Male Midwife Gets Banned From Breastfeeding Class: Is This Fair?
A man studying to become a midwife in the UK has been banned from a breastfeedingclass run by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) because the women in it weren't comfortable with a male being in attendance.
Chris Butt is in the second year of a three-year training course at Bournemouth University. He is doing on-the-job training at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and has delivered five babies on his own – so he’s not exactly new to seeing the intimate parts of a woman.
The NCT said Chris could not attend “women only” classes, BUT he was welcome to join breastfeeding classes where “male partners” were also present.
"I didn't believe for one minute that I would be turned away from breastfeeding groups,” he said.
"Do the facilitators of such clinics think I practice midwifery in some magical way where I don't see intimate parts of women's bodies? Do they think I stand behind a screen as a baby's head is crowning, shouting out advice on when to breathe?"
Upon completion of his training, Butt will be only one of 132 midwives in the UK who are male. And since midwives are often useful in helping women become comfortable and effective with breastfeeding their babies, their roles are viewed as pretty important, especially since Britain has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
It would be very easy for me to sit back and accuse the women in his class as being ridiculous, but quite honestly, I wasn’t comfortable nursing in front of ANYONE after I had given birth. Additionally, I have gone out of my way to find a female OBGYN instead of a male one.
What do you think? Is it unfair that Chris Butt was banned from the breastfeeding class?