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Maryammm

Maintaining Hijab And Giving Birth

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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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We should observe modesty in all fields of life. It is difficult during pregnancy and while in hospitals but alhamdulillah it can be done. If not completely then at least to certain levels that will not displease Allah swt. Unless you live in a underserved region there are usually female practitioners who can help women in these matters. Although I have not experience child birth myself, several of my family members have. We live in a high diverse area and such request are normal. Female nurses, PA, technicians, and OBGYNS, are plentiful. The only female professional that is difficult to find is the anaesthetic physician. If we can't find one then I don't think Allah swt will hold us accountable and usually the anaesthetic doctor doesn't see your private area at least.

You will exercise your own judgment when you actually go through these things but please do remember that Allah had made our faith simple. Try your best to guard your modesty and ask Allah to help you and InshaAllah everything will be fine. There are situations in which you will be forced to tweek certain rules but Allah looks at our intentions. May you have a safe delivery and a healthy baby, inshaAllah!

I feel like sister AR will have a great response. I look forward to it. :)

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It's typically hard to come by female OBGYN doctors because it isn't easy to become one. It takes a lot of time to become one, and it is very time consuming. So a lot of females don't opt to go that route because they know it'll take away from raising their own family.

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My OBGYN is Muslim and he has a Midwife and nurses who will do his check ups for us ladies who want a female.

My delivery was so quick (water broke at 6am, contractions at 6:15am, 7am at the hospital, 8am started pushing, 8:15am baby was born) the doctor didn't even make it, instead the nurses caught Ahmad. I will say though, I wasn't prepared mentally for the delivery as it was 6 weeks early! I was in shock and unbelief that the baby was coming, so when I started to push, I began getting claustrophobic, feeling my hijab was too tight, etc. I ended up pulling it off in frustration in the middle of a push! My husband was there the whole time as neither of us have family where we live. The only time a male OBGYN (he wasn't even my regular OBGYN since my Dr was on vacation at the time) saw me without hijab was after delivery, and he just took care of the after things (won't go into the nasty details). Believe you me, the only beautiful thing about birth is the new life, the rest of it is gory and disproportional. I don't think any male would be rethinking anything he saw during that time in a sexual perspective.

EDIT:

When I have to prepare for another delivery, I will for sure purchase one of those stretchy one piece hijabs that are double knit or jersey material.

Edited by UmmAhmad

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My OBGYN is Muslim and he has a Midwife and nurses who will do his check ups for us ladies who want a female.

My delivery was so quick (water broke at 6am, contractions at 6:15am, 7am at the hospital, 8am started pushing, 8:15am baby was born) the doctor didn't even make it, instead the nurses caught Ahmad. I will say though, I wasn't prepared mentally for the delivery as it was 6 weeks early! I was in shock and unbelief that the baby was coming, so when I started to push, I began getting claustrophobic, feeling my hijab was too tight, etc. I ended up pulling it off in frustration in the middle of a push! My husband was there the whole time as neither of us have family where we live. The only time a male OBGYN (he wasn't even my regular OBGYN since my Dr was on vacation at the time) saw me without hijab was after delivery, and he just took care of the after things (won't go into the nasty details). Believe you me, the only beautiful thing about birth is the new life, the rest of it is gory and disproportional. I don't think any male would be rethinking anything he saw during that time in a sexual perspective.

EDIT:

When I have to prepare for another delivery, I will for sure purchase one of those stretchy one piece hijabs that are double knit or jersey material.

Salam, thanks for your reply, just to let you know, most if not all marjas that I have come across say that male medical professionals should only see you without full hijab in extreme circumstances, and should only see the required parts of the body that they need to deal with to treat you. I know it may seem like a doctor wouldn't think things about you when sorting you out with the stuff to do with birth and the after birth, but we still have to meet the requirements of hijab at all times that it is necessary, Sayyeda Fatima(as) maintained her hijab even in front of a blind man, now that makes me think that even in cases of extreme medical need for having a male medical professional who is not blind and will be seeing and touching you in places that are extremely private, should we not then cover as much of what is wajib to cover as we can? I understand your situation and why you were frustrated with giving birth and wearing a headscarf, it can get pretty hot and tiersome from what I have heard and seen, but a non mahram is a non mahram and we really should exercise caution in my opinion inshallah. I hope I haven't offended you inshallah, but I feel that particularly in the west, us muhajjabahs need to stick together on this and other modesty issues, and insist on our privacy a lot more when it comes to medical treatment, as when we don't do that, it makes it very difficult for the next sister in Islam to insist on that, and it shows an inconsistency amongst the muslims and can mean that the medical professionals are not as sensitive to the needs of muhajjabah mothers to the extent that they should and could be, and just assume that she is being a radical extremist or just being stubborn and epecting 'special' treatment.

I hope inshallah that your child grows up to be a great pious muslim inshallah,and may Allah(swt) bless you with more lovely, healthy and pious children inshallah! I hope to gain heaven at my feet one day soon inshallah.

All the best, and salams and duas inshallah

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Salam, thanks for your reply, just to let you know, most if not all marjas that I have come across say that male medical professionals should only see you without full hijab in extreme circumstances, and should only see the required parts of the body that they need to deal with to treat you. I know it may seem like a doctor wouldn't think things about you when sorting you out with the stuff to do with birth and the after birth, but we still have to meet the requirements of hijab at all times that it is necessary, Sayyeda Fatima(as) maintained her hijab even in front of a blind man, now that makes me think that even in cases of extreme medical need for having a male medical professional who is not blind and will be seeing and touching you in places that are extremely private, should we not then cover as much of what is wajib to cover as we can? I understand your situation and why you were frustrated with giving birth and wearing a headscarf, it can get pretty hot and tiersome from what I have heard and seen, but a non mahram is a non mahram and we really should exercise caution in my opinion inshallah. I hope I haven't offended you inshallah, but I feel that particularly in the west, us muhajjabahs need to stick together on this and other modesty issues, and insist on our privacy a lot more when it comes to medical treatment, as when we don't do that, it makes it very difficult for the next sister in Islam to insist on that, and it shows an inconsistency amongst the muslims and can mean that the medical professionals are not as sensitive to the needs of muhajjabah mothers to the extent that they should and could be, and just assume that she is being a radical extremist or just being stubborn and epecting 'special' treatment.

I hope inshallah that your child grows up to be a great pious muslim inshallah,and may Allah(swt) bless you with more lovely, healthy and pious children inshallah! I hope to gain heaven at my feet one day soon inshallah.

