Sunday, August 7, 2022

Trans parents ‘should get more support for breast feeding’

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Banners wishing to “breast feed” their babies should be encouraged to do so, a royal college said in the first draft of such guidance.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) said trans men should be asked about their feeding preferences before their baby is born, and that those who choose to breast-feed should be given “breast-feeding support in the same way as for Should be offered cis-women”.

The guideline covers care for transgender and gender-matched people through childbirth, contraception, fertility, gynecologic procedures, and cancer treatment and care.

The document put up for consultation contains a number of recommendations to improve care, including:

The document also states that “people of opposite sexes should be offered health screening in accordance with national health guidelines and clinical guidelines.”

It follows the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy, which states that transgender men and non-binary people with female reproductive organs should always receive screening invitations so that they can have access to cervical and breast cancer screening.

RCOG President Dr. Edward Morris said: “This is an important policy aimed at improving the care and experience of trans and gender-balanced individuals accessing obstetric and gynecological services.

“Unfortunately, trans and gender-balanced individuals say they often feel judged and misunderstood by health care providers.

“This can be a barrier to them accessing essential care and we as healthcare professionals have a role to play in making sure they feel heard and recognized.

“This draft policy is our first attempt to ensure we are providing personalized care to all of our patients.

“We welcome feedback on this draft to ensure the guidance is as good as possible for clinicians and transgender and gender biased individuals using our services.”

Commenting on the guideline, which is available for consultation until September 6, Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, said: “There have been a number of reports citing poor clinical outcomes as a result of insufficient understanding and inadequate Assessment describes gender-specific health needs of people.

“This draft policy aims to break down barriers and improve the experiences of transgender and gender-balanced people accessing obstetric and gynecological services.”

Clare Ettinghausen, from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, added: “There is still work to be done to ensure that healthcare is fully inclusive and the development of this draft guideline is a welcome step in that direction.

“It is important that a diverse group of voices continue to inform this work so that when the guidance is finalized it can be put into practice and begin to make a difference.

“We advise anyone considering fertility preservation to think carefully about their options and to discuss them with a healthcare professional.

“Treatment can be a very emotional experience, so we also encourage anyone considering fertility treatment to have the right support.

“Information to support trans and non-binary people seeking fertility treatment is available on the HFEA website, including links to available professional support.”

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