Midwives say no more mothers and women!

Stuff reports:

The Midwifery Council of NZ has revised its midwifery scope of practice guidelines to entirely remove the words “woman” and “mother”.

The omissions are among a raft of changes to the document in an effort to be more inclusive and “address a detrimental imbalance of representation, understanding and appreciation of Māori knowledge, values and practice”.

Health researcher and former midwife Dr Sarah Donovan has questioned the move, saying it is likely to be out of step with public expectations about the profession of midwifery, including how it describes who it cares for.

Donovan said given that midwifery is arguably the most woman- and mother-centred of all health professions, the removal of the words ‘woman’ and ‘mother’ will likely not make sense to a lot of people.

“If this is about being inclusive, there is scope for terms to be used alongside each other.

“My understanding of what inclusive language in healthcare means is that it actually includes rather than excludes; it is additive of new terminology rather than removing widely-recognised and culturally cherished terms such as ‘mother’ and ‘māmā’.”


Clarification was needed on what evidence base and advice underpinned the decision to remove the words entirely, she said.

Evidence base – LOL

“A reasonable question to ask would be, has the Midwifery Council actually sought the views of the population they serve, and of the wider NZ public on removing the words ‘mother’ and ‘woman’ from midwifery care in New Zealand?

“Have they asked mothers-to-be as a group how they would wish to be described instead?”

Of course they haven’t.

To be consistent the Midwifery Council should also rename itself!

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