NHS praised for introducing LGBTQ+ inclusive parenting language like chestfeeding

·2-min read
Photo credit: Marko Geber - Getty Images
Photo credit: Marko Geber - Getty Images

The introduction of more inclusive parenting language – like chestfeeding – within the NHS, has been praised by the LGBTQ+ community.

Recently, the NHS launched a new section of its website on "Having a baby if you're LGBT+". The section includes information on ways to become a parent if you're LGBTQ+, how to manage hormones with pregnancy, as well as chestfeeding if you're transgender or non-binary.

Taking to social media to welcome the NHS' move, LGBTQ+ rights advocate Freddy McConnell – who is trans – said: "This. Is. Huge."

"Written by NHS staff, including midwives, to give researched advice to UK birthing trans parents and all kinds of LGBTQ+ parents-to-be for the very first time," he wrote alongside a screenshot of the NHS' new website section. "The *many* people who need this information can access it at last. We can have a smidge more confidence at least that our national health service knows we exist and is ready to care for us."

Freddy continued: "We can absolutely rest assured that some people within the organisation care a hell of a lot about looking after us and our families. These are just highlight screenshots. There’s lots more detailed advice and further reading on there."

Last year, a whistleblower revealed to i that the project had been blocked for some time by senior figures at NHS England. This raised questions over whether the NHS' decision not to publish the information was a breach of equality laws, while some people speculated that this was evidence of anti-trans views within the health service. In light of i's report, as well as backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, last week the NHS opted to publish the information.

"I feel relieved to see that they’re doing the right thing. But it’s a real shame that it took this [speaking to the media] for it to happen," the whistleblower told i after the NHS overturned its decision to block the information's publication. "It shows that there are still people working at NHS Digital who really care and who will advocate for minoritised groups."

Photo credit: Miodrag Gajic - Getty Images
Photo credit: Miodrag Gajic - Getty Images

In response, a spokesperson for the NHS told i: "The NHS website provides information for everyone, and we add pages to the site to keep it in line with the best clinical evidence and make it as helpful as possible to everyone who needs it."

Read the NHS guide on LGBTQ+ parenting here.

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