How to find warm welcoming support on your infant feeding journey
Hey there, amazing parents! Today, I want to chat with you about something incredibly important: inclusivity in lactation practice. As parents seeking support on your breastfeeding, chestfeeding or bodyfeeding journey, it's crucial that you find a safe and supportive space that embraces your uniqueness, no matter your background or identity.
So, let's dive right into the world of inclusivity and explore how you can ensure your lactation practice is a truly welcoming environment for you and your family. Not all practices have made it their mission like Woven lactation to make LGBTQ+ families feel welcome. The good news is this will help you weed out who is really equipped to manage problems your family is likely to face.
First and foremost, let's talk about the non-discrimination clause. When you're seeking a lactation consultant, it's essential to look for professionals who explicitly state that they do not discriminate against anyone based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or any other protected characteristic. This commitment sets the stage for an inclusive and accepting environment, ensuring that you feel respected and valued throughout your journey.
Dad bottle feeding his baby while looking into their eyes
Now, let's discuss the extra training that lactation consultants can undergo to better support LGBTQ+ and queer families like yours. Every family is unique, and it's important to find consultants who are well-equipped to meet your specific needs. Lactation consultants who have sought additional training in LGBTQ+ cultural competency and inclusive care are better prepared to provide the support you deserve. Their knowledge of gender-affirming language, transgender and non-binary health considerations, and inclusive breastfeeding/chestfeeding techniques will ensure that you feel comfortable and fully supported throughout your journey.
Inclusivity extends beyond just words—it also encompasses the physical space created by lactation practices. When you're choosing a practice, consider if they have taken steps to accommodate all families. Do they have gender-neutral restrooms? Are there seating options that are inclusive of different body sizes and abilities? Ensuring that the lactation practice respects your privacy and comfort is essential in creating an environment that truly supports you.
Language plays a significant role in fostering inclusivity as well. Look for lactation consultants who use inclusive language in their written materials, verbal communication, and social media presence. Consultants who address families as "parents" or "caregivers" instead of assuming gender or relationship roles create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels acknowledged. By actively seeking feedback from the LGBTQ+ and queer community, these consultants ensure that their communication is respectful and affirming.
Queer peer support
In addition to seeking an inclusive lactation practice, you can actively engage with LGBTQ+ and queer communities as a parent. There are many great groups online and in person. Parenting is hard and it can be very helpful to have a group to support you who has a good appreciation of the unique challenges and experiences faced by LGBTQ+ and queer families like yours.
Remember, embracing inclusivity is an ongoing journey of learning and unlearning. It requires finding professionals who are introspective, open-minded, and genuinely committed to creating a more inclusive world for families like yours. By actively seeking out lactation consultants who eliminate biases, expand their knowledge base, and foster an environment of acceptance, you can ensure that your breastfeeding or chestfeeding journey is supported with compassion and understanding.
In conclusion, inclusivity in lactation practice is not just a trendy phrase; it's a vital aspect of the care you and your family deserve. By choosing a lactation practice that incorporates a non-discrimination clause, seeks extra training to support LGBTQ+ and queer families, creates inclusive physical spaces, uses inclusive language, and engages with the community, you can create a nurturing environment where you feel safe, respected, and celebrated. Together, let's celebrate the diversity of your journey!