All the best, and salams and duas inshallah

I didn't say what I did was right or wrong, you asked for our experiences and shared mine with you. I understand all of what you said, and I had those intentions in my mind as well before I delivered. In the time of the Prophet things were different, I am sure the husbands weren't even allowed in the room while the wife gave birth (none the less a male physician), therefore she could be as dressed or undressed as she wanted. Unless you are planning to have a home birth this is impossible. Do you think I wanted a non-mahram man to see me that way? Should I have just left that bad tear to heal on its own since there were no lady doctors in the hospital to sew it up at the time?

Maybe things would have been different if I would have had a full term baby, no surprises and had been fully prepared in my mind, but only women who have given birth to preemies can understand you aren't in your right mind. The baby is coming but you don't believe it's really happening, and you are trying to hold yourself back from giving birth to it. You are frustrated, worried, and in unbelief. One of my friends told me she could never give birth with hijab, and I looked at her and thought in my mind, "How haram for a man that is a non-mahram to see you that way." Then I had to take back what I thought because I understood why. As I said, I wasn't prepared, I just pinned on a scarf and went to the hospital, I didn't even have a hospital bag ready for me or extra clothes. I am sure you know, even when you go to eat, sometimes the pin can be bothersome if you pin your scarf too tight, imagine trying to give birth with a tight hijab? This is why I said next time I would want to buy a good hijab for the next time I go in labor.

Childbirth in itself is difficult, but wondering if when your baby comes out, it will be able to breath on its own, or eat on it's own is a whole other idea.

Insha'Allah when you go in labor, you will be prepared mentally, physically, will have an easy delivery, and a healthy child.

Edit:

Maybe you didn't get it in my last reply, but I did say my OBGYN has a Midwife and Nurses. They are the ones the do the check ups, measuring, touching, etc. The only time I was touched by a male was, as I said, after delivery to sew my tear. That was it. I wasn't offended, but you did come off as a bit judgmental- no offense taken I hope.

Edited by UmmAhmad

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I didn't say what I did was right or wrong, you asked for our experiences and shared mine with you. I understand all of what you said, and I had those intentions in my mind as well before I delivered. In the time of the Prophet things were different, I am sure the husbands weren't even allowed in the room while the wife gave birth (none the less a male physician), therefore she could be as dressed or undressed as she wanted. Unless you are planning to have a home birth this is impossible. Do you think I wanted a non-mahram man to see me that way? Should I have just left that bad tear to heal on its own since there were no lady doctors in the hospital to sew it up at the time?

Maybe things would have been different if I would have had a full term baby, no surprises and had been fully prepared in my mind, but only women who have given birth to preemies can understand you aren't in your right mind. The baby is coming but you don't believe it's really happening, and you are trying to hold yourself back from giving birth to it. You are frustrated, worried, and in unbelief. One of my friends told me she could never give birth with hijab, and I looked at her and thought in my mind, "How haram for a man that is a non-mahram to see you that way." Then I had to take back what I thought because I understood why. As I said, I wasn't prepared, I just pinned on a scarf and went to the hospital, I didn't even have a hospital bag ready for me or extra clothes. I am sure you know, even when you go to eat, sometimes the pin can be bothersome if you pin your scarf too tight, imagine trying to give birth with a tight hijab? This is why I said next time I would want to buy a good hijab for the next time I go in labor.

Childbirth in itself is difficult, but wondering if when your baby comes out, it will be able to breath on its own, or eat on it's own is a whole other idea.

Insha'Allah when you go in labor, you will be prepared mentally, physically, will have an easy delivery, and a healthy child.

Edit:

Maybe you didn't get it in my last reply, but I did say my OBGYN has a Midwife and Nurses. They are the ones the do the check ups, measuring, touching, etc. The only time I was touched by a male was, as I said, after delivery to sew my tear. That was it. I wasn't offended, but you did come off as a bit judgmental- no offense taken I hope.

Sorry to have offended you, it is just that this is an issue that I worry about alot, and so maybe my reply to you came off in the wrong way... I wasn't really saying that things have to be like in the time of rasulallah(sawas) as they didn't even have male doctors who dealt with it back then. As far as I know, it was elder female relatives who have been through it before or it was the equivalent of a midwife, and ofcourse in this day and age we have much more sophisticated medical facilities that make labour much safer. I am sorry that you had to go through labour unprepared, it isn't easy when you have a child on the due date, let alone way before, and I am really sorry and hope that you can accept my deepest apologies for seeming insensitive. I just assumed that although you could have taken off your headcarf with just the midwife and your husband during labour ofcourse, I just assumed that the midwife would have waited for you to cover yourself again before alowing the male doctor to come in and treat you, or at least have asked or that the doctor would have knocked before entering and waited for permission to enter the room. As from what i have heard, they don't need to do the stitches immediately afterwards and could have waited just a minute for you to put a headscarf on and cover everything apart from what the doctor would need to see. It really frustrates me that medical professionals and hospitals don't have the sensitivity to handle these situations and make things easier for us as muhajjabahs, i understand that their lives don't revolve around muslims, but I guess I don't see how it could be so difficult to cater for the simple needs of hijab. The health system is geared up in such a way that it makes me feel(and I am sure others feel or have felt this way) nervous and like an idiot to even be insisting on being as proper as possible about keeping as much hijab as possible and being able to choose to only have female medical professionals, especially when it seems like it puts the people dealing with you through so much trouble, because they seem to think that it is a very unusual an rediculous request to make. They don't understand, because they just think, well all the other women don't care or don't show that they care and complain, and the male doctors etc have seen it all before, so get over yourself... you even get this attitude in places with a high population of muslims.

I really hope that with your next birth, you don't have to go through both the difficulties of having your child early, and that you are able to better prepare in all ways necessary inshallah. I understand better now why you had the experience that you did, and I am really sorry once again for my insensitivity, thank you so much for sharing your experiences, it has really helped me a lot! You have given me a lot of food for thought about things from what type of scarf to wear, all the way to making sure that both I and my husband are prepared, ready and confident to be polite but firm in how we deal with midwives and other medical staff, especially in trying to maintain hijab, not as easy as I would have hoped... I really hope that you have an easier experience next time inshallah and I am really sorry to have come off judgemental and insensitive, I really hope I didn't hurt your feelings and that you can accept my sincere apologies inshallah.

Salams and duas to you and your family and I really hope that you are all having an enjoyable and blessed month of Ramadhan! I hope things are going really well as a new mum inshallah.

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Don't stress yourself out if you can't find female doctors. Male doctors can easily handle childbirth because they very well trained in this area.

It's unfortunate that they are way too many male doctors vs female when half of the population that needs medical care/treatment are female.

