Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Recommends Healthcare Workers Use Term ‘Father’s Milk’

They also advised the term “lactating person” instead of “nursing mother.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has issued a guide advising hospitals and health care professionals to use more “gender-inclusive” language.
  • The guide is requesting the replacement of “traditional terms” including “breast milk” and “mother’s milk.”
  • Instead, healthcare workers are asked to use the terms “human milk” or “parent’s milk,” even recommending “father’s milk” as an option.
  • Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright shared a link and screenshot from the guide, which shows that terms “gestational parent” is recommended instead of “mother,” “lactating person” instead of “nursing mother,” and “chestfeeding” instead of “breastfeeding.”
HOW CHANGES ARE BEING ROLLED OUT:
  • Wright told journalists “This document was sent to me by a friend whose wife is a hospital nurse for new moms and their babies. He said this new ‘inclusive terminology’ is being implemented at her hospital, and that nurses and other health professionals are being required to ask each patient what terms they wish to have used when discussing their care.”
  • He continued, “While this policy is portrayed as creating a friendly and ‘inclusive’ hospital atmosphere, I think most people would rather have nurses focused on more important things like medications and proper dosages instead of devoting mental real estate to memorizing lists of inane ‘inclusive’ terminology.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine issued a statement last year about its position reiterating its dedication to gender equality and health equity while outlining rules for language use when talking about infant feeding, lactation, and gender.
  • “Language has power. The language that we use should be as inclusive as possible when discussing infant feeding,” said Laura Kair, the medical director of well newborn care at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and ABM taskforce member. “When working with patients it is best to ask them their affirmed terminology. When communicating medical research, language should accurately reflect the population studied so as not to mask research needs.”