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#31 of 56 Old 04-10-2014, 05:29 PM
 
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No, definitely not. It's really just a personal preference though, as it seems many ladies here would be cool with it. :) Just picturing a male midwife  (or even a male OB) at my birth, makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I would honestly rather UC if it was my only option. I totally don't have a problem with my other health care providers being male (i.e., eye doctor, dentist, etc.), but I feel like birth is more of a woman's specialty. Again, just my preference, though:)

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#32 of 56 Old 04-11-2014, 09:48 AM
 
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No. But my preference is colored by the fact that my first child was conceived by rape. I do not allow a male doctor to get that close to me. In fact, I believe the presence of a male OB at that birth is what stalled my labor and led to the csection. I have no problems with my male chiro, eye doctor, etc. But anything that will require a male to see me naked is a no-go. (I had problems even with my husband for awhile, so...). The last pregnancy, I was referred to a high-risk OB who happened to be male. I saw him once. Refused to remove my clothes, if he wanted to touch me, I moved that piece of clothing out of the way. That was it. It's been 15 years since I was raped, and that's just the way I feel. Now that I think about it, I didn't even want any males - including my husband - around me during labor at all during my last birth (dd2). I feel like pp, that I'd lean more toward a UC if I didn't have a female option for a care provider.

 

Funny enough, I've nursed dd2 more than once (albeit, subtly without a cover, not flashy, lol!) in front of males.


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#33 of 56 Old 04-11-2014, 12:38 PM
 
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To me it depends entirely on the quality of care. 



Loved my male OB for my first birth, until it turned into a failed induction and C/S that in hindsight were not necessary. 



I was able to deliver DD2 via VBAC with midwives, but under the "supervision" /support of a male perinatologist.  He was incredibly gentle, hands-off, supportive, and patient.  On the other hand, he was out of town for 24 hours during my 3 day labor, and the midwives, nurses and I all conspired to not allow the female on-call OB to touch me-- she was known for demanding C/S for prolonged labors like mine!  We managed to evade her until the perinatologist returned to the hospital and I successfully VBACd-- with the assistance of my female midwife.  He was even featured in Midwifery Today recently:



http://seebaby.org/news-a-media/midwifery-today-article



 

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#34 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 05:58 AM
 
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I would happily use a male midwife if he was gentle and supportive of natural birth.  In my experience, I have seen both good and bad male and female OB's (very few midwives in my area).  My primary was a male, and I loved his gentle, hands-off approach.  He gently coached me out of wanting an epidural with my first (he knew I was in transition and it would be over soon).  He was my Dr for almost 16 years, and always remembered the details of my history, remembered my hubby's name, asked how the kids were doing, etc.  I ended up leaving his practice with the last baby because his 3 female partners were not supportive of natural birth and I didn't want to end up with one of them at my birth.  He called me personally to say he was upset I was leaving!  I switched to a practice with 3 male and 1 female OB, and they were all wonderful.

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#35 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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No one has mentioned yet that some of the forerunners of the natural childbirth movement were men. During the 1940's, there was Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, who wrote "Childbirth Without Fear". During the 60's Dr. Bradley made famous his "Bradley method" of childbirth, and French OB Dr. Michel Odent has actually been called a "male midwife" because of the intimacy and energy he brought to birth. He also attended home births and even has a book about vaginal breech births. Dr. Frederick Leboyer made famous the concept of a gentle birth for babies.

I know these were all male OB's, but they are examples of men who have been very supportive and instrumental in promoting natural childbirth. If I had lived in their time/place, I wouldn't have hesitated to have any of them as a childbirth provider.
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#36 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 09:25 AM
 
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Exactly. Not only had my midwife given birth three times but she and her fellow midwives delivered each other's children at home long before the homebirth movement.

This.

I feel most comfortable, understood, and taken care of when I'm with a circle of trusted women. It's not that I don't think men make good care providers. I just view birth as an intrinsically sacred female experience. And my laboring body responds better to women.
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#37 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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I 've been working with a male midwife. He is wonderful, gentle & kind. He has been delivering babies for 20+ years in South America & is a MD there. His knowlage is vast & skills are beyond midwifery, but his beliefs about birth and the process match mine. I trust my body completely to birth this baby (as I did 10 yrs ago with my 1st), @ home in water. My midwife gets to watch & help if I need it. First I trust myself, & 2nd I trust my midwife.
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#38 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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Nope.  They are not women, will never be pregnant and could not possible ever fully understand what's like to be either.  It's nothing personal or sexist, just wouldn't jive for me.

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#39 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 04:40 PM
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No, I would not.
I don't want males around my birthing with the only exception of my husband. I feel it's a hinderence.

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#40 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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No. It makes me uneasy that a man would choose to go into a field where he will deal with vaginas all day. 


