Supporting inclusive midwifery care
Maternity services at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals have broadened the language they use to support midwives providing care for trans and non-binary people who are giving birth.
The trust recognises 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.
BSUH always aims to meet the needs of our local populations and provide the best possible, individually tailored care for every person. 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.
The additional wording is part of an ongoing, award-winning piece of work led by our midwives who have been engaging with trans and non-binary service users to gain an understanding of their unique needs.
This work does not impact on other maternity services and staff are not being asked to stop using any language relating to women.
The clinical guideline and model of care for trans and non-binary people is the first of its kind and will be made widely available to other maternity departments across the country.
BSUH Chief Nurse, Carolyn Morrice said:
“Adding to the language we use 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 uses language they are comfortable with.”
Amanda Clifton, head of midwifery, said:
“I am looking forward to a time when this standard of inclusive care is in fact business as usual for the whole of the NHS. That being said, improvement has to start somewhere, and I am particularly proud of all the hard work our service has put into this award winning work.”
(Examples of our use of gender inclusive language include: “pregnant women and people”, “breastfeeding and chestfeeding“, “mothers and birthing parents”.)