Midwives Told To Stop Saying 'Breastfeeding' And Use Trans-Friendly Term 'Chestfeeding'
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.
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.
"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.
"We want everybody who uses our services to see themselves reflected in language we use."
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
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