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I wasn’t a Birthing Person and I didn’t Chest Feed

(277 Posts)
Oopsadaisy1 Wed 10-Feb-21 08:11:38

I am a Mother and I breast fed my daughters.

AIBU to expect Mother’s to continue to Breast Feed their babies if they want to?

The world is going mad and if I’m unreasonable to be ‘woke’ then in answer to my own question then NIANBU.

This is of course my reaction to new instructions to Midwives in Parts of the UK.

sodapop Wed 10-Feb-21 09:28:49


Why do we, as women, have to redefine ourselves to accommodate an infinitesimal percentage of the population?

Exactly Terribull ridiculous.

Septimia Wed 10-Feb-21 09:29:47

The world just gets more ridiculous.

I don't have anything against trans people. In fact, if they're happier having transitioned, then I'm happy for them.

What really does annoy me is the way that a minority of the population (and not just in this instance) make so much fuss that the majority have to change to suit them.

Nanawind Wed 10-Feb-21 09:35:39

What a load of rubbish.
My Daughter is BREAST feeding. Yes she has a chest as her DH has a chest but only she can BREAST feed.
I have BREAST Cancer not chest cancer. Will my Breast Cancer Nurse now be called Chest cancer nurse.
Who's idea was this.

MaizieD Wed 10-Feb-21 09:35:42

Men have breasts, too, and can develop breast cancer. So where does that leave this strange choice of language?

Luckygirl Wed 10-Feb-21 09:35:46

Unfortunately it is "official" organisations like health trusts that go down these silly routes - it is because they do not want to be criticised and are trying to cover their backs. It is a bandwagon, and Brighton is not surprising as one of the first to jump on.

Doodledog Wed 10-Feb-21 09:35:56


It is not just the denial of women's experiences of the functioning of their body parts, it is also anatomically incorrect. The breast is not the chest. Full stop.

(I used "full stop" instead of "period" so as not to get into a different conversation altogether. The same revisionists probably have some weird name for that too.)

Yep. The term 'people who menstruate' is used, so as not to offend transmen who still have ovaries. The fact that this term excludes post-menopausal women, and those who have had hysterectomies is lost, or more likely, it doesn't matter if these people are erased as so-called 'natal women' are being pushed aside all the time now.

I wonder if this will be the final straw, and that women who have so far been unaware of, or have opted out of the trans 'debate' will decide that they have had enough, and make their voices heard? I really hope so, as people have been banging their heads against walls for too long, now.

Madgran77 Wed 10-Feb-21 09:36:23

Oh, get over it! Individuals can call themselves and their body parts what they wish. I can’t believe that in the throes of a pandemic, everyone is getting het up about such a trivial thing

But this is more than the change of one word really. It is about a societal change of attitude to a natural process by women. It's not about individuals calling their body parts what they like, it's about medical practice changing how it engages with mothers because of a small minority who have been enabled by scientific developments.

So if a trans person ends up chest feeding because science has enabled it to happen ..well one can agree or disagree with that process, but it is an accurate description of a modern process for that trans person.

However a woman born a woman who has had a baby and is lactating because that is what her body is built to do is using her breasts to feed her baby. And that is what it should be called because that is what it is! Why should that woman have her bodily process described/approached differently from a medical perspective, because of a scientific developement that is not part of her personal medical experience?

Yes there is a pandemic but I don't think that means that everything else, including societal change, can just be ignored. It allows change to be insidious rather than inclusive, even though in this instance the intention of the change is evidently about "inclusion"!

suziewoozie Wed 10-Feb-21 09:39:43

This is all part of the power and influence of radical trans ideology, battles over which have now been raging for several years and pop up regularly here on GN. In the great scheme of things and the damage and danger posed by this, this is actually only one small part. It’s an issue that just won’t go away and I still can’t understand how this lobby have become and remain so powerful. They were embraced by the 2010 government but fortunately wiser heads have now prevailed. It’s causing much upset in Scotland and has led to the sacking of the admirable Joanne Cherry QC.

suziewoozie Wed 10-Feb-21 09:44:53

Madgran excellent post - mine crossed with it and you have set out the wider context much better.

TerriBull Wed 10-Feb-21 09:49:54

I'm aware that men can develop breasts and have breast cancer, but those male breasts don't have the ability to produce milk.

