Midwives at a hospital have been told they can no longer use the term “breastfeeding”.
It’s part of a new strategy by the UK’s National Health Trust to be more inclusive to trans communities.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust in England is the first to introduce the policy.
Changes in terminology include no longer referring to “mothers” as a lone word but instead use “mothers or birthing parents”, and referring to “breastfeeding” as “breast or chest-feeding”.
Breast milk has to be referred to as “chest milk”, “human milk” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent” while “father” has been replaced with “parent” or “co-parent”.
Healthcare workers were also provided examples of how to use the terms in sentences such as: “The nutrients in human milk are unique”.
The policy document claims gender identity “can be a source of oppression and health inequality”.
“We are consciously using the words 'women' and 'people' together to make it clear that we are committed to working on addressing health inequalities for all those who use our services,” it reads.
“As midwives and birth workers, we focus on improving access and health outcomes for marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
“Women are frequently disadvantaged in healthcare, as are trans and non-binary people. We also recognise that women of colour, particularly black women, experience significantly higher rates of morbidity and mortality in pregnancy.”
On Twitter, many people applauded the move.
“This is excellent! I hope more services take this on board and do the work needed to be more inclusive,” one woman tweeted.
Today we are launching the UK’s first clinical and language guidelines supporting trans and non-binary birthing people.
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➡️ https://t.co/EPaesy4RWN#transpregnancy #nonbinarypregnancy #genderinclusion pic.twitter.com/qgzhJ2e6On
— Brighton and Sussex Maternity (@BSUH_maternity) February 8, 2021
Another woman called it “wonderful”.
“This is great and so useful,” another woman tweeted.
However, some derided it.
“What a fantastic waste of money,” one woman tweeted.
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