“Why do you say “pregnant people” in your webinars?”
A few years ago, we recognized that we were not including everyone in the conversation when discussing prenatal care in our standards course so we made the shift of changing the language from “Women & Diabetes” to “Pregnancy & Diabetes.”
While the majority of people who become pregnant are women, we know that gender-diverse people and transmen can also become pregnant and including them in discussions around prenatal care is important. We also recognize that the experience of being a parent and/or giving birth varies widely for both cis and trans people; some women who are mothers adopted their children, used a surrogate, or their partner gave birth to their children, while others who give birth are gender-diverse, trans, two-spirit, or intersex and don’t identify as a woman.
Gender-inclusive terms for pregnancy and birthing are not new. Lesbian parents have long distinguished between birth and non-birth mothers, a practice that appears in over a decade of academic literature. In uncoupling gender from a body’s ability to gestate and birth a child, we note that adoptive mothers, cisgender lesbian non-birth mothers and trans mothers who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) all engage in mothering activities and typically identify as mothers.Recognizing and renaming in obstetrics: How do we take better care with language?
Whether we provide services in the hospital, clinic, or other outpatient settings, we can take steps to help the people we work with feel welcome.
As Diabetes Educators, we recognize the importance of language in providing person-centered care to best support people living with diabetes and prenatal care is no different.
There are a few small changes we can make to provide inclusive care for all people. As we outlined above, “mother” may not fit each and every person who is giving birth and someone might identify as a mother who hasn’t given birth. Because of this, we can change “mother” in our language to “parent” or shift “woman” to “people” when speaking generally about pregnancy.
To make our practices more welcoming, we can establish All Gender Restrooms and update our materials to use gender-inclusive language. Here is a list of terms and tips for shifting this language and creating more inclusive practices.
The easiest way to become more inclusive in our language which respects the autonomy of each individual to describe themselves and their bodies is to give them opportunities to share with us what those terms are and how they would like to be referred to.
A few ways you can do this are by expanding the ways we collect this information in our intake forms or discussing it with the individual in their initial appointment. You can incorporate sections to ask for someone’s pronouns or even a body map where someone can make notes about preferred language that is used around their bodies and pregnancy. Giving space to outline triggering or preferred language for each person can empower not only gender-diverse people but can also support trauma survivors of all genders.
By paying careful attention to each person’s experience from the moment they walk in the door until we say goodbye, we can find ways to create a more inclusive environment. This awareness of the details is the great first step to showing your care and respect for those you work with.
ADCES Inclusive Care for LGBTQ+ People with Diabetes Handout – this handout provides definitions, terms to avoid, and a cultural competency checklist to help you move towards improving inclusivity within your practice.
Focus on Forms and Policy: Creating an Inclusive Environment for LGBT Patients by the National LGBT Health Education Center
Diabetes Prevention and Management for LGBTQ+ People Handout – this handout includes research of diabetes within the LGBTQ+ community, along with clinical considerations, programs, and resources for diabetes educators to use within their practice.
Policies on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ+) issues – this resource by the American Medical Association lists all the current healthcare policies in place for the LGBTQ+ community.
Helio’s LGBTQ+ Health Updates Resource Center – this is a “collection of news articles and features that provide the latest information on the unique health needs of individuals in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Pregnancy with diabetes is confronted with a variety of issues that require special attention, education, & understanding. This course reviews those special needs while focusing on Gestational Diabetes & Pre-Existing Diabetes. Included are the most recent diagnostic criteria, management goals, & prevention of complications during pregnancy. This is a helpful review for Certification Exams & those who want more information on people who are pregnant & live with diabetes.
Intended Audience: A great course for healthcare professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge of the issues surrounding pregnancy and diabetes and appropriate care to improve outcomes.
All hours earned count toward your CDCES Accreditation Information
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The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.