Hello I’m Garry and I’m your midwife

Gary Slevin, 51, is a midwife from London. He has five children, aged 19 to 33, and has been married three times. He says:

Since I qualified, I’ve delivered more than 2,000 babies. Some women are very surprised when they’re told I’m going to be their midwife — but they get over it pretty quickly when they realise I’m there to help them.

The Daily Mail recently ran this article on men doing ‘women’s work’ and it highlighted to me an area in my profession that I hadn’t really explored before.

How would you really feel if a male midwife was going to care for you during the birth of your baby?  How would your partner feel?  Would you ask to have a female midwife instead?

Why is it acceptable to have a male obstetrician or gynaecologist?  Or do you prefer to see a female doctor?

Thoughts please……….

13 thoughts on “Hello I’m Garry and I’m your midwife

  1. There are two male midwives at the hospital I gave birth. I don’t think I’d mind but getting examined would perhaps be a bit weird. I know my hubby would certainly have been weirded out.

      • Yeah, I don’t know, I’d probably be quite tense if nothing else… I’ve never actually had to (and I’m 27 lol… ) its always been women when its been smth to do with my downstairs area. Had to talk to a male doctor about a thrush prescription over the phone… he was almost as uncomfortable (I think) about it as i was haha

    • most men admit they find any part of the labour when a man has to do something invasive, very uncomfortable to watch ie a doctor or midwife. i think good communication and a trusting relationship between the midwife and women in key.

  2. I think when I was in labour with both the boys a monkey could have walked into the room, as long as they knew how to deliver a baby safely and show me compassion that would have been all I cared about in that momen of time. I have a male midwife where I work and I have to say I would prefer him to Alot of the female midwives I work with.

  3. Brilliant idea for a post! I was a bit annoyed when it turned out my midwife didn’t have any kids, I thought “what does she know?”. In the end she was off duty when I gave birth, so I never found out, it may have been fine. Think I would be wierded out by bloke midwife, but you’re absolutely right, I would almost expect a gynaecologist to be male.

  4. Love your blog! Apologies for rather long comment/essay. I had a male midwife and he is a very nice, very experienced midwife but…he had quite strong views on my choice of birth and I found him to be quite forceful in his opinions. The thing is he will never ever experience childbirth or any other womanly things. Of course a female midwife may never have children either and therefore not have that experience. Woman do have the same bodies and hormones though and I think this goes a long way to understanding each other better than men can. I had a 9lb 3oz baby girl five years ago, big blood loss 3rd degree tears And complications for two years, I already had my first daughter naturally with no problems. At 38 we decided to have our Third and last baby, this time I chose a c section to Minimize the risk of becoming permanently incontinent, This was the complication I had, in both parts of my body, you can imagine the fear of this happening again and not being able to get better.My Male midwife made me feel guilty for choosing the section, he kept saying it may not happen again etc and sections are not good for the baby. I just said, you have never experienced having your nether regions traumatised and probably never will! Incase any first time mums to be read this, don’t worry my case isn’t common and I am a small person who has very big babies! First birth was absolutely fine.In the end I had the section, Something went wrong again but I was already in theatre so they could fix me quickly. I recovered, this time with no lasting damage, baby perfect at 8lb and a happy mum too! So my choice was right for me, but my male midwife wasn’t supportive, my friend had him and she found breastfeeding difficult but he didn’t really help very much with this either. As I said very nice man but I would have preferred a woman for antenatal care, at the birth if l I wasnt having a section I wouldn’t have minded a male midwife at all.I can’t believe people choose sections over normal delivery without a reason to do so, it is much harder to recover and so different. I would always opt for natural birth with pain relief. I did start having my second daughter at home as planned, before the complication and that was a wonderful experience I loved the first part!

    • Thanks for your comment Sherri, that’s really interesting what you said about the male midwife making you feel guilty (and also sad). I have however heard women say their female midwife have also made them feel guilty about aspects of their birth and breastfeeding. Maybe because he was male and doesn’t have a vagina then you might have felt more hostile to his comments. I know I would have!

      • I have to agree i think that female midwives can be equally opinionated about how they practice. I don’t necessarily think having children has made me a better midwife just a different sort of midwife.

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