Midwives must call trans patients 'birthing people' instead of mothersAugust 11, 2023
Midwives must call trans patients ‘birthing people’ instead of mothers in case it damages their mental health, says NHS
- Midwives have been warned they risk harming trans people by saying ‘mother’
Midwives have been warned they risk harming trans people who have given birth by calling them ‘mother’ or ‘mum’.
NHS protocols tell maternity ward staff that using the traditional terms may amount to misgendering a trans man or non-binary person – and damage their mental health.
They have even been advised to warn new parents in advance that they will have to refer to themselves as ‘mother’ on their baby’s birth certificate in case it causes them distress.
Hospitals are also increasingly using the term ‘birthing people’ instead of women in signs and documents to be more inclusive.
Caroline Ffiske, from the campaign group Conservatives For Women, said: ‘Women have been making clear their disgust and disappointment at the way in which the NHS is wilfully erasing language that describes women and our experience.
Midwives have been warned they risk harming trans people who have given birth by calling them ‘mother’ or ‘mum’ (File image)
‘But it is not just about language. The words used by the NHS show that it is colluding in an ideology that causes great harm.
‘It creates risks for women’s safety and privacy. It promotes a narrative that results in vulnerable young people perpetuating catastrophic harm to their own bodies. Nobody likes bans, but should the Government ban gender ideology within the NHS?’
The Mail asked all NHS hospital trusts if they had specific maternity or pregnancy policies for trans and non-binary patients. Only a handful did, but several more said they were working on them or updating their procedures. North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said its pregnancy policy for staff ‘has been updated to remove gender specifics where possible, and is now titled Pregnant Employees and New Parents Policy’.
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘A birthing person should be treated as a pregnant individual and their pregnancy and birth planning should be individualised to birthing people and their families.’
NHS protocols tell maternity ward staff that using the traditional terms may amount to misgendering a trans man or non-binary person – and damage their mental health (File image)
One of the most detailed guides was produced by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust in December 2020 and has been adopted around the country.
It states: ‘Maternity services have typically been designed as a cisgender women-only service, which may not serve the needs of trans and non-binary individuals.’
The guide urges staff to welcome ‘service users regardless of gender identity’ by displaying diverse posters and labelling toilets as for ‘birthing women and people’ rather than ‘women only’.
From Abro to Neutrois… the NHS’s woke glossary
- ABRO: People with a fluid sexual and/or romantic orientation that changes over time
- ANDROGYNE/POLYGENDER: Those who have non-binary gender identities and do not identify as male or female, and others who may define themselves as gender variant
- ARO: An umbrella term used specifically to describe a lack of, varying, or occasional experiences of romantic attraction
- BI-GENDERED: One who has a significant gender identity that encompasses both male and female genders
- DEMI: A term for people who may feel sexually or romantically attracted only to those with whom they have an emotional bond
- GENDER NON-CONFORMING: People who may dress or act in non-traditional or stereotyped genders – a previous term, cross dresser, is no longer used
- GREY: Describes people who experience attraction occasionally, rarely, or only under certain conditions
- MISGENDERING: Can include misnaming (calling a person by the incorrect name), or using the incorrect pronouns (for example, using he for one who uses she)
- NEUTROIS: A non-binary gender identity. Some neutrois do feel completely genderless – that is, they have no gender, an absence of gender, or are null gendered. Others have an internal gender that is neither male, nor female, just neutral
- OFF THE BINARY: Someone whose gender identity does not fit well within the female-male spectrum
- STEALTH: Living in one’s acquired gender without anyone knowing about one’s trans status
- THIRD-GENDERED: This includes those who do not place a name to their gender. There may be an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual orientation. Some individuals may refer to this specifically as genderqueer
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