References

Cudé G, Winfrey K The hidden barrier. Gender bias: fact or fiction?. Nurs Womens Health. 2007; 11:(3)255-65

Kellet P, Gregory D, Evans J Patriarchal paradox: gender performance and men's nursing careers. Gender in Management. 2014; 29:(2)77-90

No job for a man? Meet the male midwives. 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11202075/No-job-for-a-man-Meet-the-male-midwives.html (accessed 1 June 2015)

Freedom of Information Request—Effective practitioners by gender.London: NMC; 2015

‘I stopped seeing him as a man. He was just a midwife doing a great job.’. 2003. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2003/may/14/familyandrelationships.nhs (accessed 1 June 2015)

Simpson R Masculinity at work: the experiences of men in female dominated occupations. Work, Employment and Society. 2004; 18:(2)349-68

Simpson R A reversal of the gaze: men's experiences of visibility in non-traditional occupations. In: Lewis P, Simpson R Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 2010

Walsh D A male midwife's perspective. In: Mander R, Fleming V London: Routledge; 2009

Williams C The glass escalator: hidden advantages for men in the ‘female’ professions. Social Problems. 1992; 39:253-67

‘What's it like being a male midwife?’

02 July 2015
5 min read
Volume 23 · Issue 7

Abstract

After 30 years of men in the profession, John Pendleton wonders why do we still need to ask this question?

As a clinician I consciously made the decision not to focus on my separateness as a ‘male midwife’. This evolved partly after uncomfortable experiences with mentors who were unsure as to how to introduce me to labouring women. They would send me off to find a piece of equipment then disappear into the room of the woman we had been assigned. Waiting for permission to enter, I would overhear conversations such as, ‘I'm working with a student, he's a man—is that OK? You don't have to have him if you don't want.’ This highlighted to the labouring woman that this was an unusual situation which went against expected convention and placed me in the role of what Simpson (2008) calls the ‘voyeur’. If she ‘bravely’ volunteered to accept me into the room, I had to work hard to overturn this initial negative perception to reach the same point of acceptance that my fellow female cohort members automatically enjoyed.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month