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#1 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are a ton of midwives here, home birth, birth center, hospital midwives, of almost every belief and circumstance. But no male midwives as far as I know. It got me to wondering if you would use a male midwife for your birth?


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#2 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 09:27 PM
 
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With the choices I have available, no. But if I were in a situation in which the only naturally-minded, respectful-of-normal-birth, pro-out-of-hospital-birthing midwife available were a male, I guess so. I do think a different term should be used, though. :p 'Midwife' just isn't manly, even with 'male' tacked on the front!

 

ETA: I choose female doctors in general. I just feel more comfortable talking about my issues (which include depression) and answering questions about my cycle, with a female. It probably doesn't help that the only male doctors I can recall dealing with (three) were offensive, patronising, overbearing jerks with delusions of lordhood; whereas I've had many lovely female doctors and only one unsatisfactory one (and she wasn't nasty, just incompetent... which is arguably worse, but it wasn't a life-or-death issue.) I don't know if that's a case of rampant anecdata, or if men and women go into med school for different reasons (say, power vs nurturing)... either way, it's coloured my perceptions a bit.

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#3 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 09:52 PM
 
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I think I would always prefer a female birth attendant, but if the choice was between a medically-minded, cut-happy female OB and a natural minded, hands-off male midwife/midhusband/whathaveyou, I would choose the male attendant.

 

If the choice was between two equally crunchy midwives and one happened to be a dude, I'd almost certainly choose the lady.


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#4 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 09:53 PM
 
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There is a male midwife that recently graduated in Ontario. I haven't heard whether he is getting clients or not. I would use one. I had a male OB.
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#5 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 11:20 PM
 
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If he met my needs, sure. My last homebirth was with a male attendent; he's an OB but followed the "midwife" model of care more than the midwives I had access to. smile.gif
There does need to be a better word, although doesn't the word midwife translate to "with women"? If so it's still accurate but sounds awkward/wrong. My 7 yo dubbed this Doc. "Baby Watcher" because in my initial interview I told him I wanted someone there to watch and wait just in case but otherwise leave me alone. wink1.gif
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#6 of 56 Old 03-30-2014, 11:34 PM
 
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Yes, no problem. I have had lots of good male health care providers, and this would be no different to me.
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#7 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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maybe? If we clicked. I will not go to Dr/midwife that I don't get along with.

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#8 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 10:48 AM
 
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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.

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#9 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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No, I prefer that all my healthcare providers be female. That just my preference. Even my dentist is a woman. The charge nurse at the hospital was male and he came into my room when I was in labor. It wasn't a huge deal because he didn't do anything but check in with everyone else, but I did not feel as comfortable with him in the room.



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#10 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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Maybe.  I was sure before my first pregnancy I would never pick a male OB or GYN, but then I had the most excellent perinatologist during my pregnancy who I would've trusted to deliver a baby.  So I guess I wouldn't rule out a male midwife.

 

Are there any?  I've never heard of one.


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#11 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 06:50 PM
 
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maybe? If we clicked. I will not go to Dr/midwife that I don't get along with.
That's a big part of it too; I tend to relate better to men.

Off topic, but PokeyAC~do you have problems with finding female providers? My 12 yo wants all women and I've been surprised at the hassle. For example, we're having to change dental offices because although it's a husband/wife team they won't guarantee the female will be the one to work on her.It can't be that uncommon a preference, can it?
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#12 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 06:24 AM
 
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yes i would  pick a male over a female in that cause my male midwife with my middle son was alot better then the female once i had i just wish he was still alive to have done my other births


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#13 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 06:47 AM
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There is a male midwife in our town and he does get clients.  My cousin used  him and loved him.  

 

Re: Male vs femail healthcare providers, I have had terrible female providers with the exception of my midwives.  I have run across many who seem out to prove something.  The worst was an OB who dismissed my pain because "she's had that and it wasn't that bad."  I left after that visit.  All the different doctors (male and female) though have really taught me to take charge of my own healthcare.  They weren't promoting that, but it was the obvious way to get what I wanted out of healthcare.  I don't put up with crap anymore.  

 

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#14 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 07:16 AM
 
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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. 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.
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#15 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 08:07 AM
 
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All other things being equal, I'd prefer a female midwife, but would be willing to work with a male midwife if they were a better match. I saw a male OB a few times because he was the one available, and found that I really liked him and would have been totally happy to have him at a birth. 

 

The midwife at the birth of my second had never had a baby, but was wonderful. I don't really think it matters - if someone has had a baby, they still haven't been me having my baby. 