Sometimes the whole argument seems unbelievably obtuse, if it weren't for the fact there is a "minority" of vociferous transwomen out there who are hell bent on rubbing natal women's noses in the fact that their ultimate goal is to appropriate every aspect of what is only possible for the female of the species, which I've heard referred to to as "cis" women privilege. No door will remain closed to them!

NellG Wed 10-Feb-21 10:05:55

Feel free to hunt me down GrannyGravy, my running days are over wink

I'd like to make the point that midwives are being asked to use these terms. You are not, I am not. Midwives are being asked to use these terms in reference to their clients - also a term that caused upset when the NHS insisted on it's use. As a practitioner I had to refer to 'you' as a client, you could call yourself whatever you like.

Why do people feel so threatened by things that make no difference to them at all? Terms used to encompass and respect all people, don't threaten or take anything away.

No one is going to change your experience of birth, breast feeding, being a mother by altering the language. Respecting other people, even if they are a minority takes nothing from you.

Would you argue for retaining the use of the words tits, jugs, paps, bristols etc? If not why not? Some people were comfortable with those terms - they only fell out of use because a minority objected to them.

Put it this way, this change does not affect me or my experiences as a woman who gave birth and breast fed my children in any way shape or form. Nothing about motherhood has changed for us, so why should we stand in the way of benefits for others.

Haven't we been trying to convince the patriarchy of that for centuries? Women's rights have not taken anything from men other than their preconceptions and ego. Let's not be so narrow minded.

AmberSpyglass Wed 10-Feb-21 10:15:47

Utter nonsense. Women aren’t being erased.

TerriBull Wed 10-Feb-21 10:18:50

.........and whilst individuals can certainly call their body parts what they wish, name them any old arbitrary whatever as far as I'm concerned, but that doesn't make it so. Might as well say when buying some new shoes for instance, can I have a couple of loaves of bread to stick on my feet hmm We are running the risk of inhabiting some quasi Alice in Wonderland world, where I believe the great Humpty Dumpty was heard to utter something along the lines of "I am whatever I want to be"

Furthermore, surely woman also as individuals, similarly should be able to define ourselves as we wish, I think most of us might say, just "women" will do without any pronouns thank you!

Doodledog Wed 10-Feb-21 10:19:40

This is where this nonsense can lead.
There will be no clinics, and no authorities. We will conduct our own research, and experiment with our own bodies. We will heal and grow together. We will accumulate knowledge and share it freely and accessibly.

We demand nothing less than the total abolition of the clinic, of psychiatry, and of the medical-industrial complex. We demand an end to capitalist & colonialist “medicine”.

We demand hormones & blockers are made available over-the-counter and by free prescription upon request. We need free, universal access to safe hormones & blockers at any age, the opportunity to decide our own doses, and universally accessible information on the safety & efficacy of different regimens. We are already taking hormones in this way, so this demand is simply that the danger of doing so is effectively mitigated.

We demand that all therapies that can be are made available at drop-ins, with self-referral for any therapy or procedure for which drop-in is unsuitable.

We demand anonymous blood tests, both postal & at drop-in endocrinology clinics, where we can seek the advice of a consultant if we wish.

We demand the freedom to alter our bodies without justification. We demand an end to all surgical prerequisites - nobody should have to prove life experience, health or have to be taking hormones in order to exercise bodily autonomy.

We demand that these surgeries can be highly customised to meet our individual & unique needs. We demand the right to multiple surgeries, including reversal of previous surgeries if desired, so that we do not have to fear regret.

We demand the free & timely provision of genital surgeries, additive & reductive chest surgeries, hysterectomies and orchiectomies, tracheal & vocal surgeries, facial surgeries, lipoplasty, contouring & microdermabrasion, surgical hair removal & transplantation, and any other possible procedure to meet our needs as we express them.

We demand resources for hair removal anywhere on our bodies, and the option of local anesthetic during these procedures.

We demand voice coaching that does not coerce us to alter our voices in ways we do not express a need for, but respects our accents and our right to express ourselves however we desire.

We demand access to counselling & and any other therapies we choose.

We demand the revocation of medical licenses from all gender clinic doctors & nurses, past and present.
We demand the power to hold abusers of medical & administrative power accountable for historical & present injustices.


