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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Salam, I would like to get some advice from some sisters who have gone through pregnancy and giving birth or who know someone that has, and how they maintained the rules of modesty and hijab during pregnancy(when visiting medical professionals) and during the actual birth process, particularly those that have been through the NHS system in the UK- Did you/your friend insist on having female only doctors and nurses/midwives/ultrasound practisioners? Was this request respected? What reaction did you get from such an insistence? Were you able to include the insistence on a female only birthing environment in your birthing plan? What was your doctor's and midwive's reactions and response to this? did they find it strange or offensive? did they raise the idea that this request would not necessarily be respected in times of emergency? What exactly did they explain to be enough of an emergency for the necessity of having a male medical practitioner in the room when no female was available? would you be a priority for female staff, so that they would more likely be available for emergencies and so that those that have raised no objections to males in the birthing room would have males deal with them in emergencies and possibly otherwise? Did any of you not see the necessity of insisting on a female only birthing environment? If not why? At the actual birth, how much was your privacy and modesty and hijab respected? Did you keep a scarf and other covering garments near you just in case at the birth? Did you have an emergency that required a doctor, and where there were no females available? how did you react to this? did you wear a head scarf and cover your arms and legs and only show the part of the body that was necessary for the male doctor to deal with you?(Sayed sistani seems to require this in his fatwa regarding times where it is necessary for a non mahram man to treat a woman medically, presumably this includes birth) How bad of a situation would you need the emergency to be for you to accept the necessity of a male medical professional to deal with you, if no female was available? Who did you have as your birthing partner? was your husband present? Were they able to support you in your efforts to maintain modesty/hijab without looking like they were forcing it on you and being oppressive? Did you insist in silence once the child was delivered, so that the first words it would hear would be the Adhan and iqamah? was this respected by the medical staff? what do you sisters think about home birth and the added privacy it brings? though the emergencies would be harder to deal with if they arose and you may have to deal with having no choice of having male paramedics coming to your home to give you emergency treatment and take you to the hospital, would you take that risk? What about cesarean? were you able to insist on only female staff in the operating room, including anaesthetists, pediatricians etc? How was this request dealt with? was it respected? What about after the birth? In the ward, could you breast feed in private, so that male medical staff and fathers on the ward wouldn't see you? could you keep your curtain closed so that you could take your scarf off and sleep properly? was this treated as suspicious? I have witnessed that most non muslim mothers don't care whether anyone sees them breast feed, let alone seeing their hair, so did the other mothers and fathers find you strange and unfriendly? did staff respect your privacy and be careful when opening and closing the curtain around the bed? What about halal or vegetarian food? did you eat the food they provide? were your family allowed to visit and pass on the food? I would be most grateful for your contributions to this thread, I do worry about these issues, as hijab and maintainance of dignty and modesty during childbirth is very important to me, and it seems such a vulnerable time, when you are putting your life and privacy in the hands of often non muslim medical professionals, and so these issues are very pertinent. Any help, experience and advice would be most appreciated inshallah, Salams and duas inshallah
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