Aussie university asks staff to use the term 'chestfeeding'

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

An Australian university has reportedly released a guide asking people to refer to breastfeeding as “chest-feeding” in a move to encourage gender-inclusive language.

In a similar step to a hospital in England, staff at the Australian National University are reportedly being asked to use “parent-inclusive language” by a handbook developed by the university’s Gender Institute.

A copy, obtained by News Corp, suggests breast or mother’s milk should be referred to as 'human' or 'parent’s' milk instead, while breastfeeding should also be referred to as 'chestfeeding'.

“When working with student parents, defer to non-gendered language until the student volunteers their preferred nomenclature,” the document reads.

A mum is pictured breastfeeding a new born baby boy in a hospital room.
An university guide suggests referring to breastfeeding as chest-feeding. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

It is similar language to what staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust in England is being asked to use for inclusiveness to trans communities.

The hospital’s guide also asked for staff to refer to breastfeeding as chestfeeding.

An ANU spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the guide is "an academic output produced by experts who are free to research in their field of expertise under our policies on academic freedom".

"This document is not an official ANU policy, process or official prescription to staff and students. It is a guide developed by expert researchers to assist anyone committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity," the spokesperson said.

"ANU is committed to equity and diversity and ensuring we reflect the broad nature, background and experiences of Australians and our society, as well as a being a safe and welcoming campus for all people."

The spokesperson added ANU has many different policies to support equity and equality, and it "fosters respectful debate and robust scholarship and the free exchange of diverse ideas".

"Members of our community are entitled and encouraged to share their views, and to disagree with the views of others in a respectful way," the spokesperson said.

"Students and staff are free to engage with, debate and contest the ideas canvassed in this handbook."

Online copies of the guide appear to have been taken down.

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