Incredible, isn't it? When there are people who can't get life-saving operations people are 'demanding' free hair removal and cosmetic facial surgery.

I would love a drop-in enocrinology clinic, so that I could get the treatment I need for medical issues of my own, but no - I have to wait with everyone else until appointments are available. There would be even longer between appointments if consultants had to include drop-in clinics in their diaries.

trisher Wed 10-Feb-21 10:21:06

Right first of all this is nothing to do with transwomen and everything to do with transmen who do not wish to be called women and who may object to being called mother.
Personally I have no objection to them being called anything they want to be. But the reverse also applies and if you want to be called "mother" that should be your choice.
It isn't anything to do with transwomen by the way. Transmen do exist.
I agree that chest feeding isn't accurate and I do wonder, presumably transmen who've had masectomies can't breast feed anyway can they?

NellG Wed 10-Feb-21 10:23:11

Oh Doodledog, just because people demand things it doesn't mean they will get them. This tiny minority of people are no threat to you. It's a manifesto, not a coup.

Doodledog Wed 10-Feb-21 10:24:38

If we are calling breasts 'chests', what do we call penises on transwomen who do not identify as male?

GrannyGravy13 Wed 10-Feb-21 10:25:38

Pandering to 1% of the population?

It is erasing female language for female body parts An infant is unable to latch on to a chest it latches in to a nipple which is on the female breast.

I have nothing against the transgender community, but this is PC nonsense (and that is what it is) going to far!

nanna8 Wed 10-Feb-21 10:27:24

I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. It is ridiculous.

Ngaio1 Wed 10-Feb-21 10:27:30

I do understand you! I had a message from HQ last week telling me they had deleted a message and saying I had used a derogatory term. I didn't think that I had and pointed out that it is becoming more and more difficult not to offend someone because more and more everyday words are being targeted by people "choosing" to take offence. I want to still be a Mother and not a Birthing person!! Another case in point.

Doodledog Wed 10-Feb-21 10:27:48


Oh Doodledog, just because people demand things it doesn't mean they will get them. This tiny minority of people are no threat to you. It's a manifesto, not a coup.

True, but it is laying out their stall.

This is not a matter of taking sensibilities into account when choosing language - I would be all for that. This is a movement which, in its extreme form, wants to take over everything that was once considered female. Women are becoming a threat to the patriarchy, so why not just absorb them into men?

If we let this happen, the lives of our daughters and granddaughters will be the worse for it.

suziewoozie Wed 10-Feb-21 10:33:37


Oh Doodledog, just because people demand things it doesn't mean they will get them. This tiny minority of people are no threat to you. It's a manifesto, not a coup.

Oh really ? You honestly think it’s just about chest feeding?

Rosie51 Wed 10-Feb-21 10:33:39

NellG Would you argue for retaining the use of the words tits, jugs, paps, bristols etc? If not why not? Some people were comfortable with those terms - they only fell out of use because a minority objected to them.

What a ridiculous statement! Those words are not biological in origin at all but slang words for breasts, and still used by many in casual conversation, if not by me. I never had my breasts referred to by any of those terms by anyone in the medical world. Women do not use their chests to feed their babies, they use their breasts.

And as for a transman wanting to be recorded as father on their child's birth certificate, that is just self indulgent. The certificate is the child's document, it is and should be an accurate record, not a vanity project.

BigBertha1 Wed 10-Feb-21 10:33:50

oopsadaisy1 thank you for the thread. DH and I were debating this in bed today. I think the wider issues have been articulated well here but what struck me was aren't they a bit busy at the moment to be dealing with this. I know from bitter experience how long it takes to research, write and get agreement to a major policy change and how much resource it takes up. I would have thought other things were higher up the agenda at the moment. (Sorry if someone has already said that- I have read through the postings but may have missed it- dont want to get found out by the posting police). grin

Galaxy Wed 10-Feb-21 10:34:34

Actually I have read the press release from the health authority and from what I can gather they are using the term women and birthing person. They state that the language used will be additive (is that the right word - they used it!) rather than removing language so I think that's fine. If they are removing the word women from literature etc then that would be misogyny on acid but I dont think that is what they are doing.