/2019 11:41

That’s absolutely fine. I wouldn’t want one either. No reason. Just don’t fancy it

Just say to your team and they will be happy to find you a female

Busybeebeebee · 03/12/2019 11:42

YABVU Angry I’m actually quite cross because this is entirely a sexist way of thinking and I am not one for being PC or feminist at all!

northbacchus · 03/12/2019 11:43

Years ago my mother had a male midwife. She found it fine but felt that rather than listening to her, he only listened to my father.

I experienced the same with male doctors when I was recently pregnant, however when it came to pushing - I ultimately did not care who was in the room.

Smileyaxolotl1 · 03/12/2019 11:43

Yanbu - I didn’t have any men involved in any of my maternity care and I was pleased that was the case.
As you say it’s not because i think they are perverted or incompetent I just wouldn’t like the idea.

easyandy101 · 03/12/2019 11:43

It really isn't sexist

Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 03/12/2019 11:44

Yes, I would be uncomfortable with a male doctor or a male student.
In the hospital I'm going to, all the doctors are female though so its irrelevant. Obviously if it were a life or death situation for me or the baby then no, I probably wouldn't care who was assisting. But for me to have a natural birth (three previously were all very straightforward so fingers crossed this will be too), I would only feel comfortable under the care of females. Whether they be students or whatever, I wouldn't care.

I'm not in the UK. At the particular hospital I'm going to, there are 4 male midwives. So I suppose the chances of getting one would be minimal, but I've actually had two almost sleepless nights worrying about this.
Yes I know, there must be something wrong with me? I seriously wish I didn't feel like this! I'd love it to be a non issue!

OP posts:
Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:44

I loved the womanhood of birth and labour too.

Don’t know why they all turn into evil bastards once you get to the post natal ward though

littlemissalwaystired · 03/12/2019 11:45

Would you feel the same if it was a male obstetrician delivering your baby? A lot of the time the only senior doctor on our ward is male.

Busybeebeebee · 03/12/2019 11:45

So say it goes to c-section. Are you ok with a male surgeon, anaesthetist, paediatrician?

Merryoldgoat · 03/12/2019 11:45

I won’t go so far as to say YABU but it wouldn’t bother me. However, my mum was extremely upfront about medical stuff and taught me the same so even from quite young (I had problem periods from very young) I’ve been fine with male HCPs.

I have seen some excellent male and female doctors over my lifetime and all I care about is competence and kindness.

Celebelly · 03/12/2019 11:45

I think you can request it but I'm sure a lot will depend on who is actually on staff when you go in, particularly if they employ a few male midwives. If it's a busy night and the other midwives are busy, I can't see how it always could be honoured, unless they pull someone else's midwife away from them, which would be pretty rotten for them if they were mid-labour. So I think you can ask but it might not be possible for them to guarantee I imagine.

Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 11:45

The priority when a woman is giving birth is that she feels as comfortable as is possible. If a woman feels nervous, afraid or uncomfortable that can adversely affect the progress of the labour.
The priority is always the well-being of the patient.

mclover · 03/12/2019 11:45

Your body, your birth, your choice. they are prepared that some women will decline to use them, so don't worry

Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:45

There is nothing wrong with you, simply request in your notes a female midwife. It’s not at all unusual

Lolacat1234 · 03/12/2019 11:45

Sorry but I feel YABU. Would you allow a male consultant in if things (god forbid) escalated and you needed assistance?

It is definitely your choice but I feel it's a bit sexist in a way. You could argue that a man would never "know" what it's like to be pregnant and give birth etc which would make some uncomfortable but there are young female midwives who haven't yet had children that are in the same position and can be just as empathetic and supportive as women who have been there done that.

I've had a male consultant gynae have to do my LLETZ procedure and follow up smears when I had abnormal cervical cells and don't see it as any different. Maybe that's why I'm ok with it and I can understand if you've never had a man poking around down there in a medical setting you may feel uncomfortable.

Merryoldgoat · 03/12/2019 11:46

Don’t know why they all turn into evil bastards once you get to the post natal ward though

Post natal care is so woeful. It was an utter shock the first time I had a baby.

RaymondStopThat · 03/12/2019 11:47

It's about freedom of choice and what makes a woman in a vulnerable position feel most comfortable. It's not sexist.

Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:47

Well, I’d rather a female consultant but would of course accept a Male. My first birth involved a Male midwife (by baby nearly died, every available midwife had to attend my room, so he was one of many) and I still haven’t forgot it.

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