Breastfeeding taskforce

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Suggests ‘Breastfeeding’, ‘Father’s Milk’ in New Guidelines

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has released guidelines that suggest using terms such as “breastfeeding”, “breastfeeding” and “parents’ milk” to promote what it calls “gender-neutral language”. .

The ABM’s position statement on “Infant Feeding and Breastfeeding Language and Gender,” co-authored by eight physicians and the academy, said “using a asexual or non-sexist language is appropriate in many contexts”.


“ABM recognizes that not all people who give birth and give milk identify as female, and that some of these people do not identify as either female or male,” the four-page document released reads. July 29.

Suggested “gender inclusive terms” for “breastfeeding” include “breastfeeding, lactation, expressing, pumping, breastmilk feeding”. Alternatives to “breast milk” include “milk, human milk, mother’s milk, parent’s milk, father’s milk.”

“Language has power,” said Dr. Laura Kair, one of the authors and medical director of Healthy Newborn Care at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, in a statement.

“The language we use should be as inclusive as possible when discussing infant feeding,” she said. “When working with patients, it’s best to ask them for their assertive terminology. When communicating medical research, the language should accurately reflect the population being studied so as not to obscure the needs of the research.

The suggestions earned the ABM “woke Olympic gold” from The First, a conservative news outlet, and more than 300 stunned comments on the Daily Wire, including one calling the gender-neutral terms “degrading and dehumanizing”.

The statement comes with the Biden administration doubling down on its preference for the term “pregnant people” instead of “pregnant women.” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday the administration is now recommending new coronavirus vaccines for “all people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.”

The administration was widely mocked on the right in June for using “pregnant people” in its 2022 budget proposal.

The ABM statement included a caveat about the use of “people giving birth,” warning that it could be misinterpreted.

“People giving birth” can be replaced with “mothers” so that non-female people are included, but this term would also include gestational carriers, gestational surrogate mothers and women whose children are adopted by others, and these people may not correspond to the intention of an author. meaning,” the organization said.

The academy also said its ability to use “gender-neutral language” may be limited in other countries, but that “does not negate our recognition and support for the diversity and complexity of the human experience of infant feeding and bonding”.