New user - male int'l midwife SANE IBCLC

  1. Hey, guys!

    Rather than use the Introductions and Greetings forum for my first post, I thought I'd post here where I "belong" and get some feedback. It's been literally a year long process for me to decide to go into nursing. I realize it's a calling and seeing I was able took some time but mostly I struggled with being a man in nursing (as culturally and almost seemingly morally wrong to me at first) and if nursing is really what I wanted to do. After that mind hurdle, I, being who i am, decided further along I'd like to become a midwife/CNM. I knew that I didn't really want to do this here but abroad. However, I also found out about SANEs and would like to pursue that, if for no other reason than education and skills. Of course, if I was a CNM (especially a international one) and knowing that BFing is one of the biggest problems PP, then I'd like to become a lactation consultant (IBCLC) as well. I know this last one will be the hardest hurdle based on what I've read so far (This really baffles me that most women have no problem with men in L&D or as a SANE but they do with a male lactation consultant).

    I know some may say that's a full plate and I'm just getting started. However, I know that I can do it if it's what I really want. I like having a grand plan (goal) and it makes me excited to reach it. I've been able to find stories of men that have done each of those things (not together) so I know it is possible even though I thought at times I was crazy. Of course I know that, as with any worthwhile pursuit, there will be obstacles great and small but it will be worth it in the end or I probably wouldn't go through it. I've also done some "feeling out" by talking/emailing midwives and reading. I also went with a midwife who was a man to Mexico where he "works." I loved it and that trip helped solidify my desire. Unfortunately, I have yet to experience a live birth but I still have hope and know that it will come. That hope makes me excited and eager to be on this journey.

    Please let me know what you think. I will greatly appreciate it.

    CNM = Certified Nurse Midwife
    SANE = Sexual Assualt Nurse Examiner
    BFing = breastfeeding
    PP = postpartum
    IBCLC = International Board Certified Lactation Consultants
  2. Visit futureTMA profile page

    About futureTMA

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 147; Likes: 1


  3. by   live4today
    Top of the morning to you, and welcome aboard Allnurses where I'm sure your questions and comments will be addressed shortly. Stay tuned.
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    Hello, Welcome to the big family of allnurses.
  5. by   ChadleyNC
    Welcome to Fairly new here myself. There have been numerous posts I have read here about men working in nontraditional male fields once they get into nursing.. if there is such a thing as a male field much less a nontraditional one.. Anyway, I say if its what you want to do, then you should do it. You should read up on things and prepare for some ribbing here and there and probably a few looks now and again but who cares about that?
  6. by   futureTMA
    Thanks, ChadleyNC! I agree, I don't think there is a "male field" of nursing, however, there seems to be a female one which is necessary.

    Yeah, I've read around on the site as well as MidwiferyToday's forum. The posts by "The Infamous" Dayray certainly were helpful and encouraging. I've already run into some resistance just "investigating" or feeling it out. I've talked/emailed several people already in the job and the majority were supportive.

    Thanks, I appreciate any comments.
    Last edit by futureTMA on Aug 17, '05 : Reason: to clarify
  7. by   Murse901

    Welcome to the forums.

    The main question I have in regard to your specific career choice is... why? I'm not saying in any way that it can't or shouldn't be done, but it seems a little odd that all of your career choices are specifically directed at treating strictly women. A lot of people (myself included) will be questioning your motives.

    The main reason for working as a male in OB would be the same as a female -- it's a good field, with mostly "happy" patients. The great majority of patients want to be there, even if they don't want to be there at that exact moment. So, for the most part, you have patients that are easy to deal with (at least after that epi kicks in). So, I can understand the midwife part, if that's your rationale.

    But SANE and lactation consultant? I know it may just be ignorance on my part, but I don't really want a female nurse or physician telling me about my testicles. Not because I'd be uncomfortable with it, but because I have more experience with testicles than she does. The same would go with a lactation consultant.

    As for SANE -- when a woman is sexually assaulted, typically the last person she wants touching her is a man, assuming she's been assaulted by a male. What kind of psychological impact is it going to make on the patient who feels as if she has no say in who treats her at a facility, and is confronted by a male nurse poking and prodding her? It's like being raped all over again.

    If those are fields you truly feel a calling toward, go for it. But, I would have a *very* solid rationale behind it, lest your DoN look at you like you're insane.
  8. by   suzanne4
    Welcome to
    I applaud you for what you want to do, but you need to take it one step at a time. Not sure where you are in your schooling at this point, but you will need two years of Labor and Delivery experience before even being accepted into a CNM program.
    You state that you want to work in other countries, there is no such thing as International CNM certification. You need to go thru the entire licensing process for each country, including even the basic nursing. Not all advanced practice credentials are currently accepted in every country.
    SANE doesn't exist in every country.
    To get to where you want to be, it is going to take you about ten years.

    I highly suggest that you take things one day at a time, and even get thru your L and D rotation in school first. You say that you havenever witnessed a live birth...............I would experience that first................
  9. by   Tony35NYC
    Are you already in a nursing program? If so, how far along are you? I think its great that you're interested in midwifery, although I don't understand how you can be so sure at this point that this is what you want to specialize in without having experienced a live birth or spending time with a post-partum mom. Maybe you should give yourself the opportunity to go through the entire OB clinical rotation and see how you feel about it then. If you still feel as passionate about it then as you now do, then go for it.
  10. by   Tony35NYC
    Quote from DonaldJ
    I don't really want a female nurse or physician telling me about my testicles. Not because I'd be uncomfortable with it, but because I have more experience with testicles than she does.