In the past, when I was looking for a primary care physician, 85% of the doctors were male. And soo few female doctors. Not all of the female doctors were accepting new patients. So you are left even with very few choices. I finally found a female doctor and a female gynecologist, so I'm very lucky.

I have lots of male doctors in my family. They are very well trained in their profession. Their main objective is to help people. And that's what they do.

Edited by Gypsy

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Don't stress yourself out if you can't find female doctors. Male doctors can easily handle childbirth because they very well trained in this area.

It's unfortunate that they are way too many male doctors vs female when half of the population that needs medical care/treatment are female.

In the past, when I was looking for a primary care physician, 85% of the doctors were male. And soo few female doctors. Not all of the female doctors were accepting new patients. So you are left even with very few choices. I finally found a female doctor and a female gynecologist, so I'm very lucky.

I have lots of male doctors in my family. They are very well trained in their profession. Their main objective is to help people. And that's what they do.

Salam, as much as I can understand that these male doctors are professional and well trained, that isn't really the point when it comes to maintaining hijab or whether it's halal to use a male doctor in non emergency situations, particularly when it comes to intimate female matters, I am pleased to hear that you were able to find female doctors mashallah, we have a different system here in the uk, most people use the national health service and we call physicians a General Practitioner, my GP surgery has many female doctors and nurses so it really isn't a problem, and as for midwives alhamdulillah they are mostly women anyway. Also, we have a choice whether we get refered to a male or female specialist in any field when in comes to getting a gynocologist etc. I am just worried that most likely I wont have th luxury of having my exact doctor that has treated me throughout the pregnancy or at least request a female alternative, but they don't necessarily work all hours and aren't aways available for emergencies or even non emergencies. I also worry about the lack of respect for dignity and privacy in the hospital, as I have seen it disrespected so many times before, both with members of my family and the muhajjabah friends of mine. Even the basic decency of non muslim patients is not respected by staff, even in situations where it is perfectly easy to do so. When bringing a precious new life into the world, and aiming and hoping to bring them up as good muslims, it just doesn't make any sense to me to compromise on something so important and wajub as hijab, just because it seems easier.. not a good start for a child to come into a place where a mother has sinned unnecessarily by not being careful enough about hijab, ofocurse there is a certain amount of leniency at such a difficult time and in moments where you are placed in necessity(as with all Islamic rules) but we must be careful that we are not taking advantage of this leniencies and making assumptions on what is halal baised on our own emotions and lack of emotional strength to be strong in our resolve inshallah,

Salams and duas, and thankyou for your advice and information.

Also, do you sister, or does anyone else know if it is wajib to have the first words in the child's ear to be adhan and iqamah? does this mean that it must be done immediatly after the child comes out, or can it be delayed? if so, how much time can we wait before doing it?

Maryammm.....I have two kids and each time I was in labor I became so overheated that I almost vomited until I ripped my scarf off of my head. If I didn't I probably would have passed out, threw up or both.

Salam, I see your situation, but did you have any male medical professionals in the room? and if so, was there any other options? It isn't a matter of how we feel, it is a matter of what is halal or haram, do you know of a fatwa, hadith or ayat of the Qur'an that exempts women who give birth from maintaining hijab as much as possible? or allows a male medical professional to be involved, even in a normal birth situation where there are no complications or emergencies? I haven't really found or seen one, and would really like to know all the ins and outs of what is and isn't ok with regards to pregnancy, birth and medical treatment in Islam. Also I am assuming that you live in america from what I have seen in some of your other posts(correct me if I am wrong...) in the UK we ususally only have a midwife in the room, and they tend to be female anyway, and the birth tends to be pretty hands off. The midwife does the checks for dialation of the cervix etc, unless they are unsure about something and need the advice of a doctor. A doctor ony becomes involved if there are medical complications or to administer aneasthetics such as an epidural; and if there are female doctors available, then you can usually request for that. But I do worry that this might not be available at the time, as we all know, babies love to come when they feel like it and it isn't always at the most easy of times lol! I have noticed from reading online, that the American system seems to like to be very full on and monitor all women giving birth, and doctors have a lot more involvment in the birth process, am I right in saying that, from your experience? Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue, and I wish you and your family a wonderful blessed month of Ramadhan inshallah!

Salams and duas inshallah

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Salam, I see your situation, but did you have any male medical professionals in the room? and if so, was there any other options? It isn't a matter of how we feel, it is a matter of what is halal or haram, do you know of a fatwa, hadith or ayat of the Qur'an that exempts women who give birth from maintaining hijab as much as possible? or allows a male medical professional to be involved, even in a normal birth situation where there are no complications or emergencies?

Yeah the other option was for me to vomit on everyone and my clothes and bed sheets....then I would have had to be stripped naked and changed in the middle of labor....lovely. I think you worry to much and you are a bit judgmental asking me if there were male doctors in the room.

To answer your question yes there was a male in the room for a short period of time. It was the anesthesiologist and I doubt he had any haram thoughts towards the crazy lady in labor. By the way you know if you get an epidural from a man he will need to see your entire back and even touch it :o .

Edited by ImAli

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in the nhs, its difficult to request female-only medical professionals simply because the nature of labour is that it can happen at any time and you will be looked after by whoever is working that day. most hospitals offer a birthing centre which is usually part of the hospital but its a midwife-led service for expectant mothers who are unlikely to have complications during labour. i have yet to meet a male midwife so unless u encounter any difficulties during labour, the utilisation of the labour centre will make it very unlikely for u to have to come into contact with a male. the baby checks (done on the same day as birth) are carried out by a paediatrician who may be a male but they won't just come charging in so u can be ready with ur hijab on. also, depending on the facilities of ur local birthing centre, it is likely that u will get ur own private room which will mean u wont have to worry about closing curtains etc. most medical professionals are not judgemental and are aware of hijab issues and even if they are not then dont worry over any judgements they pass. the main thing is that ur comfortable. if u ahve ur husband and family with u, they will be able to support u and reiterate the importance of ur privacy to maintain ur hijab.

another option is home delivery - again only if u have been told that u r unlikely to have any complications. again, u need to be aware that if u develop complications, u will be taken by ambulance to hospital and will be treated by whoever is working that day. in this case, it will be deemed as an emergency case and as far as i understand it, if there is no one else to treat u then it is perfectly acceptable for a male medical professional to do so.

if ur having a delivery on labour ward (mostly enforced on you if you are likely to develop complications) then u will give birth in a separate room and u can then request to stay in a separate room afterwards (if one is available) for about 100 pounds or so (not sure exactly how much) and this will give u the privacy of not having to worry about breastfeeding and drawing the curtain.

remember that any emergency situation is just that - an emergency and if u have enquired as to the availability of female medical professionals and have been told there are none available then there it is acceptable islamically to proceed with a male (as far as i understand the rules).

as far as hospital food is concerned, there are vege options and sometimes (depending on the hospital), halal options. even if the food is not to ur liking, ur husband/family can bring u some food from home/ buy some food for u.

u sound very stressed from ur posts. i havent been through pregnancy myself so im not passing judgement but dont over think things and get urself too worked up. the basic rule is that u can expose those parts of ur body which are deemed necessary for the procedure/examination to a male when the situation necessitates and there are no alternatives.

good look with the remainder of ur pregnancy. inshallah all will be fine so dont worry too much.

