International News Feb 11, 2021 1:23 AM EST

British midwives told to call breastfeeding 'chestfeeding'

Under the new "gender inclusive language policy," hospital staff were also asked to use the term "human milk" or "breast/chest milk" instead of breastmilk and the term "birthing parent" instead of mother.

British midwives told to call breastfeeding 'chestfeeding'
Noah David Alter Toronto
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Midwives at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust have been told to use the term "chestfeeding" instead of "breastfeeding" to be inclusive of transgender people, Metro reports.

The hospitals made the change to "rapidly redress the historic exclusion of trans and non-binary service users, whilst honouring and representing all who use our services."

"What we are doing is adding to the language we use to make it as inclusive as possible and to ensure that people who may identify in a different way feel our services are accessible," said BSUH chief nurse Carolyn Morrice.

Under the new "gender inclusive language policy," hospital staff were also asked to use the term "human milk" or "breast/chest milk" instead of breastmilk and the term "birthing parent" instead of mother.

While the language policy will be adopted by the hospitals' leaflets and other official material, usage of the traditional terms is not outright banned, and doctors are allowed to use "‘terminology that is meaningful and appropriate to the individual."

"[There] is currently biological essentialism and transphobia present within elements of mainstream birth narratives and discourse," reads a document outlining the new policy. "We strive to protect our trans and non-binary service users and healthcare professionals from additional persecution as a consequence of terminology changes, recognising the significant impact this can have on psychological and emotional wellbeing."

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