I am living abroad in the west, and I am pregnant and will give birth soon in sha Allaah. Should I choose a natural birth, knowing that there is no guarantee that there will be a female doctor on duty at the time, and it may be a male doctor, or should I choose to have a caesarean birth because then I will be able to choose a female doctor?.
The basic principle is that a woman should be treated by a woman, unless there is a need to be treated by a man. That is in accordance with the guidelines and stipulations which we explained in the answer to question no. 120224 and 5693. Among the things we said there is:
Priority should be given to the treatment of men by men and women by women. When a sick women needs to be uncovered (for medical treatment), preference should be given to a qualified female Muslim doctor; if such is not available, the order of preference is then a female non-Muslim doctor, a male Muslim doctor, and lastly, a male non-Muslim doctor. If it is sufficient to be treated by a female general practitioner (GP), she should not go to a male doctor even if he is a specialist. If a specialist is needed, she should go to a female specialist, but if one is not available, then the female patient may uncover in front of a male specialist. If the female specialist is not qualified to treat the problem and the situation calls for the involvement of a highly-skilled, qualified male specialist, then this is permissible. If there is a male specialist who is more highly-skilled and more experienced than the female doctor, the female patient should still not go to him unless the situation requires this extra level of experience and skill.
Caesarean birth is not free of risks and harmful effects, as has been explained in the answer to question no. 92831. Hence we advise you not to resort to that; rather delegate your affairs to Allaah and ask Allaah to make it easy for you to have a skilled female doctor so that you will have no need for a male doctor.
If there is no female doctor and you are forced to accept a male doctor, then we hope that there will be no blame on you in sha Allaah.
We ask Allaah to make things easy for you and decree good for you wherever it is.
And Allaah knows best.