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that isn't really the point when it comes to maintaining hijab or whether it's halal to use a male doctor in non emergency situations, particularly when it comes to intimate female matters,

What do you mean about maintaining hejab in the labor room? You are going to expose the lower half of your body in the labor room. And of course it's halal to seek medical treatment from male doctors. You can't let your baby die for the flimsiest excuse like maintaining your head scarf.

I am pleased to hear that you were able to find female doctors mashallah, we have a different system here in the uk, most people use the national health service and we call physicians a General Practitioner, my GP surgery has many female doctors and nurses so it really isn't a problem, and as for midwives alhamdulillah they are mostly women anyway. Also, we have a choice whether we get refered to a male or female specialist in any field when in comes to getting a gynocologist etc. I am just worried that most likely I wont have th luxury of having my exact doctor that has treated me throughout the pregnancy or at least request a female alternative, but they don't necessarily work all hours and aren't aways available for emergencies or even non emergencies. I also worry about the lack of respect for dignity and privacy in the hospital, as I have seen it disrespected so many times before, both with members of my family and the muhajjabah friends of mine. Even the basic decency of non muslim patients is not respected by staff, even in situations where it is perfectly easy to do so. When bringing a precious new life into the world, and aiming and hoping to bring them up as good muslims, it just doesn't make any sense to me to compromise on something so important and wajub as hijab, just because it seems easier.. not a good start for a child to come into a place where a mother has sinned unnecessarily by not being careful enough about hijab, ofocurse there is a certain amount of leniency at such a difficult time and in moments where you are placed in necessity(as with all Islamic rules) but we must be careful that we are not taking advantage of this leniencies and making assumptions on what is halal baised on our own emotions and lack of emotional strength to be strong in our resolve inshallah,

First of all, I don't understand what you mean by seeking leniency.

Even if you get all female staffs to handle your labor situation, you are still going to expose your private part to other female. In normal situation , that is still a big no-no. Because Islam is not a dumb religion, exceptions are made for emergency and for medical necessary situation. The normal rule for hejab is lifted so you don't get yourself and your baby killed out of ignorance.

So, when you are in the labor room getting your baby born by all female staff, think of the fact that you can expose the lower half of your body to all female staff because Islam made it possible to do so which wont be possible for normal circumstances.

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Yeah the other option was for me to vomit on everyone and my clothes and bed sheets....then I would have had to be stripped naked and changed in the middle of labor....lovely. I think you worry to much and you are a bit judgmental asking me if there were male doctors in the room.

To answer your question yes there was a male in the room for a short period of time. It was the anesthesiologist and I doubt he had any haram thoughts towards the crazy lady in labor. By the way you know if you get an epidural from a man he will need to see your entire back and even touch it :o .

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Wa'Alaikum Salaam,

Maryaam, It is fine to ask for advice from the sisters on this forum regarding their experiences during childbirth. However, so far, many of your posts seem to be judgemental. You don't know the situations in which these ladies had to take their hijabs off, especially if you have never gone through childbirth yourself. If you want to know a detailed answer from the perspective of religion, then ask your marja. If you want to know about other people's experiences, then ask on this forum. But, it should not be used as an oppertunity to criticize others. The judgements you pass on to others could easily be used against you in the future, God forbid. So, be careful.

And obviously, if someone can choose, they would choose a female doctor. If they can't it is better to save your life and the life of the baby than to worry about hijab. that is coming from islam, not me

Edited by Faatima_ki_kaneez

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I have found this fatwa on Sayed Sistani's(ha) website-

  1. Question: Sometimes the practising physician feels that he has to uncover certain parts, other than the private parts, of the female patient [for examination]. Is it permissible for him to uncover her body in the following circumstances:
  2. When a female physician is available, yet costly?
  3. When the patient is not in danger, although she is sick regardless?
  4. What is the rule if the part that the physician has to examine is a private part?

  5. Answer:
  6. If visiting a female physician is possible, it is not permissible [for a female patient to uncover her body for a male physician], unless the cost is so much that it will hurt her financial situation.
  7. It is permissible, if not visiting that male physician will harm [her health-wise] or put her in a serious inconvenience that is not normally tolerated.
  8. The rule is the same as explained above; and in both the cases, he must only uncover the parts that need examining. And if it is possible to treat the case without looking directly at the parts that are harãm to look at (for example, if he can see through a monitor or a mirror), that should be the course of action, based on precaution.
    (Q.44) A physician examines a lady to determine whether or not she is infertile. He does not see any part of her body, apart from the position of inserting the instrument of examination, without touching her. Is this permissible, and is there a difference between the situation of "difficulty and necessity", on the part of the patient? Is it all right for the doctor to open a surgery for such purposes? And is the ruling different for examining a Muslim woman or an unbeliever?
    The permissibility is the woman's prerogative. For instance, incapability of bearing children could lead to her facing haraj rafie' littakleef (an untenable situation that could waive the fulfilment of certain religious obligations). There may be a good reason forcing her to bear children. Should this be the case, it is permissible for the man-doctor and woman-doctor to gaze, only when the situation permits, though, it must be kept to the minimum. This is concerning Muslim women. As for the unbelievers, it is advisable to observe such detail in their case as a matter of Ihtiyat luzumi. Allah is All Knowing.
    If you apply the above fatwa to giving birth, then it seems to be the woman's perogative to decide what is absolutley necessary in dealing with non mahram male medical professionals.

So I guess it means that inshallah all measures to prevent a man seeing or touching what is haram must be taken, and if it becomes abslutely necessary then a male doctor can treat the specific area and if it can be treated with indirect looking then that is better, and if it needs direct looking then that is permissable, and then if it needs touching then it is better to be done indirectly and then only as a last resort can he directly look and touch the specified area, and if there is more then one area, then each area must be dealt with one at a time, only uncovering the area that needs to be dealt with and then covering it again immediatly afterwards, before exposing the next area that needs to be dealt with.

Inshallah we can all abide by this, if we don't follow sistani(ha) then we can follow the fatwa of the marja we do follow, and hopefully please Allah(swt) with our efforts, even in this most difficult of times. Salams and duas to all inshallah and may Allah(swt) bless us all with healthy, beautiful, pious children inshallah.

