My feed

to access all these features


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:
Breathlessness · 03/12/2019 12:15

’Pity any man who aspires to be a midwife!’

If a man wants to be a midwife and either doesn’t understand or doesn’t respect that some patients will be uncomfortable with a man supporting them during labour they have no business being a health professional. Patients needs should come first.

Besidesthepoint · 03/12/2019 12:15

I feel that anyone should have the right to withdraw consent for a medical procedure for any reason. So that could include the sex of the medical professional.

I don't see why it is a problem if OP doesn't want a male midwife. Most women are ok with male medical professionals. It's not that he won't have anything else to do.

churchandstate · 03/12/2019 12:16


I didn’t say you should have to explain the details to a group of strangers, just that I think that’s a reasonable basis.

GojuRyuLover · 03/12/2019 12:16


Hi OP, I 100% agree with you. I don't think it's a bad thing that you prefer females when you are having intimate medical care and I would prefer females, too.

You have said that you are going to have it put into your notes, but I would recommend that you add into your notes that you don't mind who cares for you and your baby in an emergency situation.

If there is an emergency, the healthcare professionals may get confused if it is not written in black and white, in your notes.

Don't worry though, YANBU,

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn · 03/12/2019 12:16

I think it's great that there are male midwives.

Clearly you don't.

Anyway, you can request whatever you want wrt Male midwives.

T0tallyFuckedUpFamily · 03/12/2019 12:18

There’s absolutely nothing SEXIST about a woman choosing whether or not she wants a man touching or looking at her body. It’s a crock of shit to suggest otherwise. Why must a woman lower her own boundaries in order to appease or please any male? Why is it expected of her when she’s at her most vulnerable? Most women wouldn’t be expected to permit a man to have access to her body in any other situation, but yet as soon as they’re pregnant they’re expected to ignore all their natural instincts and boundaries because the men work in medicine.

You are basically telling her that she has to be uncomfortable, unhappy and in possible distress because it’s not fair on the men. Wise up.

JamieVardysHavingAParty · 03/12/2019 12:18

This thread reminds me.

I once accompanied a young man with special needs to a well man clinic because he was concerned he had a male cancer. (Fortunately it was something else).

The staff at the clinic said that I, as a female, couldn't wait in the waiting room with him if it made the other patients waiting uncomfortable and embarrassed. I was okay with that, because my role in life is not to be an obstacle to others receiving healthcare. As it happens, they were okay with it.

I observed that each patient was informed at the desk what sex the staff on tonight's rota were, so that they could decide whether they wanted to see a female HCP that night, or wait until the next drop-in clinic to see a male hcp.

Everyone who thinks the OP is sexist is also against men being able to choose, yes?

Derbee · 03/12/2019 12:18

I'm glad I'm not the only person who does feel this way as was beginning to think there was something wrong with me

May have missed it, but how many people have said they would refuse a male dentist? Some people may have agreed with you about midwives, but you clearly have a problem with men that is not normal

WhoAmIToTellYou · 03/12/2019 12:19

I had a male midwife some time during my 48-hr labour. He was brilliant.

Longfacenow · 03/12/2019 12:19

It is typical in my profession for people to be able to specify the sex of the worker.

Yanbu OP.

Derbee · 03/12/2019 12:20

Everyone who thinks the OP is sexist is also against men being able to choose, yes?

Yep. If a man refused to go to a dentist because she was a woman, I’d think he was a sexist pig.

Yorkshirelass444 · 03/12/2019 12:20

YANBU, Op- totally understandable.

Lolacat1234 · 03/12/2019 12:21

Actually having read the vast number of well reasoned replies on here I'm gonna change to YANBU! Just because I'd be comfortable doesn't mean everyone else should be.

SandAndSea · 03/12/2019 12:22

OP, I don't think you are being at all unreasonable. Lots of women feel like you do but we've been conditioned to keep quiet and put other peoples feelings before our own. Well, bollocks to that! Please speak up.

T0tallyFuckedUpFamily · 03/12/2019 12:22

I’m seeing a lot of sexist bullshite in this thread, but it’s from those demanding that the woman hands her body and dignity over to a man, in order to save his feelings. If they tried to guilt trip a woman into doing that in any other circumstance, that would be considered coercive control.

reginafelangee · 03/12/2019 12:23

Whilst I wouldn't have minded a male midwife for delivery - and I did in fact have a male consultant and numerous other males present for my sections - I would not have wanted a male midwife for my post natal care - which was very intimate.

I do understand how you feel and I don't think its unreasonable to have a say over who touches your body. Especially when you are feeling vulnerable.

Sandals19 · 03/12/2019 12:23

I had a c section in the end as my labour abruptly stopped after 28hrs

This could've hokum but I read somewhere that males in the vicinity of women giving birth can cause labour to slow down/stall.

Or more precisely a woman giving birth's body responds negatively to her awareness of the presence of males.

Dinosauratemydaffodils · 03/12/2019 12:24

I didn’t say you should have to explain the details to a group of strangers, just that I think that’s a reasonable basis.

If it's not already in her medical notes, how are the NHS meant to know that Susie wanting a female hcp professional comes from a place of trauma unless she tells them? She shouldn't have to tell them. Asking for a woman should be enough.

Sandals19 · 03/12/2019 12:24

*could be

puds11 · 03/12/2019 12:24

So given that the hospital you are going to is all female OP making your question ‘irrelevant’ can I assume you only posted to be inflammatory?

Christmaspug · 03/12/2019 12:25

I’ve had 4 kids .i would not of wanted anyone male at the business end of me giving birth ..luckily it Wasnt an issue ,but I worried about it a lot at the time.
Same with a smear test I wouldn’t want a male nurse doing that .
Luckily I’ve not had that problem yet ,as I’m not sure I would of felt strong enough to say no .😥

churchandstate · 03/12/2019 12:25


It should go in the notes, or she should be prepared to give an explanation (which doesn’t have to be detailed). Sorry that we don’t agree but there it is.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Prawnofthepatriarchy · 03/12/2019 12:26

We wouldn’t accept someone asking for a white midwife, or a straight midwife.

Lesbians and BME women are still women. What a bizarre comparison.

And no, the NHS is not compelled to override patient preference as to the sex of HCP for intimate care. Such preferences are not considered unreasonable service user prejudice. Many women cannot receive such care from male HCPs, whether for reasons of religion, culture, trauma or a range of personal reasons.

Tableclothing · 03/12/2019 12:26

I didn’t say you should have to explain the details to a group of strangers, just that I think that’s a reasonable basis.

So... If a woman is allowed (allowed!) to choose the sex of her HCP on the basis of past trauma, and is not required to disclose details of said trauma, you arrive at a situation where women can request female HCP without explanation, yes?

Derbee · 03/12/2019 12:26

Ignore the intimate nature for a minute. The midwife is a red herring, but even if it’s reasonable not to want a male midwife.

The OP has a problem with men in most roles or positions of responsibility. If it was a man who was against women in any position of responsibility, people would be furious.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.