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#1 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just curious...

I don't want to be gender prejudiced, but I would not feel comfortable with one for several reasons. I don't like a man doing vaginal/pelvic exams on me. I don't think they can understand what it's like because they don't even have the body parts they are examining. I know a midwife who hasn't had a baby could be considered limited too, but at least they are still women and I think that puts them WAY ahead of any man. I don't think they have the women's intuition needed for birth.
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#2 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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no- I wouldn't use a midwife who had never given birth either. There is just a level of empathy there between a woman who has given birth and a laboring woman that is very important to me.

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#3 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I wouldn't choose a midwife (or doula, for that matter) who had not themselves experienced childbirth. So, that leaves a man out, lol.

I actually found out after the fact that one of the midwives I used with my ds had not yet had a child of her own; she was not the main midwife, but I was pretty irked. I think that childbirth is such a crucible that you really have to have experienced it before you can do a good job of supporting another through it.
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#4 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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My first thought was "no way!." But I can think of a few men who are very capable of providing the emotional support that I would need during labor. If I was able to connect with a male midwife on the same level I could connect with a female one, I would definitely consider him. I think it would certainly be more difficult to find a man capable of providing the level of care that we think most midwives provide (and an open-mind!), but I'm sure it's not impossible.

I don't do VE's anyway, so that's not a deal for me. It's also not very important to me that a male midwife does not know what giving birth feels like. There are plenty of doulas and midwives who do not have their own children who are quite capable of supporting a mom-to-be. So, that's also not an issue for me.

Interesting question.
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#5 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:53 PM
 
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I've worked with a great male midwife (his wife had all home births and he was her primary support person) and I would see him in a second. He was really amazing.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#6 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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Sure. If I connected with him and my family did as well, I could. I have had doulas at two of my births. One had given birth, one hadnot. The one who had is the one who inspired my doula journey. Theone who had not (but became pregnant right after my birth!) just plain inspired me as a doula. For me, it has more to do with the person than anything. Part of me wants to say that I would not have a care provider who had not given birth, but the rest of me says that anyone could provide me care if there was connection and knowledge.

Using the logic that someone couldnot attend you at birth who had not givenbirth, would that too discount first-time fathers from being sole support?

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#7 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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shoot NO! we did have several UA's with my husband.

I agree and would not use a CBE, Doula or MW who had not had a few births of her own (birth is about more then technical learning).

I also don't get my haircut by anyone who has bad looking hair.

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#8 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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So strange, I had never thought of this and DH asked me last night if male midwives existed. I told him no, I didn't think so, women want to labor and deliver with someone that has "been there, done that". But it looks like there are a few women who'd be comfortable with a male midwife, but I doubt enough to make it worth a guy's time to go to school for it.

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#9 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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I think that I would if his philosophy was "with woman".

My OB for my first daughter was male and a very caring individual. I've never had a female (L&D nurse, CNM, or my GP) be as gentle as that OB was giving VEs. That's why I continue to see him for well-woman care. Unfortunately I didn't really agree with his birth philosophies so he won't be attending my second child's birth when that time comes.

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#10 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Personally unless there's some extenuating emergency, the only guy I like seeing (let alone touching) my vagina is my husband, thanks!
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#11 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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no but i have been sexually assaulted and don't like men down there
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#12 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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I would use a male midwife, nothing about the idea turns me off. But I do prefer using a midwife who has given birth (unmedicated). I like knowing that they really understand what I'm going through during labor.

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#13 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:23 PM
 
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If he wasn't a "medwife", why not? My female GP has four kids of her own, and she has less empathy about my c-sections and all the crap I've been through than either of my male doctors do. I'd rather have a real midwife who happened to me male, than a female who thinks I'm unfairly endangering my baby because I hate baby-ectomies.

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#14 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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My son was caught by a male midwife.
He's an amazing midwife, and certainly one of the most raved about midwives in my state!
I won't use a male OB/GYN, but I was thrilled with my male midwife!

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#15 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaya
I would use a male midwife, nothing about the idea turns me off. But I do prefer using a midwife who has given birth (unmedicated). I like knowing that they really understand what I'm going through during labor.
I think you just captured the thing that bugs me about the whole "why use someone who's never given birth?" thing.

Say your midwife has two kids, and they were both "easy" labours...not very long, baby "popped" out, no positioning difficulties, etc., etc. How does that make her "really understand" what her client is going through if the client is having 40-50 hours of absolutely excruciating labour with a malpositioned baby or something? I mean...unless she had the exact same labour, she doesn't necessarily understand any better than a really empathetic woman with no kids.

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#16 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Nope.. I need to have a woman there. Like a pp said, I have to feel that she has been there, done that. I need to be able to relax and I couldn't do that fully with a male care provider.

Oddly enough, this was a discussion on another forum for medical professionals and I was the only one who said I would have an issue with it ???

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#17 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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Even though the midwife may have had a totally different labor experience, she still knows what it's like to give birth- the intense emotions, your overwhelming need to bond, etc.. that's what I meant.. not sure about everyone else.

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#18 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Fair enough.
I'm a mom and you wouldn't want me there, either, if that's the case. I haven't got the faintest idea what it's like to give birth...

