• Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Trans men should be supported by doctors to ‘chestfeed’ their babies

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has released a new set of guidelines

Representative image (iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Trans men choosing to “chest feed” their babies should be offered support in the same manner as for cis-women, according to draft guidelines of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The document, open for consultation till September 6, said healthcare professionals should be aware of barriers transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people face in accessing care.

Mode of birth should be discussed with all trans men who desire pregnancy, ideally during a pre-pregnancy counselling appointment, the document said.

It recommended that trans men be asked about their preferred manner of feeding in the antenatal period.

It said appropriate steps should be taken to ensure easy access to care without their gender being questioned or their confidentiality breached.

Individuals should always be addressed with their preferred title, pronouns and family relationships.

Fertility preservation options should be offered to TGD people, regardless of their gender expression, before they access endocrine interventions, the guidelines said.

According to it, trans men who conceive whilst taking masculinising hormone therapy should stop taking hormones as soon as possible.

Gender diverse people should be offered health screening under national public health policies and clinical guidelines, it said.

Consultant gynaecological oncologist Phil Rolland, who worked on the guidelines, said the document was developed to enable healthcare professionals to provide care for all.

He admitted that trans people were more likely to have poor experiences when accessing healthcare and that better service should be provided to them.

“We acknowledge that language is evolving rapidly in this area and publishing this guideline for consultation is part of the process of ensuring the final version of this guidance meets the needs of both our clinicians and our patients,” Rolland said.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Edward Morris said, “Sadly, trans and gender diverse individuals say they often feel judged and misunderstood by the health service. This can act as a barrier for them when it comes to accessing vital care and we as healthcare professionals have a role to play in making them feel listened to and recognised.”

He said the draft guidelines were the first attempt to ensure personalised care for all patients.

Eastern Eye

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