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I have found this fatwa on Sayed Sistani's(ha) website-

  1. Question: Sometimes the practising physician feels that he has to uncover certain parts, other than the private parts, of the female patient [for examination]. Is it permissible for him to uncover her body in the following circumstances:
  2. When a female physician is available, yet costly?
  3. When the patient is not in danger, although she is sick regardless?
  4. What is the rule if the part that the physician has to examine is a private part?

  5. Answer:
  6. If visiting a female physician is possible, it is not permissible [for a female patient to uncover her body for a male physician], unless the cost is so much that it will hurt her financial situation.
  7. It is permissible, if not visiting that male physician will harm [her health-wise] or put her in a serious inconvenience that is not normally tolerated.
  8. The rule is the same as explained above; and in both the cases, he must only uncover the parts that need examining. And if it is possible to treat the case without looking directly at the parts that are harãm to look at (for example, if he can see through a monitor or a mirror), that should be the course of action, based on precaution.
    (Q.44) A physician examines a lady to determine whether or not she is infertile. He does not see any part of her body, apart from the position of inserting the instrument of examination, without touching her. Is this permissible, and is there a difference between the situation of "difficulty and necessity", on the part of the patient? Is it all right for the doctor to open a surgery for such purposes? And is the ruling different for examining a Muslim woman or an unbeliever?
    The permissibility is the woman's prerogative. For instance, incapability of bearing children could lead to her facing haraj rafie' littakleef (an untenable situation that could waive the fulfilment of certain religious obligations). There may be a good reason forcing her to bear children. Should this be the case, it is permissible for the man-doctor and woman-doctor to gaze, only when the situation permits, though, it must be kept to the minimum. This is concerning Muslim women. As for the unbelievers, it is advisable to observe such detail in their case as a matter of Ihtiyat luzumi. Allah is All Knowing.
    If you apply the above fatwa to giving birth, then it seems to be the woman's perogative to decide what is absolutley necessary in dealing with non mahram male medical professionals.

So I guess it means that inshallah all measures to prevent a man seeing or touching what is haram must be taken, and if it becomes abslutely necessary then a male doctor can treat the specific area and if it can be treated with indirect looking then that is better, and if it needs direct looking then that is permissable, and then if it needs touching then it is better to be done indirectly and then only as a last resort can he directly look and touch the specified area, and if there is more then one area, then each area must be dealt with one at a time, only uncovering the area that needs to be dealt with and then covering it again immediatly afterwards, before exposing the next area that needs to be dealt with.

Inshallah we can all abide by this, if we don't follow sistani(ha) then we can follow the fatwa of the marja we do follow, and hopefully please Allah(swt) with our efforts, even in this most difficult of times. Salams and duas to all inshallah and may Allah(swt) bless us all with healthy, beautiful, pious children inshallah.

The above fatwa is dealing with a medical examination. Child-birthing process is a little bit more than a medical examination.

Remember, the above fatwa from Sistani about medical emergency and medical necessity, She is allowed to seek treatment from a male physician if it

put her in a serious inconvenience that is not normally tolerated.

Secondly, women rarely decide which staffs (Doctors or nurses) may work in the hospital labor room. Unless you are extremely wealthy or have a private wing of the hospital named after your family name. The hospital makes their own timetable. They also arrange the staffs schedule. It's beyond your control.

Thirdly. I haven't come across any male doctors that treat their patients without looking at them directly. They don't treat people blindly. If they have to look, they would ask you politely. They don't start touching you or feeling you up or giving you lewd look. Also, they do tell you upfront what they need to see and why.

Here's a fatwa from Sistani

2450. If a woman is rendered helpless by her disease, and if the only helpful treatment to her can be given by a male doctor, she can refer to him. And if that male doctor must look at her to be able to treat her, or to touch her for that matter, there is no objection. However, if he can treat her by looking at her, he should not touch her body, and if he can treat her by touching her body, he should not look at her.

2451. If a person is obliged to look at the private parts of a patient for his/her medical treatment, he should, on the basis of obligatory precaution, place a mirror opposite him/her and look into it. However, if there is no alternative but to look directly at his/her private parts, there is no objection. Similarly, if the duration of regarding the genitals in the mirror would be longer than looking at them directly, the latter method be adopted.

As for covering and uncovering part by part; In a routine medical exam, they make you wear a robe and they do cover area by an area. But routine medical exam is very different than the birthing process.

The way you are speaking as if you have no clue about medical profession or how things work in labor room. You wont be able to dictate much in the labor room. The doctors don't take their orders from patients. They will follow their own set of guidelines and procedure. I'm glad that you are asking here though. If you want some real labor room information, then ask ImAli. She was a professional medical provider with a lot of expertise in the labor room.

Edited by Gypsy

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I will try not to get become angry or let my emotions get in the way with this post:

1. You could have the baby at home as suggested.....but if something happens male paramedics may have to enter (as gypsy said). I don't know how this works in the UK but in the US the fire department usually shows up before the paramedics so it is a 99 percent chance it will be 3 or 4 men tending to the emergency should one happen (God forbid)

2. You can try your best to find a female OBGYN that has a another female OBGYN in partnership with her....or a midwife working with her...or both (female OBGYN partner and midwife). This will increase your chances of seeing one of your doctors or midwife when you are in labor instead of the resident on duty. However if you go into labor at 3 or 4 in the morning there is a good chance that your doctor will not be available and you will have no choice if the physicians on duty are not female. You could try asking for a female doctor....but don't get offended if they don't cater to your wishes.

3. Be sure to speak to your doctor about your concerns of men in the delivery room or operating room because the doctor may be able to accommodate your wishes (as long as there isn't a surprise emergency)

4. When you go to the hospital be very nice to the nurses and explain to them (or have someone else explain to them) your concerns and issues with the male staff due to religious reasons.

5. the nurses and doctors will usually knock or give a small warning before entering the room.....usually there is even a curtain (even in the private rooms) that you can pull around your bed...so you should have plenty of time if you insist on wearing hijab.

6. After having the baby pay a little extra for a private room if that is an option there. Put a small sign on the door to please knock before entering....even though they will knock anyway.

I had my first child in Lebanon at a shiite ran hospital (Al Rasul Al Azam), had a female doctor, and 2 men still ended up being in the room when I was having the baby. They were strictly business and I felt just as comfortable around them as I felt around my own brothers. Really you will see later that you are stressing over nothing.

