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Male midwives - can you refuse?
64

thomasina1 · 06/11/2008 08:36

I didn't think this bothered me but I recently came across a male midwife during a tour of my birthing centre and I have realised that I really wouldn't feel comfortable with a man delivering my baby.

I know this may be very un-PC and unfair on the men who are probably very good midwives, but ultimately my primary concern is for me to be in a state in which I am as relaxed as possible so that my labour progresses well.

So can I specify that I want a woman caring for me? That's assuming of course that there is one on the shift!! Has anyone come across this?

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ChiefFairyCakeMaker · 21/11/2008 22:26

Slightly OT but when I was expecting DD my next door neighbour was a midwife, and as it happens a lesbian. I was worried that she might be on duty when I was having DD as I would have felt uncomfortable with the fact that she was my next door neighbour, but didn't want to say anything in case she thought it was because she was a lesbian.

As it happened she wasn't on duty when I had DD, and in fact it was a long labour with 3 shift changes of midwives all with students in tow so in fact 9 different people examined my internally, and I couldn't care less!

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TheRealDeal · 28/07/2011 04:47

That's really very bad. It is disrespectful to you - and to women. Although you say you don't care, if you don't say somthing it could happen to someone who does.

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Tortoiseonthehalfshell · 28/07/2011 05:06

real, this thread is THREE YEARS OLD. I don't know why you think the right to choose a female practitioner is so important that you need to bump a huge number of old threads just to say so, but STOP IT.

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Purplecaz71 · 06/10/2017 17:25

I’m a nurse and I’ve looked after many men having urology and penile procedures - I think this is a similar sensitive subject but didn’t ever cause a problem. Obviously if any of them had preferred a male nurse, that would be fine but it was never mentioned. Also many midwives, including the one who delivered my baby hadn’t had any children themselves so they hadn’t experienced childbirth. I’d have been happy with a competent midwife of any gender 😀

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MonochromeDog · 06/10/2017 17:44

Oh FFS! Just read the whole thing and it's 9 years old!

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Purplecaz71 · 06/10/2017 19:01

I know but the forum has been mentioned in a BBC news link today about male midwives. No need to be so nasty!

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Blues123 · 07/10/2017 04:44

I had a male dr stitch me up afterwards, I couldnt have cared less. I was toovery busy cooing over baby.

Good luck, you can always refuse whatever makes you uncomfortable x

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Blues123 · 07/10/2017 04:45

Oops just realised how old this is :0

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HateSummer · 07/10/2017 04:50

There's a massive BBC article about male midwives and this particular thread has been mentioned (God knows why) that's why it's been bumped. The BBC need to learn to use current threads like the Daily Mail. Honestly, get with the programme BBC!

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CatchingBabies · 07/10/2017 05:02

I'm a midwife and trained alongside a lonely male midwife. As part of our training we have to deliver 40 babies to qualify.

I felt so sorry for him as he really struggled to get his numbers due to how many women refused him for labour. He ended up working all his annual leave and the summer holidays just to get enough to qualify, you don't see that dedication in many!

He was also gay so couldn't care less about what you're exposing. I've also worked alongside many many lesbian midwives, not that a woman in labour is particularly attractive!

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HashtagTired · 07/10/2017 05:32

A male midwife would make me stop and think but as another poster has said, doctors can often be male too and I wouldn’t give that a second thought.
A doctor had to break my waters in one of my labours but she was a she. If she was a he I honestly wouldn’t care.

When in the throws of labour, quite honestly I’d take anyone that could help me through - as long as they were helpful and new what they were doing!!

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NannyRed · 07/10/2017 05:36

You can refuse any midwife, but just bear in mind when at some time in the future some bigot says to you "I want to deal with the organ grinder , not the monkey" because you're a woman and therefore not as clever/gifted/understanding as your male counterpart not to be too upset and run screaming to mumsnet about not being treated with respect just because of your gender.

Would you refuse to see a male if it was for dental work? Would you insist on your builder being male because women can't carry bricks?

I think you're being very small minded in deciding that a male would make you uncomfortable, when I was in labour I just wanted a midewife who knew their job and had a nice bedside manner. I did have a man at my last birth, but he was a specialist as my unborn baby was in distress.

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kuniloofdooksa · 07/10/2017 06:20

It's good that people have the right to request a female midwife, but it's shocking that this is exercised so often that a male midwife had to lose his annual leave in order to qualify. That smacks of fundamental cultural sexism. Requests like this should be rare.

I think it's fine to ask to be cared for by a woman in you are a rape/abuse survivor who finds any male touch distressing or if you have deeply held religious beliefs that include never being touched by any man except your husband.

If it's just because you think a woman would do it better, that's sexism. If it's because you see a difference between being touched in an intimate area by a man or a woman then it's bordering on homophobia as such a feeling can only be based on a default assumption that everyone is heterosexual. No midwife is interacting with your private parts for sexual reasons, whether they are male or female, gay or straight. Their only priority is the wellbeing of you and your baby.

I received very poor care from one of the 3 female midwives who cared for me during a 35 hour labour. Happily she wasn't the one who actually delivered my baby but that middle 12 hr shift was the worst, being female is no guarantee of being any good at the job.

A few years later I had a mmc and had a male gynecologist rummaging around down there for quite some time sorting things out. It was a horrible time to go through but he was really lovely with an amazing bedside manner and I have never felt better cared for.

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Redken24 · 07/10/2017 06:27

Kuni - totally agree. Gender does not make someone good at being a midwife.

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