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AIBU?

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:
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PotteringAlong · 03/12/2019 11:57

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

So change male for black. Still ok? Is a patients health and comfort the most important thing then?

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Yarboosucks · 03/12/2019 11:57

Well I suppose that you could ask for their shift rota and then only have your baby when there are no men on shift or you could request that they redo the shift rotas when you go into labour.

Or you could take the view that a man put the baby in there and therefore, a man can help get it out.

If a man requested only to be tended to by male nurses or doctors, there would be outrage on here!

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Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 03/12/2019 11:57

Cheeseandwin5

No it wouldn't be acceptable for a male (or female) to request a male only pilot. But when you're travelling by plane, you're not exposing your vulnerable body parts to someone are you! So how does that even closely compare?

OP posts:
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PaperFlowers4 · 03/12/2019 11:58

YANBU at all. There was that thread posted yesterday where OP felt uncomfortable because a male midwife kissed her on the cheek and inappropriately touched her. There was the other thread posted at the same time where the obstetrician took off his gloves to examine OP. Male health care providers do use their position to take liberties with their female patients. Obviously in an emergency you don’t get to choose who you get, but in a routine labour and birth you have every right to prefer a female midwife and not be shamed for this preference!

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Kittygirl47 · 03/12/2019 11:58

YABU for having a 4th child.

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churchandstate · 03/12/2019 11:58

Tableclothing

In cases of trauma, that’s obviously different. But in general, I think it’s unreasonable.

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sarahjconnor · 03/12/2019 11:59

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mbosnz · 03/12/2019 11:59

I don't think you're unreasonable at all.

Many women would feel uncomfortable with a male midwife - for religious or cultural reasons, or having been victimised by a male.

Obviously, if everything goes pearshaped, then you're not going to have any say (or be bothered) by the presence of males outside of your DH, and equally obviously if all that's available is a male midwife, you're most likely going to have to lump it.

What's most important is that you are as stress free and comfortable as possible to facilitate the ease of birth.

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mastertomsmum · 03/12/2019 11:59

I like the idea there are male midwives and nurses, it's just a different branch of equality from those normally addressed.

However, if you are uncomfortable, then it might be ok to make a request.

I am wondering, though, whether men are allowed to request a male doctor in matters connected with sensitive areas - prostate etc. - without fear of being accused of predjudice.

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Skittlesandbeer · 03/12/2019 12:00

Well I’m a straight woman and if anything it’s more awkward for me to have females ‘down that end’. Plenty of blokes have been there, giving full and accurate attention, but no chicks to date! Wink

My only experience of childbirth involved a variety of midwives (all female) who were either too jaded to care about me or generally their jobs, or too young to have any expertise at all that a man couldn’t have had.

If having a vag yourself was considered the prime qualification for being a good midwife, then I feel sorry for us all.

I would have loved anyone with skills, experience and care. Be they male, female or undecided. It’s what they know, and how they behave on the day, not what’s in their pants matching what’s in yours.

But I guess we all have to worry about something.

For what it’s worth I reckon ‘birth jitters’ show up in lots of weird, seemingly unrelated, ways. This just might be yours?

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PanamaPattie · 03/12/2019 12:01

You are not being sexist. You are making a choice. Don't say things like "I'm not comfortable with or I would prefer", say "I do not consent to a male midwife". Nice and clear. Anyone that tells you that YABU can wind their neck in. Your body. Your baby. Your choice. Good luck.

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Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 12:01

It's unacceptable for a man to say that he doesn't want a female doctor or nurse.

No it isn't Confused

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

Equality means equality, but what we should really be aiming for is not equality but liberation, the freedom to choose.

Someone inserting their hand into your vagina/stitching you up/seeing you shit yourself is not the same as someone flying a plane in which you happen to be seated.

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Straycatstrut · 03/12/2019 12:01

I wouldn't mind at all. My two female ones last time were awful. Completely cold and unsympathetic. Stood across the room chatting and waited for the head to appear which took ages. After I'd given birth he took ages to cry, no reassurance, then there was complications and NO ONE comforted me until I got hysterical. Baby was okay, not in any danger at the time, but he did need surgery. It took ages for a nice midwife to come along and explain his condition.