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1. You could have the baby at home as suggested.....but if something happens male paramedics may have to enter (as gypsy said). I don't know how this works in the UK but in the US the fire department usually shows up before the paramedics so it is a 99 percent chance it will be 3 or 4 men tending to the emergency should one happen (God forbid)

Did I tell you that I am against giving birth at home?

I've seen a new born infant turning blue and stop breathing. That is probably the most scariest sight you have ever seen. The midwife cannot do much here. They rushed the baby to the hospital. She survived because the doctor did everything to preserve her life (such as putting her on the incubator and run tests on her).

I've heard of many cases of successful birth at home. But you can never predict medical emergency.

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in the nhs, its difficult to request female-only medical professionals simply because the nature of labour is that it can happen at any time and you will be looked after by whoever is working that day. most hospitals offer a birthing centre which is usually part of the hospital but its a midwife-led service for expectant mothers who are unlikely to have complications during labour. i have yet to meet a male midwife so unless u encounter any difficulties during labour, the utilisation of the labour centre will make it very unlikely for u to have to come into contact with a male. the baby checks (done on the same day as birth) are carried out by a paediatrician who may be a male but they won't just come charging in so u can be ready with ur hijab on. also, depending on the facilities of ur local birthing centre, it is likely that u will get ur own private room which will mean u wont have to worry about closing curtains etc. most medical professionals are not judgemental and are aware of hijab issues and even if they are not then dont worry over any judgements they pass. the main thing is that ur comfortable. if u ahve ur husband and family with u, they will be able to support u and reiterate the importance of ur privacy to maintain ur hijab.

another option is home delivery - again only if u have been told that u r unlikely to have any complications. again, u need to be aware that if u develop complications, u will be taken by ambulance to hospital and will be treated by whoever is working that day. in this case, it will be deemed as an emergency case and as far as i understand it, if there is no one else to treat u then it is perfectly acceptable for a male medical professional to do so.

if ur having a delivery on labour ward (mostly enforced on you if you are likely to develop complications) then u will give birth in a separate room and u can then request to stay in a separate room afterwards (if one is available) for about 100 pounds or so (not sure exactly how much) and this will give u the privacy of not having to worry about breastfeeding and drawing the curtain.

remember that any emergency situation is just that - an emergency and if u have enquired as to the availability of female medical professionals and have been told there are none available then there it is acceptable islamically to proceed with a male (as far as i understand the rules).

as far as hospital food is concerned, there are vege options and sometimes (depending on the hospital), halal options. even if the food is not to ur liking, ur husband/family can bring u some food from home/ buy some food for u.

u sound very stressed from ur posts. i havent been through pregnancy myself so im not passing judgement but dont over think things and get urself too worked up. the basic rule is that u can expose those parts of ur body which are deemed necessary for the procedure/examination to a male when the situation necessitates and there are no alternatives.

good look with the remainder of ur pregnancy. inshallah all will be fine so dont worry too much.

Salam, thank you for your reply, you have given me the answer that I would hope for and the one that seems the most Islamically correct from my research. I wouldn't have got so stressed if the ladies responding to my post had have understood better where I was coming from, and their replies have stressed me out and made me feel like it is impossible to follow the proper Islamic rules on this matter. In consequence my replies to them have come out as judgemental, when all I was saying was that I felt that there are certain standards to be kept to, standards that you have encapsulated perfectly in your reply to my post. Thank you and I hope that you are having a blessed and rewarding month of Ramadhan inshallah. Salams and duas inshallah

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Did I tell you that I am against giving birth at home?

I've seen a new born infant turning blue and stop breathing. That is probably the most scariest sight you have ever seen. The midwife cannot do much here. They rushed the baby to the hospital. She survived because the doctor did everything to preserve her life (such as putting her on the incubator and run tests on her).

I've heard of many cases of successful birth at home. But you can never predict medical emergency.

I'm against it too

I think if people can afford it or if their insurance can cover it they should try for a midwife ran birthing center in order to get that home environment. (as long as they are low risk)

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It is great that you have been a birthing partner but what I didn't tell you is I am an RN and worked in labor and delivery for 3 years before I married. Many women feel nauseous (some of them even vomit), they become claustrophobic, overheated, dizzy, and feel faint while in labor. It is not uncommon how I felt....not uncommon at all. Do you know that if you have a c-section they will not allow anything in the operating room except a surgical cap and a hospital gown? They also won't care if you don't want a man in there assisting or not. This just blows my mind how you are worried about someone seeing your hair when the entire bottom half of your body is exposed (like Gypsy mentioned) so I suggest you try having a home birth if you are that worried about it.

I don't really need your lectures about hijab either. I have maintained hijab since junior high and was assaulted by 5 boys for wearing it when I was high school....they held me down and tried to rip it off of me. Even after that I continued to wear it even though I was the only person with hijab in a school of over 2,000 students, and I still wear it to this day 15 years after graduating high school....so please save your hijab lectures for another.

Salam, mashallah it is great to hear the perspective of a Registered Nurse who has worked in the labour environment for such a long time. I agree that many women will experience nausia whilst giving birth, it is completely understandable, but is that the case throughout the whole experience? or just at that last part of the actual pushing when the baby is crowning? Does a doctor always necessarily need to be in the room at this point, or can it just be midwives? or can they not come in and do the checks afterwards? I hope inshallah that I wont have to have a c-section and I will have to deal with that as and when. As for being worried about someone seeing my hair when they can see my bottom half, am I right in saying that the bottom half doesn't constantly need to be exposed? only for examinations by the midwife and then at the end when the baby comes out ofcourse? Also, from what I have read the Islamic ruling on this is that everything must be covered in front of non mahram male medical professionals, except the part of the body that needs to be dealt with, including if that part of the body is the genitals. So yes I would like to expose as little of my awrah as possible whilst giving birth, even if that means showing my bottom half and not my hair, arms etc inshallah. I can see why you would think that exposing the bottom half negates the necessity of covering the head etc, but to what little knowlege of Islam that I have, that is not Islam or the rulings of the learned scholars take on this. However, until I experience child birth and do my best to observe it, even in the most difficult of times like in giving birth, then who knows... but inshallah I will be able to have only females involved The National Health Service in the UK caters for a whole host of people and tries to be inclusive and helpful to it's patients from all religions, as mentioned by another contributor in this thread.

I am very sorry to hear about your troubling experience with those that were against you wearing hijab as a young woman, I myself have been through many trials and tribulations with trying to leep hijab(especially as a revert) and I suppose we all go through some kind of struggle with it. I wasn't trying to lecture you on hijab, stating Islamic rulings on issues or giving opinions on dealing with hijab in certain situaitons wassn't intended as a lecture on the issue. I am the last person to be worthy to lecture others on issues in Islam... however I assumed that because this is a shia forum, I would be able to give views and responses baised on my limited Islamic knowlege inshallah.

