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UK hospital introduces transgender, non-binary inclusive language

"Breastmilk" has new terms including "human milk," "breast/chestmilk" or "milk from the feeding mother or parent."
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Feet of a newborn baby in the hands of parents.

BRIGHTON, UK — A hospital in the United Kingdom introduced language and terms meant to be inclusive for transgender and non-binary individuals who give birth. 

On Wednesday, Brighton and Sussex Hospitals tweeted a link of its new guidelines to support "trans and non-binary birthing people." 

"Our approach has been carefully considered to be inclusive of trans & non-binary birthing people without excluding the language of women or motherhood," Brighton and Sussex Maternity wrote on Twitter. 

The hospital trust released a 20-page document that includes a list of new inclusive terms. 

For example, while the term "breastfeeding" is still included, "chestfeeding" is also an applicable term. "Breastmilk" has new terms including "human milk," "breast/chestmilk" or "milk from the feeding mother or parent."

"Maternity" is replaced with "perinatal," and "maternal consent" with "informed consent." 

Additionally, the hospital trust released new guidance for referencing "father." Now, "parent," "co-parent" and "second biological parent" are added as new terms. 

In a released statement, the hospital trust said it broadened the language to support its midwives who are providing care for trans and non-binary people who are giving birth. 

"The trust recognizes the vast majority of midwifery service users are women and already has language in place women are comfortable with. This is not changing. For example, we will continue to call them pregnant women and talk about breastfeeding," the hospital's statement read in part. 

The hospital trust added it is not erasing terms relating to women or motherhood, but rather expanding its terms to be more representative. 

"By adding to the language we use we will support more inclusive care and ensure that people who identify in a different way feel the service includes and represents them. This work does not impact on other maternity services and staff are not being asked to stop using any language relating to women."

According to the BBC, the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust is believed to be the first in the UK to adopt the inclusive language and terms in "its internal communications and meetings." 

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