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#19 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Yeah, I would. I'm planning to use a midwife if/when we have another baby, but my two children were both born in hospitals, and were delivered by male OBs. The first one sucked and the second one was awesome! I think it depends on the individual.
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#20 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Yep. I'd have no problem with it as long as he had the philosophy I was looking for. But I've never been one to enjoy girls' stuff and bonding and never looked for a mother-figure in a midwife.

-Angela
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#21 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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I would and have I always said I would never use a male Gyn, and when I found the birth center I used for both pregnancies, there was a male midwife. (same as Lotusdebi's ) Anyway, all of the midwives in that practice are great and the male is raved about by nearly everyone I have ever talked to who has used that birth center. He may not have ever experienced birth, but he is very careing and very sympathetic. He was there for the birth of my first child, and did a great deal to help comfort me during my birth. Had I never met him, I would probably be saying no with everyone else.
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#22 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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Quote:
I think you just captured the thing that bugs me about the whole "why use someone who's never given birth?" thing.

Say your midwife has two kids, and they were both "easy" labours...not very long, baby "popped" out, no positioning difficulties, etc., etc. How does that make her "really understand" what her client is going through if the client is having 40-50 hours of absolutely excruciating labour with a malpositioned baby or something? I mean...unless she had the exact same labour, she doesn't necessarily understand any better than a really empathetic woman with no kids.
I guess it really doesn't make a difference. My last labor happened when I was out of town. I went to a hospital where I didn't know the doctor. Every time he'd come in the room he'd bark an order at me like "lay still so I can check you". The couple times I asked him to wait until my contraction was over, he would literally throw his gloves off, and storm out of the room pissed and mentioning how much easier the woman who use epidurals are to "deal with". I also had my mom there (who had done 4 very easy natural labors of her own). You'd think she'd be supportive right? Well she turned out to be just as unsupportive as the doctor since she considers labor to be "no big deal". She doesn't understand why woman make such a "fuss" and do things like yell or moan (neither of which I even did).

So that labor made an impression on me. That's why this time I looked for a midwife who had done a natural birth. I'm hopeing that it will lead to a little more sympathy during this labor. I never said that I would rule out a male midwife. Nothing about the idea seems wrong or icky to me. I'm actually usually more comfortable around men, I might even prefer a male midwife during labor. Either way, I don't even know of any male midwives. So it's not even an option for me anyways.

I don't see why my reason is any less satisfactory than the woman who say no because of sexual abuse issues.

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#23 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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as long as he was a supportive person, sure!

Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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#24 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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Not in my home. I would use a male midwife in a hospital or birth center though if he was great (and if I was to birth in either place). There is something about inviting someone into my home though that is totally intimate in a different way and I wouldn't be comfortable with that person being a male. I have nothing against male midwifes at all though.

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#25 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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I would not use a male midwife or a male OB, I try not to see a male doc of any kind (okay, eye dr. or dentist is fine) because we are talking about my body. If you don't share the same body parts, I don't want to hear it.

I would however hire a midwife or doula who had not given birth. I think there are some very special women who are called to that line of work before having children or who are barren who do an EXCELLENT job at what they do. I mean, some of the best doulas I know have had c-sections, not the vaginal birth they are being hired to support. I also think that they can sometimes be better doulas/midwives because they are not hampered by the demands of children at home. Two of my favorite midwives in town and two of the most respected have been childless. I would not have found my pathway (being a birth advocate, professional and supporter) had I not had my children, but for those women who find it without that, I think is very very special.

On the other hand, men that have a passion for looking at women's yonis all day (thank you whoever started that word here, that's awesome) creep me out. I don't understand why a man would want to do that. But I do deeply respect men like Marsden Wagner, Michel Odont, and Dick Grantley Read. I have always said if I had a breach baby, I would fly to france and have my baby in a big glass tub with Odont, so I guess I would have a man as long he didn't touch me.

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#26 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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I agree with the posters that say male midwives can be MORE empathetic than females. I find that often with male ob/gyns vs female ones. I think the males are almost always more empathetic.
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#27 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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no- I wouldn't use a midwife who had never given birth either. There is just a level of empathy there between a woman who has given birth and a laboring woman that is very important to me.
My mw has no children. I still think that her philosophies on birthing and pregnancy are awesome. I don't think that is a good reason for me not to use her services, so in the same thought, if I meshed well with a male midwife I'd use him.
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#28 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 07:57 PM
 
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I wouldn't use a male midwife, but I would see a midwife who doesn't have children. My midwife's student didn't have children, and I wanted her at my first birth, but that didn't happen unfortunately.

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#29 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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I would. The whole "male doing a vaginal exam" thing doesn't bother me, my regular gynocologist is male. I've seen a few male doulas too! Obviously if a man was not passionate about childbirth in a more natural means they would not choose to be a midwife. I don't think, especially for a male, that is a career that you just fall into.

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#30 of 79 Old 06-14-2006, 08:17 PM
 
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Hm, my initial reaction was to say no, but it would depend on the man.
If I have a choice, I would choose a woman who had experienced birth herself.

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