I wish you all the best, and although we have disagreed on some issues in this thread, I hope that you can still see me as your sister in Islam who only wants the best for all of us inshallah. Amar bil ma'roof wa nahay anil munkar is an often neglected duty in Islam, and maybe I haven't completed this duty in the proper manner, but many muslims are not very good at this, and inshallah we will all get better at it. I thank you immensly for your medical knowlege and personal experiences, and your inside knowlege of the medical profession and in particular labour wards alhamdulillah, may Allah(swt) reward you for all your efforts working in such a wonderful profession mashallah. Any more information you have on any other issues and experiences regarding birth and pregnancy would be much appreciated, even though there are some differences in the system, between the UK and the USA, there is much that I am sure is very similar and much that you can share. thank you for your list of advice and that you tried not to get angry with me regarding this issue and the frustrations that you have with my views and responses alhamdulillah. I apologise for upsetting or annoying you with my opinons and responses on this topic of hijab and childbirth. Salams, duas and shahr ramadhan kareem inshallah

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Did I tell you that I am against giving birth at home?

I've seen a new born infant turning blue and stop breathing. That is probably the most scariest sight you have ever seen. The midwife cannot do much here. They rushed the baby to the hospital. She survived because the doctor did everything to preserve her life (such as putting her on the incubator and run tests on her).

I've heard of many cases of successful birth at home. But you can never predict medical emergency.

Salam, I am unsure about home births for this reason as well, so a birthing centre that is usually located next to the main hospital sounds like the best option for me inshallah. I was a birthing partner at a birth that had a lot of complications, though the lady was not muslim and wasn't an observer of any kind of hijab, but her baby got stuck on the way out and turned blue and was stuck there for about 10 mins. There was no way in this instance that a female medical professional would have the strength to have pulled the child out in time for it to be able to be resusitated. This sort of emergency where either it is absolutly necessary for a male to deal with the problem, or in any other emergency where if there is no female available is not what I object to, and even in these situations, most if not all scholars from all schools of thought state that Islam requires a female to cover everything except what is necessary to show, and the husband or other family member or birthing partner can help the woman to do that. If there is the possiblity to prepare properly for these things, then the woman and her family could take an electric fan, or even the birthing partner could waive a hand held fan, in order to help the woman keep cool whilst giving birth, whether she decides to wear a scarf or not, and whether or not a male doctor needs to be present. I don't believe that birth is always an emergency, it is a natural process that happens everyday, and so it doesn't always necessitate that hijab be compromised, either by unnecissarily having male medical professionals present, or when having them there in an emergency and not covering up everything, apart from what is necessary to uncover as much as you really are able to inshallah.

Thanks for your contributions to this thread and sharing your views on this subject. I may disagree with you on some things regarding this, but I hope that you can accept my apology for any offense caused and understand where I am coming from inshallah. I will be sending the specific question to a number of maraja' in order to seek a specific fatwa on the issue inshallah, that way I can find the most proper answer inshallah.

Salams and duas and shahr ramadhan kareem inshallah

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It is a nurse that is usually checking your dilation.... occasionally a doctor will come in (but usually not until the last minute) Most likely the nurse will be female but if not you can request a female nurse since there will be other nurses on duty In fact it is unusual to have a male nurse on labor and delivery because even non muslims don't care for male nurses in such situations. No one will tell you to remove your scarf unless you need to have surgery....then there is a dress code. Like I said in an earlier post they will probably knock before entering the room during labor and postpartum.

As for feeling sick during labor every woman is different. Some women don't get sick....you can barely even tell they are in labor until the very end. Some women are hysterical from the get go....for most women it is somewhere in between. I felt sick and overheated for like 24 hours before going into labor and then I became carsick on the way to the hospital....so I was sick the entire time and having horrible hot flashes and everyone's face was getting on my nerves LOL. They even gave me an injection to stop the nausea because I started heaving but it didn't work well.

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It is a nurse that is usually checking your dilation.... occasionally a doctor will come in (but usually not until the last minute) Most likely the nurse will be female but if not you can request a female nurse since there will be other nurses on duty In fact it is unusual to have a male nurse on labor and delivery because even non muslims don't care for male nurses in such situations. No one will tell you to remove your scarf unless you need to have surgery....then there is a dress code. Like I said in an earlier post they will probably knock before entering the room during labor and postpartum.

As for feeling sick during labor every woman is different. Some women don't get sick....you can barely even tell they are in labor until the very end. Some women are hysterical from the get go....for most women it is somewhere in between. I felt sick and overheated for like 24 hours before going into labor and then I became carsick on the way to the hospital....so I was sick the entire time and having horrible hot flashes and everyone's face was getting on my nerves LOL. They even gave me an injection to stop the nausea because I started heaving but it didn't work well.

Off the topic, but kind of on the topic too. :) My labor was really easy and quick, the only time I got hysterical was during the pushing. A nurse tried to move me in a different position when the baby was crowning- which hurt worse then anything during the labor- and I actually hit the nurse! In my right mind I would have never done anything like that!

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Salam, thanks I have actually and it's very interesting! though it doesn't really include any muslim ladies who wear hijab giving birth lol, for obvious reasons! Most people that I have spoken to in the UK haven't had the problem of dealing with male doctors, and have been able to not wear the headscarf in the birthing room, it has just been an issue in times of emergency, which is what I worry about. Salams and duas inshallah and I hope that you are enjoying a blessed month of Ramadhan and getting lots of blessings inshallah x

ws and blessings to you and family also =) I find OBEM somewhat addictive viewing, although about 1/3 of the time im sitting watching in horror >.< its v emotional though and can be v dramatic when theres a difficult birth and the baby isnt breathing or something. But alhamdullillah i havent yet seen a baby that didnt survive. We are blessed with fabulous technology here in UK thanks to God and the midwives in that show are so awsome, very compassionate and professional. They do what they can to make the mother not be stressed, but if there is a problem their priority is the baby, so if ther only person available to help is male then things like hijab will have to be compromised. But you can see on that show that the majority of births dont require intervention.

Theres a similar docu recently started on bbc2 btw.

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I'm all for hijab..heck I even think some women need to wear niqab but if a woman is suffocating under the hijab then she needs to take it off for MEDICAL reasons. If she, however, takes it off just for the hell of it, then obviously that isn't acceptable.

They say child birth is like having all the bones in your body breaking at once....la ilaha ila Allah.

