CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — There is a new push by some health care professionals to change the term “breast milk” to “chest milk.”
In the United Kingdom, one hospital made international headlines for changing the term “breast milk” to “human milk.” It’s an effort to be more inclusive to transgender and non-binary parents.
But not all organizations or hospitals are following suit. Dr. Cecilia Banga specializes in delivering babies and prenatal care.
“This [term] is not really a pervasive topic of discussion here in the United States,” said Banga. She says breast tissue itself is not specific to one gender.
“I think it’s important to note that regardless of the origin. It’s very important for infants to get milk that comes from humans. Depending on what we want to call it, breast milk, chest milk, human milk. That depends on the patient and what they are comfortable with. It doesn’t change the fact that the milk is coming from humans and that it’s coming from the breast,” said Banga.
The North Carolina doctor says that despite the term, milk itself is an essential necessity to babies’ health. “Breast milk is a huge first step towards a baby developing a strong immune system because it is chock full of multiple nutrients,” said Banga.
Regardless of the term, both experts say it’s a person’s choice to decide what they want to call it and gender inclusion does not mean exclusion for any other patients.
They recommend patients tell their doctor or lactation expert which pronouns they prefer and the terms they are most comfortable with as they go through the process.