XP: ? for Moms about male dr. — The Bump
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XP: ? for Moms about male dr.

Have any of you had anxiety about a male doctor delivering your baby and then had a male during deliver? Did your perspective change while you were delivering or after?

background:

Yesterday I found out my obgyn only delivers M-F daytime hours and then she rotates with 1 women and 2 men for nights and weekends. This makes me nervous because having a male doctor down there gives me great anxiety. I started crying in the appointment because of the hormones and my nerves about it. My obgyn was saying she could refer me to an all women clinic, but I don't know if I really want to switch again. My current doc at EWC came with many good recs. I previously felt uncomfortable with a male gyno even at annual exams. 

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Re: XP: ? for Moms about male dr.

  • I'm sorry, that does sounds stressful.

    I have always had a male doctor, but I prefer it, so I don't have the same anxiety that you have.

    I don't have any advice, other than my OB was male and awesome.  I know that doesn't help.

    Best wishes for you.

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  • If you are at all uncomfortable with the idea, switch providers.  Find someone who will be there for you and you are comfortable with.  
  • I also did NOT want a male gyno or OB...when I picked my doctor here, even before I was pg, I looked for a practice that was all or mostly women. (among other things)  

     I am already getting nervous about the birth process (and it will be just DH and I there, no local family!) and couldn't imagine not being comfortable with the doctor there.  If you really love your current doc and want to keep working with her, I would maybe arrange to meet with the male docs at your office (if you haven't already done so) and see if you're more comfortable with them after meeting them. If not--I would switch if you won't be comfortable having them there at your delivery, which sounds like it could be a very real possibility.

    If you do decide to look for a new doc, I can't say enough good things about Seattle OB/GYN so far.   I loooove Dr. McKeever, and while I haven't had much interaction with the other ladies there so far, the ones I have met/spoken with have been great also.  (If this is nowhere near you, I apologize...I am still pretty new to the city and don't have a good handle on where everything is distance-wise in relation to other places yet...everything was quite far apart where I moved from!!)

     

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  • I was definitely very aware of who was at my birth. I had a midwife who I LOVED and my husband and doula and that was it, and I was aware of who was there and what they were saying to me and when. Birth is a very demanding process physically and mentally and I wouldn't want the added stress of being uncomfortable with who was in the room with me and what they were doing. I hate to say it, but if I were you I might switch practices. I also saw Seattle OBGYN for the GYN part and had a perfectly good experience with them, I just didn't want an OB at my birth. The only thing about them is there's a good chance you won't know the person at your birth. They see their own clients M-F daytime hours if you go into labor then, but if you go in the evening (most likely) there are a LOT of doctors on rotation. They are all women, though, it's just something I thought I'd point out.
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  • Thanks everybody for your input, I'm so torn on what to do.

    We live in Bothell, so we definitely want to deliver at Evergreen and work with a practice nearby. I know at least 1 of the all female practices my obgyn mentioned being able to refer me to fits that. I actually had to leave my ob/gyn of years after I got BFP because I found out she delivered in Everett. 

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  • What's wrong with Everett?  A lot of women have had great experiences there.  It's most important that you trust your care provider completely.
  • image Kathzoo:
    What's wrong with Everett?  A lot of women have had great experiences there.  It's most important that you trust your care provider completely.

    Everett is AMAZING, I actually liked it better than Evergreen because it's all separate from the hospital.  But that's not what your question  was about,

    I had never had a male OBGYN either until my OB left the practice when I was 36 weeks pregnant.  I only met with my new ob once, and he didn't deliver me, but another male in the practice did.  At that point I didn't care who was there, I just wanted my baby!  

    I have a male OB now, and it's just fine, I have no issues with it, and there is ALWAYS a female in the room with you when the OB is doing anything "down there".  

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  • image Kathzoo:
    What's wrong with Everett?  A lot of women have had great experiences there.  It's most important that you trust your care provider completely.

    It is a lot further from my house during high traffic times - almost twice the amount of time. This concerns me for getting to the hospital during labor...and if any of our out-of-state family is here, I wouldn't want them to deal with getting there and back as it is a longer and more confusing route.

    Also, there was a low chance I'd actually get my old obgyn for delivery anyway because she isn't on the obgyn rotation schedule that often and doesn't do deliveries during the daytime. 

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  • My OB and the other OB in her practice was female.  I have never been to a male Dr before and really never thought about delivery. 

