Nurses and midwives at a hospital in the United Kingdom were advised to no longer use words like “breastfeeding” and “breast milk” in order to be more inclusive of transgender parents.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSHU) NHS Trust are the first hospitals in the country to use gender-inclusive language for their maternity services, according to The Times. The term “maternity services” itself has now been changed to “perinatal services.”
In a statement released on Monday, the hospital advised nurses and midwives to: replace “breast milk” with “human milk” or “chestmilk,” replace “mother” with “birthing parents,” and change “maternal” to “parental.”
“At BSHU, we are proud to care for trans and non-binary (including agender, bigender and genderqueer) people as birthing parents and co-parents,” the hospital said in its statement.
“As professionals, and as an organisation, we have a responsibility to promote good health. We do this not only through quality care, but also by creating policies and developing service provision that contributes to societal and cultural progress, promoting tolerance and equity, whilst striving to eliminate discrimination, prejudice and stigma,” BSHU said in their statement.
“This approach requires that health policy and programmes prioritise the needs of those furthest behind towards greater equity. Research shows that trans and non-binary people experience poorer mental and physical health than the general population,” they continued.
Today we are launching the UK’s first clinical and language guidelines supporting trans and non-binary birthing people.
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— Brighton and Sussex Maternity (@BSUH_maternity) February 8, 2021
According to the hospital’s website, “The midwife’s role is to support a pregnant person’s journey through each stage of pregnancy, birth, and the early days with their new baby.” (RELATED: J.K. Rowling Refuses To ‘Bow Down’ For Defending Biological Sex)
“We are taking a gender-additive approach to the language used to describe our services,” the hospital said in its statement.
Additionally, the hospital states that “a gender-additive approach means using gender-neutral language alongside the language of womanhood, in order to ensure that everyone is represented and included”.