    Although I respect your opinions, I have to say that gender stereotyping is not a healthy way to develop relationships with your colleagues. That you have more experience with your private parts than a female nurse or doctor is probably true, but female nurses and doctors assess and treat many, many more private parts (both male and female) than you might imagine. Its also unfortunate that you presume to know more than a physician---just because she's a woman. There are a vast number of things that any female physician can teach a man about his body, and the converse is true regarding male physicians and female patients.

    Additionally, I'd like to clarify something about the use of rape kits on victims of sexual assault. Everything is explained to a sexual assault victim beforehand, and they are ALWAYS told that they have a choice. They can even choose not to go through with the examination, and some don't. The people who handle rape kits are highly trained in psychology and forensics and they never 'confront' the victim. Rather, they are very empathetic and supportive, and always very professional. Constructing a rape kit is a very difficult experience for the victim, and its no more dignified or comforting if the nurse is the same gender as the victim: graphic questions are going to be asked, photos are going to be taken, samples are going to be taken, etc. Every year, more men are raped inside the US prison system than the number of women who are raped outside of it. Perhaps its no more dignified for a man to recount the details of being raped or to be 'prodded and probed' by a female forensics nurse, but most of the nurses who work in the corrections system are female and that's just the way it is. But it works, and the reason it works is because these women are professionals.
  11. by   futureTMA

    Well, obviously you are correct in that there is definitely a direction in treating women. In my last post, I edited it to agree with ChadleyNC in that I don't think a "male field" of nursing exists. The majority of male problems usually involve the testicles, prostate, and sex organ which is not really enough to create a branch or speciality of nusing like female issues. Also, the majority of people I've communicated to about it have questioned me. This includes a few nurse chats, friends, close friends, and family. I'm already facing that "hurdle" and I know that there will be many more.

    Anyway as far as my OP, I do agree with you in a sense that what I wrote was more of an ideal than what I'll probably end up doing. As you may know, nursing is a calling and I think midwifery is too. I'm not sure how to express this in words, but I know in my being (more than just a feeling) that this is what I want to do. In the past, I simply disregarded it as impossible or not appropriate. Then for a long while, I labored with the possibility to challenging my sanity. Anyway, it's been a long hard process which I think will be good as I, hopefully, am now more determined.

    L&D, Midwifery, etc, are not easy as can be attested to nurses in the OB/GYN forum and those that have worked there. It is not general nursing, it is a specialty. I know that there is a possibility that both mom and/or baby might die and not to mention the many complications (with way too many interventions). Actually, some of the posts on this subject in that forum are much more blunt.

    SANE is too much or wouldn't be what I'm trying to do, I now think. I thought that I would do get it for the education more than the job, but it doesn't really match up with what I want to do long term. It's definitely not a priority.

    Lactation consultant is a priority because, as a midwife, I want to encourage breastfeeding as it is severely needed in the "international community." It is the best basic care of infants and it's free. I also want to do more than just handle the last month or 9 months of pregnancy, but before, during, and after pregnancy and maybe for life of mother and child if I live that long. Women in the world are still the most vastly underserved population especially when it comes to healthcare. 99% of the death rate of mothers is from outside the USA.

    I completely disagree with you about male SANEs, but this is a subject best left for another thread.

    I appreciate your opinion and I hope this has informed and answered your questions.


    Thanks for the encouragement. I know I need to take it a piece at a time and I'm grateful for this. It is steps in the journey but I wrote mostly about the destination.

    I'm subscribed to the thread(s) about prior L&D experience before CNM. I know that there may be more classes or certification in other countries, however, it is "easier" to start where I am. I don't think it would be wise at this point to move to another country to do nursing having to learn the language and culture. I think it is much wiser to get an education here and then go with some charity or mission overseas.

    I agree with you. It will take time and steps (including live birth and rotations) before I get there.


    I'm still doing a few pre-reqs and other classes I want to take before nursing school, but I'm on my way to a BSN.

    Thank you for the encouragement and your great last post about SANEs. You handled it very well and it is very valid. Thanks for the information.

    I hope this has helped to shed light on my blip of my destination.
  12. by   nursefreak1
    I am going to be a SANE as well, I am currently enrolling in a course for my certification.
    Having been a victim of rape, I must say it may be ...difficult..
    . for a woman to undergo a rape kit with a man. That is not to say a man can't do it.. perhaps in a situation where it was a man that was victimized...
    I applaud your efforts but think like some others who have posted...take one step at a time. Esp the midwifery..see if you can witness alive birth first and shadow a consultant for lactation. You may change your mind and decide that you want to go in another direction
    I wish you well
  13. by   Murse901

    Good luck with your plans. I just thought I'd throw a little real world out there (at least from my subjective POV) rather than the usual back-patting that tends to go on in various online communities.

    Just make sure your experience and rationale behind your career decision are solid. Do a few rotations in OB and make sure it's something you really want to do.

    Quote from futureTMA

    Well, obviously you are correct in that there is definitely a direction in treating women.
  14. by   futureTMA
    Thanks for the input.