Nothing to do with their sex though. Just to mention that not all the women midwives are "lovely female caregivers".

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snowball28 · 03/12/2019 12:02

@Busybeebeebee I had a emergency section and all of a sudden my room was fooded with men when only moments before it had just been me and the female midwives.

Whilst I’m happy and fine to have a male midwife if one was assigned to me I must say even with how scary things were when they were rushing about preparing me for the surgery I was still very embarrassed at getting changed from my labour clothes into a gown in front of these men, I didn’t like that they saw me naked. I felt very embarrassed, flustered and exposed.

So I think even in the case of a section emergency or otherwise people still have the ability to feel certain emotions that maybe others wouldn’t deem quite so important such in the case of the OP here.

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NotMyRealName123 · 03/12/2019 12:02

Obviously it's your choice.

I think it's crazy you would accept female students/trainees over a male midwife though.

And if you'd accept a male in an emergency, what's the difference?

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Smileyaxolotl1 · 03/12/2019 12:02

I can’t believe the amount of ridiculous disingenuous responses on here.
To compare asking for a female hcp to asking for a female pilot or driver?
Not sure about you but no pilot has ever looked at or had to put their hand in my vagina...
And of course it would be fine for a man to ask for a male doctor to do a procedure which involves touching his body parts.
It may be a little silly to feel this way but it’s also perfectly natural. X

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Taleasoldastime90 · 03/12/2019 12:02

I used to work with a male midwife and this was a common issue, so you are definitely not alone.
It wasn't just the mums that were uncomfortable at times, it was the dads who made comments too. He ended up moving from his job on labour ward to a community role, as women were more 'accepting' of him.

If it makes you feel uncomfortable, it makes you feel uncomfortable and yanbu for that. You will be more likely to have the issue of having a male doctor though then a male midwife.

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Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 12:02

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

So change male for black. Still ok? Is a patients health and comfort the most important thing then?

Come off it. Biological sex and race are not the same thing.

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ChaiNashta · 03/12/2019 12:03

I was always told that you wouldn't care who is in the room in labour and your dignity is left at the door. I have had 3 DCs since and I still DO care about having some control on who gets to see me in that state. Any other medical reason no problem for me but not in labour. YANBU.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 03/12/2019 12:03

People feel this way for all sorts of reasons and I believe people have the right to request intimate medical care from someone of the same sex (unless in an emergency situation). It's not how good about how good someone is at a job.
In a previous job part of my role was to escort a male doctor when he was seeing female patients for a pre employment medical check- they only had a male doctor and this was seen as best practice. And that was a lot less intimate.

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woodchuck99 · 03/12/2019 12:04

So change male for black. Still ok? Is a patients health and comfort the most important thing then?

It is the most important thing when giving birth because if the patient is not comfortable the birth is less likely to go well. It is pretty well established that some women don't want to get naked in front of men don't know otherwise we wouldn't have female changing rooms toilets and toilets etc.

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IWantADifferentName · 03/12/2019 12:04

You are not being sexist. You are making a choice. Don't say things like "I'm not comfortable with or I would prefer", say "I do not consent to a male midwife". Nice and clear. Anyone that tells you that YABU can wind their neck in. Your body. Your baby. Your choice. Good luck.

PanamaPattie said it better than I did. Go with what she said, not what I said.

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easyandy101 · 03/12/2019 12:04

In cases of trauma, that’s obviously different. But in general, I think it’s unreasonable.

And explaining your trauma history is something that everyone should have to do?

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Samsmam2 · 03/12/2019 12:05

You absolutely insist on what you want.

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Breathlessness · 03/12/2019 12:05

YANBU at all. Birth is a long process that often includes internal exams and being semi naked. Labour can stall which can be dangerous for both mother and baby if the mother feels uncomfortable. The whole push towards midwife led units with less sterile, institutional feel to them is about putting labouring women at ease to help labour. If having a man present makes you uneasy it will impact your labour.

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