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Midwives Told To Stop Saying 'Breastfeeding' And Use Trans-Friendly Term 'Chestfeeding'

Midwives Told To Stop Saying 'Breastfeeding' And Use Trans-Friendly Term 'Chestfeeding'

An NHS trust is changing up the language used on its maternity wards to make its services ore accommodating for transgender and non-binary people.

Midwives at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust have been advised to use the words 'chest-feeding' instead of breast-feeding, while breastmilk should be replaced with 'human-milk', 'breast/chest milk', or 'milk from the mother or feeding parent' in cases where they feel this language would be more suitable to the patient in question.

The move - which will also see maternity services renamed as perinatal services - has been announced in a bid to tackle health inequalities in the medical profession when it comes to gender identity.

More gender-neutral terms will be used in perinatal care (Credit: Shutterstock)
More gender-neutral terms will be used in perinatal care (Credit: Shutterstock)
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In a policy document issued to those stating the changes at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, staff have been told that they do not have to stop using the word "woman" or other terms attributed to motherhood, but to be more conscious of the language they use towards patients and make an effort to be more inclusive.

"Gender identity can be a source of oppression and health inequality," the document explained.

The trust hopes the changes will make the language more inclusive (Credit: Shutterstock)
The trust hopes the changes will make the language more inclusive (Credit: Shutterstock)

"We also recognise that there is currently biological essentialism and transphobia present within elements of mainstream birth narratives and discourse."

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After announcing the changes, the trust then wrote on Twitter: "At BSUH, we are proud to care for trans and non-binary (including agender, bigender and genderqueer) people as birthing parents and co-parents, and to celebrate and affirm their journeys to parenthood.

"We acknowledge the additional challenges that gender identity can have on pregnancy, birth and infant feeling. We recognise the importance of providing inclusive, respectful perinatal care to all pregnant women and people.

The NHS Trust recognises the importance of using inclusive language (Credit: Pexels)
The NHS Trust recognises the importance of using inclusive language (Credit: Pexels)

"We want everybody who uses our services to see themselves reflected in language we use."

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The move has been praised by campaign groups, being viewed as a bid to stamp out transphobic and harmful narratives in the medical profession.

TransActual tweeted in response to the news: "Let's hope many more trusts follow suit.

"Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Children, UK News, Life News, Mum, Kids, Life, Motherhood, Mother

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Kimberley Bond

Kim is a journalist at Tyla, and has previously worked at the Evening Standard, Radio Times as well as several national newspapers. A showbiz obsessive and a television fanatic, Kim is particularly interested in celebrity gossip, A-list events and the latest releases on either the big or small screen. Contact her at [email protected]