Mother Demands Preservation of Gender-Specific Language in Healthcare

Mother Demands Preservation of Gender-Specific Language in Healthcare

Ciara Curran, a grieving mother, delivered an emotional plea to NHS medics, urging them to reject the use of ‘dehumanizing’ gender-neutral language in healthcare communications.

Speaking before a group of Lords in the Preterm Birth Committee, Curran, clutching a stuffed toy symbolizing her unborn daughter Sinead, recounted her traumatic experience and emphasized the importance of recognizing women’s roles as mothers in healthcare settings.

Demand for Recognition: Upholding Women’s Identity as Mothers

Addressing the Lords, Curran stressed the significance of acknowledging women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss as mothers, rather than generic parents.

She expressed deep hurt caused by the erasure of terms like ‘mother’ and ‘woman’ from healthcare communications, highlighting the distress it causes to grieving mothers.

Advocacy Efforts: Founding Little Heartbeats Charity

As the founder of Little Heartbeats, a charity supporting women affected by premature rupture of membranes (PROM), Curran highlighted the challenges faced by women experiencing traumatic childbirth experiences.

She underscored the need for sensitivity in healthcare language to avoid further traumatizing women who have suffered from conditions like PROM.

Absence of Research: Critique of NHS Language Changes

Curran criticized the NHS for implementing language changes without considering the impact on women who have experienced pregnancy loss.

She highlighted the lack of research on the emotional consequences of erasing gender-specific terms from healthcare communication, emphasizing the need for greater sensitivity in language use.

Personal Experience: Tragic Loss and Advocacy Journey

Drawing from her personal experience of losing her baby Sinead due to PROM, Curran shared her journey of seeking medical assistance and the challenges she faced in receiving timely care.

Despite her efforts, she experienced negligence from NHS medics, leading to the tragic loss of her first child.

Legal Action and Charitable Initiative

Curran’s devastating experience prompted her to take legal action against the NHS, settling out of court.

Motivated by her ordeal, she established Little Heartbeats, dedicated to supporting women affected by PROM and funding medical research.

Her advocacy aims to raise awareness and provide support to women facing similar challenges.

Controversy Surrounding NHS Language Changes

The NHS has faced controversy over its adoption of gender-neutral language, with terms like ‘chestfeeding’ and ‘biological parent’ replacing traditional terms like ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘mother.’

While proponents argue for inclusivity, critics warn of the potential confusion and alienation caused by these changes, especially in vital health messaging.

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