I found out yesterday that the group of midwives that I am seeing will be having a male apprentice (I say "group" but there are just 3 of them). Anyway, he is supposedly a very nice man, although I don't think he has any children. He is training to be a Naturopath, and a midwife. He will only be attending mamas who have okayed his presence, and it won't just be assumed that his presence is okay (I.E., they're asking mamas to volunteer to have him as an apprentice at their prenatals, births, and postpartums... He won't be there unless you specifically okay it).
And I just feel sick about it, which is wracking me with guilt and all kinds of awful emotions. I had a lengthy argument with my husband about it this morning. Logical me says, "to each mama her own" and "if a mama is okay with it, then it's none of my business," and "what difference does it make if he attends other mamas, he won't attend you..." Logical me also says, "women shouldn't be excluded from certain professions, why is it any different for men?" And then the totally unprogressive, awful, emotional me thinks it's... I don't know. Bad juju? Sacrilege? I guess I had always just sort of thought that my midwives were protecting a sacred space, a space that men (aside from a birth partner) should really have no part of.
I know that lots of mamas, even here, are just fine with male OBs. That plenty of women have no qualms with men being their gynecologists, or being their birth attendants, and have had great experiences with men... And logically I know that midwifery should really be no different, right? So why do I feel so upset by this? Can anyone weigh in? I'm having a hard time reconciling the rational part of me that knows that midwifery is a profession like any other, with feeling (I know, bad bad bad me) almost disgusted by the idea of a man being connected with midwives, especially MY midwives... It's so dumb! Help!
Edited to add: I AM NOT DEBATING THE VALIDITY OF MALE BIRTH ATTENDENTS. Be they OBs, midwives, nurses, whatever. NOT DEBATING. NOT DEBATING. I don't need explanations as to why you may or may not prefer men for your birth. I FULLY SUPPORT you having your birth HOWEVER you want. I am an ardent supporter of all types of birth. Just like every person is different, every birth is different, and what every woman NEEDS at every birth is DIFFERENT. What I need in MY (only my, only my, only my) pregnancy and birth experience, is a woman-centered experience. This thread is merely me trying to wrap my head around WHY that is, especially since it flies so far against my own life experience. This thread is NOT about why other women might choose a male care practitioner. I truthfully don't care why other people make the choices they do... You have to do what's right for you, and I absolutely support your right to do so!!!
Edited by Italiamom - 3/8/11 at 8:21am