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#16 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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I did not mean to say that no one should hire midwives who haven't given birth, only that I would not. I had a midwife for my first birth who had not birthed herself and she was awful. For my second birth both midwives had their own children already, and they were wonderful. I don't know that there is a connection but it certainly affected my decision making on the subject.

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#17 of 56 Old 04-01-2014, 01:52 PM
 
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Off topic, but PokeyAC~do you have problems with finding female providers? My 12 yo wants all women and I've been surprised at the hassle. For example, we're having to change dental offices because although it's a husband/wife team they won't guarantee the female will be the one to work on her.It can't be that uncommon a preference, can it?

 




I have not had many problems. I went to a dentist office that was a husband and wife team and occasionally the husband would check my teeth but he never did the more extensive work. The dentist I go to now has her own office. I have had times where a male chiropractor worked on me and I just have to make sure to ask first. The only real problem I've had is that 4 of my chiropractors have moved away. smile.gif



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#18 of 56 Old 04-02-2014, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think of myself as someone who like pokey, would have more female medical people then male and I do generally, except my (rarely seen) family MD is a man and wonderful. Which is why I probably am reluctant to find a different one and live in fear of him retiring. But I think much of how I feel about health care providers is wrapped up in my families history of being a health provider. I am, my mother, grandfather, and generations back are all health care providers.


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#19 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 12:06 AM
 
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I seek out gentle and open minded care providers. I have had bad experiences with both male and female providers.

I once had a female Dr do a pap that told me "it's supposed to hurt", when I'd never had one hurt before and the next time had a male that said "this is not supposed to hurt, let me know if you are uncomfortable at all".

My last couple family providers have been female. I have looked for female family providers but was always open to a male one if he fit the bill of gentle, caring and open minded.

I don't have a choice of providers at all currently where I live for prenatal care and birth. Our Dr situation is so bad at the moment our only option is to go to the prenatal clinic at the hospital. You are seen and delivered by which ever Dr is working at the clinic that day (although I was told the nurses end up doing more deliveries). There are NO midwives available. There are Doulas though, and I believe with looking in the right places you could find a "traditional birth attendant" or more around. The closest midwives are 5 hours away and book up extremely fast. The next closest are 8 hours away in another province. Not really ideal.

So I have no choice in who I see or who will deliver. If I did it would be based on personality, how I'm treated, how much they listen and are open minded and differences of ideals.

I think all potential care providers deserve an equal chance regardless of gender. I think it's all about how personalities and ideals mesh more than genders bias'.

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#20 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 08:29 AM
 
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Male midwives are rare in the UK I believe, but personally I wouldn't have had a problem if such was very qualified and came with good references. It's the high quality of care that my country's National Health Service provides, second to none.

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#21 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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I've never met a male midwife, so I'm not sure how I feel about it. I would be curious about why he was in such a female-dominated field, but that alone may not be off-putting.

It doesn't bother me that someone has not given birth. My favorite childbirth instructor was a 28 year old single woman with no chil. He doesn'en, but she had 3 years experience as an RN in the hospital and 2 years at the free standing birth center. Everything she said about birth, from what to expect about your providers to how to manage pain, was really true for me. Some people are very intuitive and compassionate about these things. Everyone has different personal experiences anyway. Even when your midwife has given birth, her experience and attitudes may be very different from yours.

When I was a nursing student doing L &D rounds, I remember what one male nursing student said about his experience. He was shocked at the attitudes of some of the female nurses toward their patients. They don't give women choices or privacy, they just enter the room without knocking and tell the women what they are going to do. One patient wanted to try to give birth without the epidural. Two nurses stood outside her door with her door open - clearly within earshot of her - and had a loud conversation with each other about how they can't believe some women want to suffer instead of accepting pain relief.

The male nursing student was shocked at the disrespect for the woman's choices. He said he had always been taught to respect women and he would never think about telling a woman what to do with her body. He was upset at how women treated each other since he would never think of responding to a woman that way.
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#22 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 11:03 AM
 
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I would and I have. I was originally skeptical when my midwife teamed up with a male midwife, but once I got to know him, he earned my trust, and I really grew to appreciate his skills. He didn't end up attending my birth, but he provided excellent prenatal care, and was everything I could have hoped for in a care provider.

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#23 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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I live on the Western Slope of Colorado and just had the BEST birth experience with my male midwife (Bill Dwelley). He is hands down the best medical provider I've ever worked with. I highly recommend him! He's been delivering babies (home birth) in our area for nearly 30 years, and he is so incredibly kind & knowledgeable - you can't go wrong! 

