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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:
MrsMaiselsMuff · 03/12/2019 11:47

You're not being unreasonable, but you are being sexist.

Celebelly · 03/12/2019 11:48

I think emergency situations are different too. They were worried my baby was at risk of death so I didn't give a shiny shite who saw what or who was there. They were trying to cover me up as they rushed me to theatre and I honestly didn't even care. That's a different situation to planned labouring, however. No way would I have even thought about requesting a female doctor for that surgery or considered wasting any time with requests like that.

PenelopeFlintstone · 03/12/2019 11:50

YANBU and you’re not being sexist either.

IWantADifferentName · 03/12/2019 11:50


You do not need to justify your feelings. You only need to articulate them.

‘I would like a female midwife, please’.
‘I am more comfortable with a female midwife.’
Or possibly
‘I am not comfortable with a male midwife’.

randomzzz · 03/12/2019 11:50

Those who say you ABU are themselves being unreasonable. These are your feelings and they are valid. It's up to each woman to do whatever she feels comfortable with- that is your right! Fine if others would have no problem with it, good for them. But you shouldn't be told to change your feelings. Thanks

53rdWay · 03/12/2019 11:50

YANBU. In the same way that you preferring a female health professional for a smear test would not be unreasonable, or a man preferring a prostate exam from a male health professional would not be unreasonable.

Savingshoes · 03/12/2019 11:50

You can refuse a midwife for any reason. It is your body and you choose who handles it. I would ensure its in your care plan thing.

Congratulations!! Grin

Stressedout10 · 03/12/2019 11:50

No I don't think your unreasonable. It's a very intimate thing giving birth and you should be in control of who is there and what happens.
That said things rarely go to plan, and men can be great midwifes.
My ds was delivered by a man (paramedic) in the back of the ambulance and I couldn't fault him in any way he was the kindest and most compassionate person I've ever met. He listened to me and put me at the centre of the delivery in a way that no female midwife ever had or has . He made a horrific premature delivery calm safe and managable

PotteringAlong · 03/12/2019 11:52

In the hospital I'm going to, all the doctors are female


Etiquetteworry · 03/12/2019 11:52

As you're not in the UK and are potentially paying to have your baby then I'd say crack on, request whatever you like. For me this would be an unreasonable request if you were having free NHS treatment but not unreasonable in the private sector.

TruffleShuffles · 03/12/2019 11:52

I didn’t have my baby in the U.K. and in the country I gave birth the majority of midwives were male and all the senior ones were males. I only saw one female doctor during my entire pregnancy. I much preferred the males, the female gave off a bit of a know it all attitude as she had given birth whereas the males were all extremely professional and sympathetic.

I have only had one child so can’t compare my experience with a birth where I only encountered female doctors or midwives but if I was forced to choose between both now I would choose to have males again.

Cheeseandwin5 · 03/12/2019 11:52

Is it OK for a man to ask for a male doctor, pilot driver, financial advisor or any role?
Would anyone really accept that in this day and age.
Being female should help understand about narrow minded prejudice and not give us an excuse to be part of it.

Passthecherrycoke · 03/12/2019 11:53

It’s ok for a man to request a male doctor for intimate medical care. Why wouldn’t it be? Hmm

Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 03/12/2019 11:53

I don't know if it is sexist? When having PAP smears many women request a female nurse or doctor to do it and nobody bats an eyelid.

As I said, emergency situation, I wouldn't care if it was male, female, alien. Also stated that all 100% of the doctors at the hospital I'm attending are female. So irrelevant question in this scenario.

Thank you for those of you who've reassured me. I'm going to put a request on my notes that I'd prefer female only care.

OP posts:
churchandstate · 03/12/2019 11:54

Unfortunately - although I understand where you are coming from - I think the service we can expect from the NHS is professional, safe and ethical. I don’t think we should be able to specify the sex of a HCP.

Ladida01 · 03/12/2019 11:54

No YANBU. Good luck with it all

easyandy101 · 03/12/2019 11:55

Yes men could request a male doctor

The others, not so much, because they dont perform any kind of intimate job role

Is that a serious question?

Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 11:55

I feel like this is a situation in which it is OK for OP to be sexist, because her health and comfort are more important than whether or not a male midwife gets to treat her. She's already losing sleep over it, fgs.

Fwiw I always request a female GP when I need to see a doctor, no matter what it's about. There is a sign in the surgery that reads "If you are seeking advice related to termination of pregnancy please make an appointment to see Dr X or Dr Y." Dr X and Dr Y are the only two female GPs. This tells me everything I need to know about the male GPs' respect for female bodily autonomy.

Also, I've spent time socialising with male medical students. Quite a few of them had revolting attitudes towards women and women's bodies. I doubt they experienced some kind of spiritual epiphany at the moment of qualification.

woodchuck99 · 03/12/2019 11:55

YANBU. I had a male midwife and it did make me feel uncomfortable. I think it made the birth proceed less well than it would have done because of it. Nobody actually asked me if I minded and I was too much pain initially to say. I had stated no male students on my birth plan that no one bothered to read it anyway.

Derbee · 03/12/2019 11:55

YABU, and sexist. Midwives, doctors, dentists all need to be female? Imagine if it was the other way round? It’s offensive either way.

Imagine someone not getting on a plane unless the pilot was a certain gender. Or getting in a taxi. Or ordering from someone at a restaurant.

StealthPolarBear · 03/12/2019 11:55

Surely at the moment even if you request and get a female health professional you can't specify she mustn't have a penis and testicles.

DistanceCall · 03/12/2019 11:56


It's unacceptable for a man to say that he doesn't want a female doctor or nurse. And it's unacceptable for a woman to say that she doesn't want a male doctor or nurse.

Equality means equality. As long as a professional does their job properly, their gender doesn't come into it.


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areyouafraidofthedark · 03/12/2019 11:56

Wouldn't bother me having a male or female midwife. When your giving birth the last thing your worrying about is who is going to see you.

Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 11:57

I don’t think we should be able to specify the sex of a HCP

You would force a rape victim to receive intimate care from a man she doesn't know? Really?

easyandy101 · 03/12/2019 11:57

Imagine someone not getting on a plane unless the pilot was a certain gender. Or getting in a taxi. Or ordering from someone at a restaurant.

Grin ffs

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