A student midwife has spoken out after he was stopped from attending breastfeeding classes because he is male.
Chris Butt, 30, is in the second year of a three-year training course at Bournemouth University. He has been told he cannot attend several local breastfeeding classes run by the National Childbirth Trust, as some women present in the classes are 'sensitive' to men being in attendance.
Chris is doing on-the-job training at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and has delivered five babies on his own.
The NCT in Bournemouth said Chris could not attend 'women only' classes, but was welcome in classes in which partners of new mums attend. But Chris, one of only 132 male midwives in the UK, has spoken out about the situation in Midwives, the magazine of the Royal College of Midwives, writing:
"I didn't believe for one minute that I would be turned away from breastfeeding groups.
"Do the facilitators of such clinics think I practice midwifery in some magical way where I don't see intimate parts of women's bodies? Do they think I stand behind a screen as a baby's head is crowning, shouting out advice on when to breathe?"
Chris also claims he was put 'under pressure' not to comment further after originally agreeing to expand on his comments.
An NCT spokesperson said: "He wanted to attend a women-only session, where there were no break-out rooms available if the women attending felt uncomfortable with a male presence.
"We also offered him the opportunity to attend an antenatal breastfeeding workshop."
A breastfeeding counsellor in Southampton told the