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It is a nurse that is usually checking your dilation.... occasionally a doctor will come in (but usually not until the last minute) Most likely the nurse will be female but if not you can request a female nurse since there will be other nurses on duty In fact it is unusual to have a male nurse on labor and delivery because even non muslims don't care for male nurses in such situations. No one will tell you to remove your scarf unless you need to have surgery....then there is a dress code. Like I said in an earlier post they will probably knock before entering the room during labor and postpartum.

As for feeling sick during labor every woman is different. Some women don't get sick....you can barely even tell they are in labor until the very end. Some women are hysterical from the get go....for most women it is somewhere in between. I felt sick and overheated for like 24 hours before going into labor and then I became carsick on the way to the hospital....so I was sick the entire time and having horrible hot flashes and everyone's face was getting on my nerves LOL. They even gave me an injection to stop the nausea because I started heaving but it didn't work well.

Salam, lol never heard of being so hot and sick throughout! poor you! and poor everyone that had to be around you from the sounds of it lol! I can't believe the injection for nausia didn't work, must have been really bad... I hope that maybe if you do have another child inshallah, that's if your first two didn't put you off lol, then inshallah you wont have to suffer so bad with the hot flashes and nausia.

Oh and as fo uniform in case of needing surgery, the hospital where I would be most likely to give birth has female surgeons, quite a few, including a muslim muhajjabah as well. Also, there is a new gown specially designed for muslim women in the uk that is now allowed to be worn, but I am not sure if it's available everywhere, inshallah I wont have to have any surgery and if I have to have a ceasarian then at least I hope that it would be a pre booked one, so that I could try and book it at a time when there is a female surgeon, this is what a friend of mine did at the same hospital.

I found out recently that according to a study done by non muslim researchers, having males present at the birth, whatever religion you are, actually pro-longs the birth process and makes it more stressful for a lot of women. I think the differences weren't necessarily noticable if you didn't do some kind of specific study on it. Not sure if you have heard of the same study, but the results are very interesting, and I suppose if nothing else, it shows that women are the best ones to deal with this, though the bossy and sometimes inconsiderate midwives that I have seen would make you think otherwise!

Thanks for letting me know more about the heat and sickness thing, didn't realise it could get that bad, I have just been thinking about the pain and contractions! I just assumed that the pain was the thing that caused the heat and sickness, but that this would mainly be towards the end when the contractions get more extreme, but now I know from you that it can be a whole lot worse then that. Still, as long as I don't experience what happened to the lady whom I was birthing partner for, then I am happy... it was terrible seeing her baby going blue and not breathing, and crying with the joy of new life but also the worry that it might be over sooner rather then later... When we heard the first cry, it was amazing! Inshallah that wont happen to me, or anyone really, and if that woman had of had faith then she may have found it easier. To experience childbirth in a more 'Islamic' way, with my mother inlaw reading Qur'an for me, and reading duas etc it should be an even more amazing experience inshallah.

Once again, thanks for sharing and if you have any more nuggets of information than that would be most appreciated!

Salams and duas inshallah!

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Oh and as fo uniform in case of needing surgery, the hospital where I would be most likely to give birth has female surgeons, quite a few, including a muslim muhajjabah as well. Also, there is a new gown specially designed for muslim women in the uk that is now allowed to be worn, but I am not sure if it's available everywhere, inshallah I wont have to have any surgery and if I have to have a ceasarian then at least I hope that it would be a pre booked one, so that I could try and book it at a time when there is a female surgeon, this is what a friend of mine did at the same hospital.

I found out recently that according to a study done by non muslim researchers, having males present at the birth, whatever religion you are, actually pro-longs the birth process and makes it more stressful for a lot of women. I think the differences weren't necessarily noticable if you didn't do some kind of specific study on it. Not sure if you have heard of the same study, but the results are very interesting, and I suppose if nothing else, it shows that women are the best ones to deal with this, though the bossy and sometimes inconsiderate midwives that I have seen would make you think otherwise!

Please inform us of the name of this special gown and also link us to the study (or an article about the study).

(wasalam)

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W.s.I'm on my third pregnancy and I've had a female ob each time .

My first time no male was ever present for any thing , I requested just in case but there was no need.

My second I had no choice but to have a man at the end because that was the only dr on duty and we only have one hospital i actually Gage birth without The dr because of extreme circumstances ( I was 36 weeks and had been given medication , and my labour progressed extremely fast 4 minutes from fully dialated to baby to be exact ) but he did make it after .

The first time o did not wear hijab because i knew for sure but the second I wore hijab until the very end ( I didn't know I'd be giving birth any time soon and no one was by my side husband went to pray and by the time he came back I had had the baby)

But it was just the one dr , I made sure to keep the door closed I had a private room both times.

There's no way to keep everyone quiet but as soon as I got to hold the baby which is AFTER they do a quick check/clear the air passages we made sure to say and do all of the mustahabs like milk in the eyes/nose ,zam zam, me eat date as well as the ones stated. In a hospital setting I can't see this being able to be any different so if this is not for you then maybe a home birth would be best.

Where I live there are a lot of women ob's they know the basics of our religion and some get a little annoyed when it's Ramadan and you fast but after they see you and your doing exceptional they see it was nit a big deal my dr who has seen me through all of my pregnancies has now changed her thought on it since seeing how well I do during the mth.

There were a lot of questions so I'll have to go back n re read but really it depends in what you decide there's an app called baby bump and I think they have a online site there are lots of ppl from UK you might want to try that site to see if there are any Muslim women (who actually follow) that could give you better idea

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I re read some and I had a private room so I never had an issue when it came to breastfeeding , but yes it is very common to see ppl BF in the hospital but usually ppl cover with blankets so you don't really notice .

Some ppl will look at you different because your wearing hijab but it's no

Different then any other place like a store ect.

The food I didn't get food from the hospital but they do have veg food , some have kosher and if your in Michigan they even have halal.

My mil made me food and my husband brought it but really I didn't have much of an appetite .

And it's not just Muslims that get food so it's not odd in any way.

And as far as birthing plans go don't expect it to go exactly as planned because labour is completely in predictable just have a general ideaif what you would like, and have back up plans . Like me I knew I wanted just females unless no other choice, i wanted epidural, I wanted no visitors except mil,SIL .

Also know if you don't want epidural there are other pain management meds and gas available.

One of the best feelings was doing the after birth ghusle I got up very shortly after giving birth to do this!

Do bring something cozy and easy to remove for after birth like the abayas that are open at the front or side ( instead of the over the head ones) even if you don't usually wear abaya changing and fussing with clothes every time you want to feed is a nightmare becausebthey feed any where between every hour to every two hours.

Do your self a favor and get lanolin cream and have it ready to apply after the first feeding this prevents cracking and bleeding which is EXTREMELY painful .

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