Families Aren’t Always Mum+Dad+Baby=Family

Tomorrow (at 17+5) I have my sixteen week midwife appointment.

One of the things Amy and I have noticed so far in our NHS antenatal journey, is that our local services are not very diversity friendly at all. They seem to do racial diversity very well, but in terms of respecting different families I would give them 0 out of 10. 

From the fact that they insist on referring to Superhero Donor as the baby’s father, despite the fact that I have asserted that he was our donor and father is so much more than someone who gives sperm, through to their “dads can help by…” and “dads are important because…” Posters. I would imagine these are alienating to anyone that is raising a family made up any other way than mum+dad+baby=family. 

Even the health questionnaire asked for health conditions that “you” and “your partner” experience. Now hold on. Do you want to know about my partner, or do you want to know about the other biological half of the baby? The baby? I thought so! There’s so many situations where “your partner” isn’t the biological other half of a baby. 

I intend to have a chat with the midwife tomorrow about exactly how that feels as a family who doesn’t fit the “norm”. It’s unnessarily alienating and really doesn’t make us feel like a real family, when in reality we are as real a family as any other combination.

I ordered these helpful posters from Stonewall, which I absolutely adore because they are so inclusive. They are actually designed for primary aged children, but I think would work amazingly in an antenatal setting. They’re not aggressive, they include everyone and it would be difficult for someone to be offended by them as they don’t put anyone on a pedestal above anyone else.

   
   
You can order your own copies of these posters at the Stonewall Website

I’ll report back how it goes. I feel we need to take this step because I find I actually dread the midwife and this is one of the reasons why, so rather than switching we decided it was better to attempt to educate about WHY they need to be more visibly inclusive.

Wish us luck!

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This entry was posted in 2015, Anxiety, baby girl, child, children, christmas baby, lesbians, lgbt, midwife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Families Aren’t Always Mum+Dad+Baby=Family

  1. colormeanew says:

    Great post. Thankyou. The world needs……a billion more like you 🙂

  2. Rachael says:

    Good luck with your attempts to educate and help the office be more inclusive! 🙂

  3. mummylass says:

    It’s a bit sad that you feel like this. I have had three babies on the NHS and have felt perfectly welcomed and not at all alienated. They have always been supportive and careful with language. Often curious but always respectful.
    Our only bad experience was with the fertility specialist when we tried to get my partner pregnant and it didn’t work after a year. He was a homophobic git.

    • That’s a shame. It’s hard because the professionals that we have met have mostly been inclusive – especially our consult who was WONDERFUL. But at the same time the waiting rooms and such are incredibly alienating with all their “dad can help by…” and “why dads are important…”
      That’s why I wanted to try and educate, because it might not have crossed their mind that posters are that important in terms of making people feel accepted. Me and Amy haven’t yet found an example of a poster or leaflet where we are represented. I think it’s something our trust could do much better, as GP surgeries are the same as well. I would imagine for someone who was gay but not very confident with it, it would be very difficult to “come out” in that environment without worrying about being judged.

  4. mummylass says:

    I think I must have just extrapolated in those circumstances, either that or I am very unobservant lol

  5. Pingback: Bad Maternity Experiences and the Journey to Changing Hospitals… | Laura and Amy's Making a Baby Adventure

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