Why We Use Inclusive Language as Postpartum Doulas

inclusive language doula

In honor of Pride Month, we’d love to share why and how we use inclusive language here at Major Care.

We believe that language matters. How we speak, the words we use—it shows our values. They create our reality.

We are a company founded and run by cis women (women who were assigned female at birth and identify as women). We don’t have the lived experience of people who are trans, nonbinary, gender variant, or genderqueer.⁠

We, do, however, deeply believe that all people deserve care and deserve to be seen. ⁠We believe that people are who they say they are. We believe that it is respectful and powerful to speak in a way that acknowledges the diversity of people’s lived experiences in their hearts, souls, minds, and cultures.

That’s why we use inclusive language here at Major Care. Inclusive language means language that does not assume someone’s sex, gender, identity, or relationship.

Pregnancy, birth and parenthood are for all genders. Gender-neutral language provides space for everyone to be seen and included in this expansive time of life.⁠

We know that not all of our clients identify as women or as heterosexual. We also know that not all of our clients are married or partnered.

Terms like “birthing person” and “bodyfeeding” do not assume someone’s gender or identity in regards to giving birth or feeding human milk. Terms like “support person” do not assume gender, identity, sexuality, or relationship between people.

Inclusive Language We Use

Inclusive terms we use to refer to parents include birthing person, birth person, gestational parent, partner, support person, and non-gestational parent.

Inclusive terms we use to refer to infant feeding include lactation, breast/chestfeeding, bodyfeeding, and nursing.

These are the terms we’re using now, but we are committed to changing and growing. We follow the lead of LGBTQIA2S birthworkers, parents, and communities in this realm.

We know that the majority of people who use our app and receive support from our doulas do identify as women and mothers. So, we do use terms like “mother” and “motherhood” sometimes, especially when referring to individuals. But as a whole, we use inclusive language in our company because we believe it’s the right thing to do in providing the best postpartum care possible.

We ask our doulas and our clients for their pronouns. When we don’t know how someone identifies, we refer to them as “they.” We believe people are who they say they are—from “mom” to well beyond.

We see, acknowledge, and honor the vast diversity of pregnant and postpartum people, parents, and families in general. It is our fervent hope that all LQBTQIA2S people and families receive the support they need to thrive—not only in the fourth trimester, but in their whole experience as parents.