Maternity department staff at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) have been told to adopt “inclusive language” for the area’s LGBT community.
The Metro reports that as part of a new “trans-friendly” policy, NHS staff in Brighton are being encouraged to use gender-neutral terms such as “chestfeeding” and “human milk” – as opposed to “breastfeeding” and “breast milk”.
BSHU NHS Trust is the reportedly the first in the country to adopt a “gender-inclusive language policy” in order to appease the LGBT community across the local area.
In addition, the department has been renamed to “Perinatal Services”, deliberately excluding the term “maternity”, to keep in line with this policy.
Also included in the altered gender-orientated language is “woman or person” and “mother or birthing parent”.
However, when addressing a biological woman personally, staff have been instructed to use “terminology that is meaningful and appropriate to the individual”.
These language changes will be updated in the trust’s leaflets, letters and e-mails. A document reinforcing plans to implement this LGBT-friendly policy 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.”
It continued: “We also recognise that there is currently biological essentialism and transphobia present within elements of mainstream birth narratives and discourse.
“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.”