Midwives to say ‘chestfeeding’ instead of ‘breastfeeding’
Midwives at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust have been told to begin introducing a new gender-inclusive language policy.
Staff have been instructed to replace the word “breastfeeding” with “chestfeeding”.
They have been told that “breastmilk” should be replaced with “human milk”, “breast/chestmilk”, or “milk from the feeding mother or parent”, and “mother” with “mother or birthing parent”.
The trust’s maternity services department will also be renamed “perinatal services”.
A policy document published this week reads:
“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.
“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.”
Many, including campaign groups such as Trans Actual have welcomed the decision.
But the language changes have also attracted criticism online.
One Twitter user branded the move as “truly shameful”, “absolutely unnecessary” and “guaranteed to harm women.”