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BMA Advice about Pregnant People

(90 Posts)
DaddaGreen Sun 29-Jan-17 09:23:00

The BMA has issued advice to doctors that the term "expectant mother's" is excusionary & the term "pregnant people" should be used instead.

I'm a man. Probably the defining part of "living as a man" is that I can't give birth to kids. Can anyone explain how you can have severe enough body dysmorphia to be triggered by this but not to decide to carry a baby to term?

Xenophile Sun 29-Jan-17 09:27:53

No Dadda, because by all the metrics of dysmorphia/dysphoria it is an absolute contradiction.

Crumbs1 Sun 29-Jan-17 09:29:47

It's the Daily Mail so twaddle.

AskBasil Sun 29-Jan-17 09:32:57

No one can explain it Dadda. It's like a religious mystery in the catholic church, we are not expected to understand, just accept.

It isn't twaddle Crumbs1. The Daily Mail hasn't made this up. The documents exist.

Luckily, most medical professionals are too sensible to take any notice of them. For now.

Gallavich Sun 29-Jan-17 09:34:32

The daily mail is the only mainstream paper covering transborg nonsense. They aren't making this up.

PencilsInSpace Sun 29-Jan-17 09:45:33

Can't link directly as it's a PDF download but if you click here it's the top link - BMA Guide To Effective Communication 2016.

So not twaddle, unfortunately.

Datun Sun 29-Jan-17 09:48:08

And, apart from The Sun, it has the biggest UK circulation.

AuntieStella Sun 29-Jan-17 09:50:34

DailyMail has quoted it so inaccurately.

Nowhere does it say that doctors cannot refer to pregnant women.

It does say that the term 'pregnant people' is one to consider when talking to or about a pregnant patient who is intersex or a trans an.

This sort of transphobic shit stirring really makes me cross.

PencilsInSpace Sun 29-Jan-17 10:00:39

It says: A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers.

The 'quick reference guide' says that instead of 'expectant mothers', 'pregnant people' should be used.

PencilsInSpace Sun 29-Jan-17 10:04:43

And from the intro section: This guidance should be applied to all forms of communication, including conversations, committee papers, documents, letters, emails and the website. Anything that we produce reflects the association and it is vital that all our communications are free from discriminatory language, or what could be interpreted as discriminatory language.

AuntieStella Sun 29-Jan-17 10:09:20

I agree that it's a poor summary and does not reflect what it says in the actual report.

tribpot Sun 29-Jan-17 10:14:30

I've read it - I don't think it does say that 'pregnant people' is a term to use when directly addressing a trans or intersex person. I would expect to see, for example, information leaflets produced by the BMA to refer to pregnant people rather than expectant mothers (this would slightly confound those couples who say 'we are pregnant' when quite clearly only one of them is).

A link directly to the PDF is here.

DaddaGreen Sun 29-Jan-17 10:16:52

How is asking about what seems an obvious contradiction transphobic?

Datun Sun 29-Jan-17 10:23:51

It doesn't actually say to only refer to intersex or transmen as pregnant people, it says we can include them by saying pregnant people. It doesn't say but just to them.

And as there is only ONE pregnant transman in the country why is it deemed necessary to re-write all the literature!

Dinosaurus86 Sun 29-Jan-17 22:53:33

Datun - perhaps it's like in some languages where if you're talking to a group of women then you use the feminine, but if even one man arrives then you swap to the masculine..?

roseshippy Mon 30-Jan-17 02:34:29

"Nowhere does it say that doctors cannot refer to pregnant women."

Yes, yes it does. Doctors are members of the BMA, and it says:

"This guidance should be applied to all forms of communication, including conversations, committee papers, documents, letters, emails and the website. Anything that we produce reflects the association and it is vital that all our communications are free from discriminatory language, or what could be interpreted as discriminatory language."

The Quick Reference Guide is very clear. E.g.,:

"Use the correct term for the impairment. Avoid terms that are now considered offensive. If it is necessary to refer to a person’s impairment or condition, check with the individual how they wish it to
be described."