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#41 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 05:13 PM
 
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But isn't part of the appeal of midwifery that the practitioner deals with the patient in a more holistic fashion than conventional OB care? The pregnancy care I've had has mostly occurred with my pants on - there's a pap smear at the first visit, and the next time I strip down in a health care setting, I'm in l&d.

My favorite chemo nurse turns out to have done a stint in l&d (like, years) and I'd have him at a birth in a heartbeat. He's an incredibly thoughtful, caring, skilled professional who never failed to go the extra mile for his patients.

I think the problem is that you have to commit to these choices well before you can confirm your intuition about a person. It's all very well to say you should find a midwife you really click with, but around here, midwives book up way in advance. If you don't get a call in the moment the test turns positive, you may not be able to get in at all. So if you find out down the road that your initial impression was wrong... you may still be stuck. Under those circumstances, you are not likely to take a chance on getting to know someone better. If the office wallpaper bugs you, move on. And if you're not comfy with a male midwife, well, you're losing out on all the female alternatives by taking the time to see if you can get over it.

I just really don't think midwives look at vaginas all day, so I think it's unfair to be suspicious of male midwives on that basis.
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#42 of 56 Old 04-12-2014, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

But isn't part of the appeal of midwifery that the practitioner deals with the patient in a more holistic fashion than conventional OB care? The pregnancy care I've had has mostly occurred with my pants on - there's a pap smear at the first visit, and the next time I strip down in a health care setting, I'm in l&d.

My favorite chemo nurse turns out to have done a stint in l&d (like, years) and I'd have him at a birth in a heartbeat. He's an incredibly thoughtful, caring, skilled professional who never failed to go the extra mile for his patients.

I think the problem is that you have to commit to these choices well before you can confirm your intuition about a person. It's all very well to say you should find a midwife you really click with, but around here, midwives book up way in advance. If you don't get a call in the moment the test turns positive, you may not be able to get in at all. So if you find out down the road that your initial impression was wrong... you may still be stuck. Under those circumstances, you are not likely to take a chance on getting to know someone better. If the office wallpaper bugs you, move on. And if you're not comfy with a male midwife, well, you're losing out on all the female alternatives by taking the time to see if you can get over it.

I just really don't think midwives look at vaginas all day, so I think it's unfair to be suspicious of male midwives on that basis.

 

That may be true, I could be irrational but regardless it is something I'd always wonder about so I couldn't be comfortable.


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#43 of 56 Old 04-13-2014, 02:28 PM
 
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No, but I would not choose any male healthcare provider if their exam requires me to disrobe.  My dentist is male, and my allergist was male (recently retired), but my other docs are all female.  My DD has a mix of docs, but she has so many specialists, that it was more about the right fit.  She is also only 5, so that might change as she gets older.


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#44 of 56 Old 04-13-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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I would use a male midwife if we clicked. I don't have any qualms about it.

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#45 of 56 Old 04-14-2014, 07:40 AM
 
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My first birth was with a male midwife.  There were some glitches which were all related to his being in solo practice (thus, he had been up all night before I was in labor all day) and having just recently switched hospitals--none of them had anything to do with his gender.  I felt that his care for me before and after the birth was enhanced by his ASKING how things felt rather than assuming he knew.  I previously had a series of female gynecologists tell me things like, "That doesn't hurt," when it did!  Prior to my first pregnancy, I had extremely long, irregular cycles for reasons that were never accurately diagnosed, so the last gyne I was seeing was a specialist (reproductive endocrinologist) and female but wildly insensitive.  It was after a misdiagnosis that could have killed me that I cast off all my faith in Modern Mainstream Medicine for my female health and started seeing the male midwife.  It's not that he was 100% natural and old-fashioned and wouldn't consider anything high-tech, just that he had a far more reasonable attitude and always discussed the possibilities with me and was very open about what he did and did not understand.  Ultimately I was able to conceive naturally, which the specialist would not have allowed.

 

My male midwife moved to another city a few years ago.  The practice to which he transferred my records was all women but seemed to be midwives in name only; every experience I had there was at least 50% miserable and confusing.  I am now going to a midwife center which also has all female practitioners, but I feel I'm getting very good care and being really heard and respected.  Haven't given birth there yet, but I have very positive expectations--based not on what's under their clothes but on their attitudes and practices as individuals and in the "culture" and rules of their birth center.

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#46 of 56 Old 04-14-2014, 07:43 PM
 
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Would I use a male midwife? Sure, if he was the best fit for my personality and my expectations.  


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#47 of 56 Old 04-14-2014, 09:22 PM
 
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I do think a different term should be used, though. :p 'Midwife' just isn't manly, even with 'male' tacked on the front!

