Connect with us

UK NEWS

Midwives told to ditch terms ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘breast milk’ and use ‘chest milk’ in new trans-friendly policy

MIDWIVES at an NHS Trust have been told to ditch the terms “breastfeeding” and “breast milk” and use the words “chest milk” instead as part of a new trans-friendly policy.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust has become the first in the UK to implement a gender inclusive language policy in its maternity services department, which will now be known as “perinatal services”.

Midwives at an NHS Trust have been told to ditch the terms “breastfeeding” and 'breast milk' and use the words 'chest milk' instead

3

Midwives at an NHS Trust have been told to ditch the terms “breastfeeding” and ‘breast milk’ and use the words ‘chest milk’ insteadCredit: Alamy
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust has become the first in the UK to implement a gender inclusive language policy in its maternity services department

3

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust has become the first in the UK to implement a gender inclusive language policy in its maternity services departmentCredit: Alamy

Staff have also been instructed to avoid using the word “mothers” on its own, and given a list of alternative terms to address patients, such as “mothers or birthing parents”. 

Rather than using the words “breast milk”, workers have been advised to use the terms “human milk”, “breast/chestmilk” or “milk from the feeding mother or parent”.

These changes will also be added to the Trust’s webpages, leaflets and other communications such as letters and email. 

The terms “woman” will also be replaced with the phrase “woman or person”, and “father” with “parent”, “co-parent” or “second biological parent”, depending on the preferences of the patient. 

A policy document released this week by the Trust read: “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.

“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… By continuing to use the term ‘woman’ we commit to working on addressing health inequalities for all who use our services.”

Freddy McConnell, 34, was the first transgender man in the UK to carry and give birth to a child - and is listed as an external advisor on the policy document

3

Freddy McConnell, 34, was the first transgender man in the UK to carry and give birth to a child – and is listed as an external advisor on the policy documentCredit: Seahorse Film

The policy was drawn up by Helen Green and Ash Riddington, the unit’s “Gender Inclusion Midwives”.

The Trust has received a number of accolades from LGBT charity Stonewall, and has called itself a “leader for LGBT inclusion”.

Inclusivity campaigners welcomed the move.

Trans Actual said: “This is fantastic, well done. Let’s hope many more trusts follow suit. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Around one per cent of the adult population in the UK identifies as trans or non-binary, but the trans population in Brighton is thought to be larger.

Freddy McConnell, 34, was the first transgender man in the UK to carry and give birth to a child – and is listed as an external advisor on the policy document.

In 2019, Mr McConnell lost a High Court fight to be named as the dad on his child’s birth certificate.

Mr McConnell took legal action against the General Register Office, which administers the registration of births and deaths in England and Wales.

He wanted to avoid being named as the mother on his child’s birth certificate and instead be put down as the dad or simply ‘parent’.

Mr McConnell said forcing him to register as the child’s mother had breached his human right to respect for privacy and family life.

St Dunstan’s College headteacher urges students to be true to themselves as he reveals he’s gay

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

15 − 4 =