View Poll Results: Would you consider a private male midwife?

127. You may not vote on this poll
  • Absolutely, would have no hesitations

    62 48.82%
  • I don't think I would have a problem with it

    37 29.13%
  • I am unsure

    13 10.24%
  • No, I would prefer a female midwife

    15 11.81%
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Thread: Female or Male Midwife?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Female or Male Midwife?

    OK girls next year I intend to move away from the hospital system and become an independent midwife doing home births and providing antenatal and postnatal care. I have not yet decided where I am going to practice bit I am coming down to VIC in Feb for a look around. (I have never been there before). My only concern is that because I am a male I may not get enough clients to make this a viable option. So what I would like to know is this:

    Would you consider employing an independent male midwife?

    Would you prefer a female midwife?

    What would influence your choice?

    Any other comments would also be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    I've just put up a poll, votes are anonymous.

    I'd like to say that since we know you here I think you would get more yes than no! I know I would have no problems hiring a male midwife, there are also male GP's doing homebirth and it's the same thing to me!

    I think if you are able to offer great service, which I am sure you will, then you will have no problems, e.g. having a website with your picture, testimonials etc... I can help with that I think if anything, if you can be more 'out there' and be seen, it will work well

    I wish you all the best and I certainly hope we see you in the independent arena

    Also this year for the first time there were two male doulas at the Australian Doula Conference
    Last edited by BellyBelly; December 24th, 2006 at 08:43 PM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Berwick, Melbourne


    I don't care what gender the midwife is as long as they know what they are doing and have myself and baby's best interest at heart. Good luck Alan.

  4. #4
    Debbie Lee Guest


    Alan - while I was in hospital with Gabby, I had a male midwife for a couple of his shifts and I can safely say that I preferred him. I was having trouble with my supply and he was SUCH a great help! He didn't try to milk me like a cow like some of the female midwives did. Instead he offered an ear to listen, some great advice, kind words and he helped me with the pumps and all the stuff that goes with them. I did hear him ask some of the female midwives if they could help out with a couple of his patients because they preferred to not have a male help them out. I felt sad for him... obviously he does the job because he enjoys it and is good at it. I guess that's the big dilemma of being a male in a "female" domain, hey?
    I'd definitely consider hiring an independent male midwife if I got along well with him and offered a good service (like Kelly suggested).
    I prefer having a male doctor too. I don't know why... I just feel more comfortable.
    I'm secretly hoping that Hamilton Base Hospital has a male midwife there somewhere.... hehehe.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    South Coast NSW


    I too would prefer a male midwife. I find most women midwives here are not the best to talk to, like they didnt have the time. I had a male midwife when i had DD and he was the most understanding midwife i have come across so far!
    Goodluck and wishing you all the best....

  6. #6


    I was actually discussing this the other day with a male friend who is a nurse and we were wondering how a male mid would be treated (he's trying to decide if he'll go into mid or not)... Personally, I don't give a codswaddle about the gender of people assisting me/looking after me but then I've always had more male friends than female and am also a nurse so maybe that alters my thinking a little. I know my DH on the other hand, might have an issue with me having a male mid or attendant for the birth - anything else he isn't fussed by.
    my influences would be guided by the knowledge, skill set and interpersonal skills of the person and also how I feel with them. It's just as easy to feel uncomfortable with a female carer as a male....
    I wish you all the best though Alan. I've always looked for responses from you in the threads and often thought "If only he were practicing here in Vic..." I hope this works out well for you!


  7. #7
    mooshie Guest


    firstly alan congratulations on your decision.

    i am a bit ashamed to admit this, however i remember during the birth of my first child, when i was in transition, my midwife went to lunch and i had a male midwife relieve, i had just had a shot of pethidene, thrown up everywhere and all in all i just wanted out, i heard different voices in the room (i tend to keep my eyes closed alot during labour lol) i opened my eyes and standing there was a male midwife - i cursed and said wtf what are you doing in here, do you enjoy seeing women in pain, at the time i just didn't care and i think my response would have been the same had i had a female midwife change over, it just all happened at the wrong time. he didn't stay in the labour ward with me i don't think as my midwife i originally had was back really quickly.

    however a few days later he was on again and i apologised to him, he was great, it didn't seem to phase him and of course being a midwife, he knew that some women seem to just go to a way different place in transition - i know i certainly do, it is a crazy time for me. anyway the days i had him on the ward he was absolutely brilliant, he actually showed me and dh and helped us bath our baby for the first time and he was also wonderful in respect of feeding issues.

    anyway i think it is great and i also think it can be a positive thing for the dp's/dh's to have a male midwife caring for the partner

    good luck

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    In a heartbeat Alan for sure.