    I was induced with #1 and it took so long, when the time actually came, my Doc was not on call anymore.  A male Dr did in fact deliver me and I did not care in the slightest.  So much going on at that point and honestly, the nurse does all the "prep" stuff and they only call the Dr in at the last minute.

    With #2, I went into labor the day before my scheduled induction and got another male.  Ironically, it was the same Dr that delivered my 1st 2 years before! 

    If you feel strongly about it then switch, but make sure the hospital rotation doctors will remain teh same until you deliver.  What about male nurses?  Or the anesteologist? (sp?)n  Would you be OK with them being male?

     

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  • image Nancy_Drew:


    If you feel strongly about it then switch, but make sure the hospital rotation doctors will remain teh same until you deliver.  What about male nurses?  Or the anesteologist? (sp?)n  Would you be OK with them being male?

     

     This was my thought, too. I would switch if you feel THAT uncomfortable. 

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  • I have always preferred a female gyno, and chose a female OB as well.  But there were plenty of men present at my c-section, and the second surgeon who assisted my female OB was male.  He actually was awesome, and I ended up glad he was there with my OB.  My anesthesiologist was a male, and I believe there was one male nurse as well ? I had DH, my doula and my OB present, and even if I was delivering vaginally I did not really care who else was going to be there. 

    I would look at why you are nervous.  There is nothing sexual about delivering a baby, if exposing your private areas is what's making you worry.  If it is something you can logic your way around, then I wouldn't switch just because there is a male OB on call.  If it is a fear that is uncontrollable, then switching might be necessary; but like the others said, I just don't think you'll be able to control the gender of everyone in the room, and you may need to get prepared for a male to be present other than your DH.

     

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  • Actually, if it's that important to you, put your request for all female staff in your birth plan.  It should be accommodated with advance notice especially of you are at an all female OB practice.  Muslim women do not allow men at their births period.  Not even DH.  It's your birth, your rules.
  • I have had 3 male OB deliver and operate D&C's (3miscarriages). I prefer male doctors because they are working on equipment that they have no personal knowledge of (strange logic, but that is why). My DH is a little less comfortable, but he likes all of them as well. Josephine was delivered by a male OB, a different male OB operated for my 3 D&C'S, and I gave permission to have a male student Intern deliver beside the female on call OB. 

     I have no discomfort with male doctors, but they will never be alone in the room with you.  Your DH will be there the entire time as well.

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  • Thanks for the continued input everyone

    image Nancy_Drew:

    If you feel strongly about it then switch, but make sure the hospital rotation doctors will remain teh same until you deliver.  What about male nurses?  Or the anesteologist? (sp?)n  Would you be OK with them being male?

    Yes, I'm fine with other male staff, although I'd prefer if none of them were down there looking at all my girliy parts.  My rhuematologist, which I see often, is a male and I have no prob. with that.  It's all about just not being comfortable with men in my most personal space (I've previously been raped). Honestly, I'm not 100% comfortable with women being there, but that scenario doesn't bring on anxiety. 

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  • There is a book you should read by local birth guru Penny Simkin called When Survivors Give Birth.  Also, be sure to discuss your history with your care provider and consider hiring a doula who has experience working with victims of abuse.  I am sure this is not part of your life you wish to revisit, but it may impact your birth.  Please get the support you need to have a positive experience.
  • image Kathzoo:
    There is a book you should read by local birth guru Penny Simkin called When Survivors Give Birth.  Also, be sure to discuss your history with your care provider and consider hiring a doula who has experience working with victims of abuse.  I am sure this is not part of your life you wish to revisit, but it may impact your birth.  Please get the support you need to have a positive experience.

    Thanks for the book rec. - looks like the library even has it. My provider does know my history, but said there is nothing that can be done about the possibility of having a male at her practice. I have been considering a doula, just not sure about it yet.  

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  • With my last one, I was really uncomfortable about having a male doctor. I had Group Health insurance at the time and after visiting some of their doctors, I decided to look around more. My husband and I both thought the 2 doctors at the Group Health office were drugged during my appointments. No thanks! The only OBs close by me that were open were male. It wasn't my preference, but my doctor ended up being great and I honestly was in such a daze during delivery, that I couldn't care less who was in the room or anything like that. 

     If you are that uncomfortable though, I would look around. Maybe meeting the doctors would ease your mind? Is that something your OB could set up over your next couple of appointments? 

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