Tomorrow (at 17+5) I have my sixteen week midwife appointment.
One of the things Amy and I have noticed so far in our NHS antenatal journey, is that our local services are not very diversity friendly at all. They seem to do racial diversity very well, but in terms of respecting different families I would give them 0 out of 10.
From the fact that they insist on referring to Superhero Donor as the baby’s father, despite the fact that I have asserted that he was our donor and father is so much more than someone who gives sperm, through to their “dads can help by…” and “dads are important because…” Posters. I would imagine these are alienating to anyone that is raising a family made up any other way than mum+dad+baby=family.
Even the health questionnaire asked for health conditions that “you” and “your partner” experience. Now hold on. Do you want to know about my partner, or do you want to know about the other biological half of the baby? The baby? I thought so! There’s so many situations where “your partner” isn’t the biological other half of a baby.
I intend to have a chat with the midwife tomorrow about exactly how that feels as a family who doesn’t fit the “norm”. It’s unnessarily alienating and really doesn’t make us feel like a real family, when in reality we are as real a family as any other combination.
I ordered these helpful posters from Stonewall, which I absolutely adore because they are so inclusive. They are actually designed for primary aged children, but I think would work amazingly in an antenatal setting. They’re not aggressive, they include everyone and it would be difficult for someone to be offended by them as they don’t put anyone on a pedestal above anyone else.
You can order your own copies of these posters at the Stonewall Website
I’ll report back how it goes. I feel we need to take this step because I find I actually dread the midwife and this is one of the reasons why, so rather than switching we decided it was better to attempt to educate about WHY they need to be more visibly inclusive.
Wish us luck!