 

Midhusband?  lol

 

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No. I would not hire any midwife that had not given birth herself, so it's more a matter of experience than gender for me.

 

Exactly.  I would want (and have wanted) the person helping me give birth to either have given birth herself, or, at least have the parts and some kind of understanding of how i'm feeling, what I'm going through!


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#48 of 56 Old 04-15-2014, 07:58 AM
 
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Definitely! I would LOVE to. I actually really liked that my Ob was a male. He had this sweet fatherly feeling about him, yet I felt like he was a good strong coach. I liked that. I would love a male midwife. Its funny because the hospital I gave birth at actually jokes that my ob and his partner are the hospital's midwives since they are so pro natural birth.


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#49 of 56 Old 04-16-2014, 09:12 AM
 
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I did see a male CNM for my first pregnancy.  He was one of a group of midwives at the hospital, and I was assigned to him for all of my prenatal care.  I ended up with a different midwife for delivery.  I wasn't sure at first when I called for my first appointment.  But I figured a man who chose to be a midwife must be something kind of special, and he was. 

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#50 of 56 Old 04-16-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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The doctor who did my pre-natal care and delivery was a male and if I ever had to birth again I would definitely use a male nurse-midwife in a birthing center.  I have noticed that when men go into a woman dominated field they are typically very passionate and competent at their job.

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#51 of 56 Old 04-16-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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I don't think so. I had a male OB but only because there are no female doctors in my area. I prefer someone who can relate and empathize with me. A man, no matter how much knowledge about birth he may have, will never be able to really understand what you are experiencing. To me at least, that's kind of important. Honestly I think birth should be women's business. 

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#52 of 56 Old 04-16-2014, 04:59 PM
 
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I don't think so. I had a male OB but only because there are no female doctors in my area. 

 

I partially chose homebirth with my last baby for a similar reason. I've met male OBs that I really liked and would be willing to work with, but the fact that there were no female OBs in the area felt a bit too much Good Ol' Boy's network to me. I mean really, only OB hospital within 50 miles, and there are NO female OBs?


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#53 of 56 Old 04-17-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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My short reply is, I don't want anyone helping me birth at home, who hasn't also birthed at home, preferably more than once, in addition to having the skills of a midwife. And I would likely choose a male midwife, over a female OB (wasn't impressed with my brief experience of a female OB...they pick up the same attitudes in training that the male ones have).

 

An exception might be Michel Odent.


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#54 of 56 Old 04-17-2014, 07:12 PM
 
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I would need to have no other homebirth options and a reason not to UC (which I did by choice as we have many CPMs available here). I think it is rare that someone who hasn't had a home birth, preferably a physiologic homebirth can truly understand birth. I know Michel Odent has said he even has reservations about fathers at births and that it took him several hundred births to really get it.
Similarly I will no longer hire a doula who is no a homebirther after my past experiences. One doula was a homebirther but also a VBACer who attended a lot of hospital deliveries. It changes things, when I wanted to stand up to pass my placenta the MW insisted I hand off my baby first. My doula took my son in a very possessive/hidden football hold and turned away and headed as quick as she could for a corner of the room WITH HIS CORD STILL ATTACHED TO ME! It was very clear that her instinct was to hide my baby and keep him safe from prying medicals etc...but clearly unnecessary at a home birth with only me, MW, friend/photog w/ her 10 week old in a sling and my husband in the whole house.
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#55 of 56 Old 04-18-2014, 06:10 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't want a midwife who had never experienced pregnancy and birth herself either. I only want a woman who has "been there, done that" as my midwife. There are so many things about birth that you learn only by experiencing it yourself. It just feels so natural to me in the tradition of "granny midwives" to call a woman who is older and has given birth herself to be by my side. The midwives who attended the homebirths of both my sons were mothers themselves and they were absolutely perfect in every way. In my ideal world, pregnancy, labor, birth, and aftercare would be an entirely female domain as it once was long ago and still is in some cultures. Just my personal preference. 


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#56 of 56 Old 04-18-2014, 08:01 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't want a midwife who had never experienced pregnancy and birth herself either. I only want a woman who has "been there, done that" as my midwife. There are so many things about birth that you learn only by experiencing it yourself. It just feels so natural to me in the tradition of "granny midwives" to call a woman who is older and has given birth herself to be by my side. The midwives who attended the homebirths of both my sons were mothers themselves and they were absolutely perfect in every way. In my ideal world, pregnancy, labor, birth, and aftercare would be an entirely female domain as it once was long ago and still is in some cultures. Just my personal preference. 

Totally agree with that last bit. Birth is a sacred, ancient female rite. No offense to men at all- I love them! wink1.gif But this one thing, birth, labor, the creative process of it all? It's a female ritual. And it is best nurtured, stimulated, and safeguarded by other women.
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