Guidance for staff at an NHS Trust also suggests using the term “birthing parents” instead of mother or father. Getting the wrong gender “may inadvertently cause harm,” it says. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals is altering its website, leaflets, letters and emails to cater for transgender and non-binary patients. It will refer to maternity services as “perinatal services” and suggests calling calling breast milk “human milk or chest milk”.
The document states: “Some people may refer to their ‘chest’ and ‘chestfeeding’ rather than their ‘breasts’ and ‘breastfeeding’.”
It adds that staff can use the term woman, but should use more inclusive language such as “people” and says: “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.”
Campaign group TransActual said: “Let’s hope many more trusts follow suit.”
Carolyn Morrice, Brighton and Sussex Hospitals’ Chief Nurse, said: “Changing the language we use in this way is something people who use our services have been asking for, for some time.
“Our aim will always be to treat everyone who uses our services as an individual, providing care that is personal to them, that meets their needs and using language they are comfortable with.”