    I had some very nasty nasty midwives during my short stay in hospital after I had Alexzander & they were all female. I got to see the one male midwife at my hospital just before we left, other than that I saw him to book in my induction which was actually scheduled for the day I was leaving. Anyway, he remembered me which was surprising as the others didn't. He said, see I told you that we wouldn't have to induce!

    He was so gentle with Alexzander as he did the final checks on him before we went home. We had a female midwife trying to get the blood for the heel test & she was so rough, but Alan (yep another Alan!) took over & was really good with him. He asked me how b/f was going & told me something no others had said which made me feel so much better. I had had an emergency c/s after a 36hr labour & he told me he was not surprised my milk hadn't come in yet, that my body was probably still in shock. No-one else told me that & also that the c/s could delay the milk coming in anyway.

    He was just so kind & sympathetic, such a beautiful soul. So if you're anything like him, you'll have no problems at all. BTW, looking at your avatar, you have a very kind face so I can imagine you would be fantastic

  9. #9


    I don't think it would bother me, but then I don't even want female midwives around. I've had some rotters of female midwives, and haven't seen a male one at all - I'm sure you can't be worse than some of the ones I've had.

    My main consideration for a midwife was how much they tried to tell me what to do during pregnancy - one who didn't tell me off for reading things or having a small bump would get employment, irrespective of gender!

  10. #10


    It wouldn't be an issue for me.

    Best wishes Alan with your new career!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..


    Alan, I think it's an awesome decison & wish you tonnes of luck & success!
    For me I dont care who is there when I am in labour, infact if I was on the middle of the MCG on Grand Final Day & they were zooming me up on the big screen I'd not care!!!

    I have asked my aunty to come to this birth as she has only sons & her DIL's are snobs & wont have her there for any birth's... I am happy for whoever wants to come!!!

  12. #12
    Rainbows_ Guest


    Yes hand goes up i also have had awful experiences with midwifes, i dont think it matters if the midwife is male or female just that she cares and is supportive!!!

  13. #13


    When I have a choice I usually prefer a female care provider. For me it's a relgious issue not one of thinking that a woman is nessescarily a better midwife. That said I would prefer a competent male midwife over an incompetant female one.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Portland Victoria


    Alan - I had a male midwife in portland - he was wonderful!!! couldn't ask for any better

  15. #15


    Alan, is private midwifery a business that relies alot on word-of-mouth to generate a client base? If so you should have no problems finding clients - you'll probably be beating them away with a stick lol.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains


    I voted I don't think I would have a problem with it.

    I hired a male Ob, and had no problems with him seeing everything! LOL. So it wouldn't be a modesty thing.

    Also, when I was really sick in hospital once, I had male nurse looking after me through the night and "cleaning" me up, and he was just soooo nice and professional, I had no problem with anything.

    However... having said that.. I'm not sure I would deliberately hire a male midwife iykwim? I'd have no problems with a male midwife being on duty at the hospital etc.. but it's different when actually hiring one. Altho - now that I've actually thought about it, if I were to hire any midwife, I'd be wanting recommendations... and should he be highly recommended.. then no problemo! LOL.

    Gosh - you've just seen the inner workings of my mind. How confusing huh! LOL.

    Alan - can't you come to NSW instead? Western sydney in particular? LOL.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Central Coast NSW


    Hi, I really think it depends on the attitude of the person, for me male or female if they are not friendly and caring i dont want to know. I need to feel comfortable sharing an important journey with that person.
    I once went to a baby shop/boutique and there was a man standing at the counter, he said nothing and ignored me and i felt really uncomfortable in there so i didnt ask about products or prices and i felt that he wouldnt know the best brand of highchair...or even care. I left quickly and never went there again. They moved shops and i accidently went in thinking it was a new shop but the man was there again and the same uncomfortable feeling was there. The shop closed down so i guess i wasnt the only one who felt that way.
    My Gyno is a man and he is the most caring and nice person and i feel totally comfortable talking to him about anything.

  18. #18


    Interesting topic. I would have chosen a male midwife if he was offering the care I wanted namely 1-2-1 care, home birth. Gender not important.

    I am an IM in Victoria Alan, where would you set up? City /rural?
    Would you be interested in acting as 2nd M/W back-up?
    I am finding getting numbers difficult to make it my full time career but it is steadiy growing.
    PM for any info or just to chat.

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