Madness! Crucial breastfeeding guide may axe ‘womanly’ – women being ‘erased’

Penny Lancaster discusses her experience of breastfeeding

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Despite being established by campaigners in 1958 to support mothers, the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding may be updated to remove words such as “breastfeeding”. Established by the La Leche League (LLL), the publication has become a crucial guide for many mothers, but there are fears it will join the new wave of organisations pushing the use of gender-neutral language. Such is the use of gender-neutral langue, campaigners feel women are being erased by organisations set up to help and support them.

Some retired officials of the LLL, have claimed the organisation is now appeasing the extreme elements of “transgender activism”.

Retired LLL leader, Lisa Moro said: “I was very concerned to see there is a question over the words ‘woman’, ‘breastfeeding’ and, at other times, ‘mother’ as these are the core of what the organisation is about.

“These words were very plain and easy for all mothers to understand.

“The only reason I can see for this proposed change is to perform virtue signalling and appease some of the more extreme elements of transgender activism.”

The LLL has previously used the word “chestfeeding” as a replacement for breastfeeding on its website.

Ahead of the publication of the ninth edition of its book, the LLL launched a survey among leaders of its breastfeeding groups.

Another LLL leader, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had complained to the organisation that women who use “mother” and “woman” were being excluded.

She told the Mail on Sunday: “The board turned a blind eye enabling the targeted vilification, harassment and bullying of volunteers who disagreed with using desexed and de-feminised language in breastfeeding support.”

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In response to the story, an LLL spokeswoman said the survey was an opportunity for volunteers to have their voices heard.

The spokeswoman said: “The title of the book will be an important aspect of the marketing strategy aimed at ensuring the book reaches as wide an audience as possible.

“The survey was to give its volunteers the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

This comes as the Royal College of Midwives was forced to apologise after it removed the words “women” and “mother”.

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It replaced the two words with the phrase “post-natal people”.

A paragraph from its latest guidance read: “Post-natal people in hospital should have easy access to the call bell system, be shown how to use it and ensure it’s working — they should be provided with a bed-side cot for the baby to use while in hospital.”

After outrage online, the college apologised for omitting it in its safer sleeping guidance.

It said: “We would like to apologise that women are not mentioned in our recent safer sleeping guidance.

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“This was a huge oversight on our part, especially as we are committed as an organisation to ensure that women are never erased from the narrative around pregnancy and birth.”

The UK branch of the La Leche League has been approached for comment by

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