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9 Bumps

Of Muslims, modesty, and childbirth and emergency rooms

I know Muslim ladies, though they can wear whatever they wish in their own homes, must cover up in public. (Face, hands, and feet are all that *I* have seen of Muslim women in public.)

So my question is: How do Muslim women handle modesty in the delivery room? or in the ER?

As a mother, myself, I can attest that modesty is close to non-existent when in the process of squeezing a child out of your body.

And my mom was an ER nurse for 40 years and often spoke of having to cut clothing off of people in order to save their lives and/or treat their injuries.

So, how do you deal with modesty in these situations?


Asked by MamaK88 at 3:21 PM on Aug. 24, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 33 (62,090 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I'm one of those Muslim ladies you know. :-) I agree with Cassandra. When it comes to medical purposes and especially emergency cases as one person who commented, there is nothing wrong with a man caring for the woman if she is uncovered. Those women did not need to wait for another woman to care for them, it was an emergency.
    I had my first son in a Muslim country and had a female OB/GYN. But I had to have a C-section, and there were male doctors in the room, one who gave me the epidural and a surgeon. It's not a problem in these cases.

    Answer by sukainah at 8:16 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Actually, in the states and abroad there is presently a campaign running to educate musilm women on the importance of proper preventative care, and initiate the training of female OB/GYNs... as it stands, they can not be touched by a male doctor, and women in many areas are not permitted to practice medicine. Women are dieing every day for a lack of care, because of their religion. Even in the US.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:33 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Great Question!

    Answer by lovinangels at 3:24 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • Well I have studied the Muslim religion and for those that do follow the modesty part of it other women are allowed to see them so they would just have to have all females in the delivery room, but as others have stated there are many practicing Muslims that do not follow the modesty part of it. It is more a part of the culture then the religion though.

    Answer by aeneva at 4:31 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • We generally choose to be treated by female Doctors and/or Midwives and we request no male staff in hospital. When I delivered all three of my children there were no male staff members present the only time it was really an issue was when they delivered food or there were outside consults. Such as the pediatrician who cam in to circumsize my son. I kept my veil near me at all times so I could throw it on and I kept my robe on over my hospital gown so my modesty was still protected. However since childbirth is a dangerous thing and one could die from it Muslim women can be exposed to a male doctor/nurse if necessary for the delivery. Life and safety are always given priority over modesty. I did not wear my modest clothing during childbirth around my female midwives but even if I had it wouldn't be that big of an issue since I am used to wearing it and it does not feel uncomfortable to me or cumbersome.

    Answer by -Cassandra- at 4:42 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I am a pregnant Muslim women, It is allowed to be uncovered for medical reasons and to be treated by a male doctor or nurse for medical purposes. Most Muslim women would feel shy having a man ( other then her husband) all in her vagina area and thats why most prefer to have female. For me, when I went into labor with my daughter I didn't care who was there, as long as they were going to deliver my child. My husband prefers that I see female OBGYN and I do, but at time of delivery it would possibly be a male that delivers our child and that fine.


    Answer by syrianmommy at 8:22 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I would assume that they would keep the people in the delivery room as minimal as possible, but as for emergency situations, saving a life would be more important. Too bad I'm not in college anymore, this would have made a great paper!

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 3:27 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • How do you know you haven't seen other Muslim women in public? There are many who don't wear the traditional garments. My pediatrician's wife, for example, another practicing pediatrician AND a Muslim, wears "normal" clothing. You may have seen many, many Muslim women, and just didn't realize it.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 3:34 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • I think they can be uncovered around other women - so a female Dr and nurses in the delivery room and they'd still be okay, as okay as any of the rest of us are with what feels like half the world looking in your hoo haw. As far as the Er - if your at the point they're cutting your clothes off, I'm sure keeping covered is the least of your worries.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 3:35 PM on Aug. 24, 2010

  • The only Muslims I have ever met don't feel it's necessary to cover everything in order to be modest. And see a doctor as different than your every day encounter with another person... Just like Christians who are strict about their modesty, they understand that a doctor, nurse or emergency worker has to be able to access their body in order to provide care.

    However, I would think that for those who have these very restrictive beliefs about what is or isn't okay outside of the house have the option of a home birth.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 4:12 PM on Aug. 24, 2010