Instead of

Mentally handicapped"


"Person with cerebral palsy
Person with Down’s syndrome
Person with learning difficulties"

And below that

"Don’t use phases that are reductive and overly-simplify a complex subject. A person’s sex is determined by a number of factors."

Instead of

"Biologically male/female
Genetically male/female
Born and man/woman"


"Assigned male/female at birth
Designated male/female at birth"

"Be careful when describing the personal process of gender reassignment. "

Instead of

"Sex change/sex change operation


Referring to a sex-change operation, or using terms such as pre-operative or post-operative inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to transition."


"A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. However, there are some intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant. "

Instead of

"Expectant mothers"


"Pregnant people"

It's hard to take entirely seriously, I LOLed at this one:

"Surname is not unacceptable. However, this word may originate from sire-name, or the name derived from one’s father."

This is fucking bollocks. Is there someone in a room somewhere making up alternative sexist definition for words? Where do these idiots come up with this shit?

'Menstruation' - this is a sexist term because it contains 'men'

'Scunthorpe' - offensive, please use 'Svulvathorpe'

Actual etymology 'Old French surnom, from sur, 'on' + noum, 'name', and from the Latin.


"The term ‘last name’ should not be used as it could be confusing to Asian groups who place their family name first."

Instead of
"Christian name
Last name"


"First name, given name, forename or personal
Family name (preferred term)"

So how the fuck is 'last name' confusing but 'first name' is a.ok? Stupid, stupid, stupid. And how is asking someone their 'personal' not confusing?

So it is DISCRIMINATORY to refer to a pre-operative transsexual, even though it's a relevant concern whether someone has a penis or not, and NOT discriminatory for women (sorry persons with vaginas) to have share their space.

It's also discriminatory to talk about pregnant mothers, even though in biology (surely an important subject for the BMA), 'mother' has a rather narrow meaning not altered by any 'transition'.

Poppyred85 Mon 30-Jan-17 09:21:00

Just to clarify a point, not all doctors are BMA members (I'm not, never have been, never will be) and we are not bound by any rules to follow their guidance on this.

Datun Mon 30-Jan-17 09:37:35


I didn't know that. Do you know what percentage of doctors are members?

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 30-Jan-17 10:03:35

Very quick Google tells me that there are 151,000 BMA members out of 230,000 doctors registered to practice. I know a lot of doctors don't bother. As I recall the main/only benefits are the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the BMA magazine, which are both good reads but not good enough to justify a fairly hefty subscription.

BakeOffBiscuits Mon 30-Jan-17 10:54:14

This has just been discussed On Womens Hour. I didn't catch the start so am not sure who was talking about it. She said the guidance is for language to be used between Drs and not for language to be used to patients.

tribpot Mon 30-Jan-17 10:57:13

I think Svulvathorpe sounds nicer than Scunthorpe anyway - and has the advantage of sounding a bit Russian for when Putin's tanks roll in. Like St Petersburg/Leningrad, I see Scunthorpe being renamed Svulvathorpe (Svulvasgrad?) in due course.

babyboomersrock Mon 30-Jan-17 11:28:00

I heard the last couple of minutes of Woman's Hour - this piece was a 5-minute slot before the drama.

Think the interviewee was from - organisation for parents questioning the trans narrative.

Must catch it later so I can email Woman's Hour.

CoolJazz Mon 30-Jan-17 12:20:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bambambini Mon 30-Jan-17 13:55:43

They mentioned it briefly in the Wright Stuff this morning. Guest Scott Capurro, a gay comedian from a the US seemed trans critical and alluded to the trans critics of the womens march going on about certain sections of woman hood being divisive.

VestalVirgin Mon 30-Jan-17 15:36:30

Doctors know that only women get pregnant, so they can say "pregnant women". If talking to a trans patient, they can humour them by using male pronouns, but why should they make life harder for themselves by doing this kind of nonsense talk with each other?

There's a problem with "expectant mother" as it could also refer to a woman who wants to adopt, and not apply to a woman who did not want to get pregnant and decided to give the baby up for adoption.
(Not a problem when doctors talk to each other, but I would understand if it was recommended to not use this on leaflets and the like that patients can see.)

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