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#24 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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I would pick a gender-neutral midwife that happened to be male over an overly genderist midwife of either gender.   I consider gender to be irrelevant, and I tend to avoid people who use gender norms.  I also avoid anyone that calls me mommy and isn't actually my offspring.

I would suspect that there are many large and growing community of transmen who give birth, and non-cisgendered people who either give birth or are parents would prefer a male midwife or would consider the gender of the midwife irrelevant or at least far less relevant than the attitude of the care-provider.  Note: I didn't say acceptance or tolerance because no one should require acceptance or tolerance for simply being who they are.

I couldn't care less about what anyone's got in their underwear, or which gender they consider themselves to be (aside from the courtesy of using the terms they prefer).

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#25 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 01:56 PM
 
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My hospital has one and I had to see him once near the end of my pregnancy and he ended up scaring my regular midwife into recommending induction which I stupidly agreed to which resulted in an eventual c section. I personally would never go back to that man for anything. I have had bad luck with male care givers in general though, never listening to the actual problem and saying I don't know what I'm talking about. Now I'm wanting a vbac so I can't have a midwife at all but I get a pro vbac OB.
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#26 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 02:52 PM
 
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When selecting general practitioners / family doctors I generally lean towards women if I have an abundance of choice but I will always give preference to a doctor of either gender who is considerate of how I feel and more engaged with me in a conversation about my health. I have had female doctors who really get up my butt (no pun intended), so its not a clear cut matter for me.

I would definitely consider a male midwife. I respect the strength of women who work hard in male dominated fields because they have have to struggle against all sorts of things like stereotypes and sexism and general gender inequality. The same is probably true for male midwives - they have to love what they do and really believe in their work and themselves in order to thrive in a female dominated profession. For example, the male nurses I have met have always met or raised the bar set by the best female nurses because they have had to hold their own and prove themselves.

I would not expect a male midwife to act like a "stereotypical male OBGYN" because they are male. The nature of the midwife's model of care is inherently different and not likely to attract the same men who are attracted to becoming OBGYNs. I believe that a male midwife is equally as capable as a female midwife to provide a respectful and gentle level of care with a high degree of qualification. Unfortunately, some women will be less likely to select a male midwife, so the men will probably find it harder to gain a comparable level of experience in the same time period as a female midwife; which only serves to reinforce a preference for female midwives because they will generally have more experience than their male peers.

I agree with some of the prior posters who said male midwives add diversity to a profession dominated by women, and provide a welcome breath of fresh air for people seeking an alternative.
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#27 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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I gave birth with a male midwife in 1980, in 1984 I had a female midwife, I'd have a male again if I had another baby, no question about it.

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#28 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 05:38 PM
 
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Ottis works at a midwifery clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. Midwifery in Ontario is covered by public health and there are huge waiting lists for midwifery care. When you sign up for midwifery care at a particular clinic, you get assigned a midwife. The clinic that hired Ottis is supporting him as a midwife and they will not accommodate requests of "female only" midwives. You get what you get. It would be impossible to work and organize client load if they did. If you are not happy with your male midwife, you could try another clinic but chances are that by this point you wouldn't be able to get a midwife anymore. If you have a problem with possibly having a male midwife, then you shouldn't sign up for that particular clinic, as they are fully supportive of their midwives, male or female. I have only heard amazing things about him, and don't know of anyone who was not satisfied with him.

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#29 of 56 Old 04-07-2014, 06:03 PM
 
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Yes, Ottis has lots of clients. And didn't have trouble getting experience as a student either. His mother was one of the province's first midwives and he just felt called to follow in her footsteps!

 

Also, the term 'midwife' refers to the client meaning 'with woman', not the gender of the care provider.

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#30 of 56 Old 04-10-2014, 03:44 PM
 
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This is a really interesting discussion. My first thought was that, all things being equal, I would choose a provider I clicked best with, gender would not matter. I have seen male and female care providers and have had good experiences with both. The providers I have been closest to have been female, though. I certainly am not against male doctors/Chiropractors/dentists/therapists/OBGYNs... But the more I think about the more I think that realistically I would be disinclined to have a male attend my birth - or, you know, that isn't actually what I mean. I am disinclined to have a stronger, more assertive energy as my midwife. I have met female midwives that were that way and I definitely chose not to continue care with them.

I really appreciate a calm, nurturing energy when I am giving birth, so male or female that would be what I was looking for.

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