August 10, 2022
Series: Welcoming All Families - Ten Things You Can Do to Ensure Your Childbirth Classes Are LGBTQ Friendly
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
It is important that all families feel welcome in your childbirth classes. Here are ten things you should be doing to confirm that you and your classroom are welcoming and safe for LGTBQIA+ families. It is imperative that you do not make any assumptions about the people who are attending childbirth classes with you. This post is one in an occasional series, "Welcoming All Families," you can find the entire series here.
1. Pronoun options
Give people the option to state their pronouns when they fill out any registration forms, intake forms or questionnaires. The singular “they” will always work for everyone.
2. State your pronouns
Include your pronouns in your introductions, after your name in your email signature, on your website bio and in your screen name in the online meeting platforms you use.
3. Pronouns, not preferred pronouns
Invite others to introduce themselves with their pronouns by modeling this yourself. Do not ask for “preferred” pronouns. People’s pronouns are not a preference but a fact.
4. People are pregnant
Consider using terms such as pregnant person, gestational parent, lactating parent, postpartum parent, and other inclusive words that recognize that not everyone who is pregnant identifies as female.
5. Families are varied
Some people are partnered, others are sole parents. People can be married and some people may be in a relationship with several partners. Don’t assume the relationship of people who comes to class. Pregnant people may even bring a sibling, friend or their own parent.
6. People achieve pregnancy in many different ways
Not everyone conceives their baby in the same way. Always assume that assisted technology, donor egg or sperm or other protocols may have helped some families become pregnant.
7. A picture is worth a thousand words
Include images in your marketing, on your websites and in slide decks that are representative of same sex couples, nonbinary people and people who may not identify as pregnant females. The Educated Birth is a great place to acquire a variety of drawings of many different pregnant and parenting people.
8. Train, mentor and hire LGBTQIA+ educators
Consider hiring or recommending people from the LGBTQ community to join your educator team. Reach out and help people from the LGBTQ community to become educators by directing them to a workshop and then supporting them as they begin to teach.
9. Have a non-discrimination statement
Does your business, organization or hospital have a posted non-discrimination policy that clearly includes sex or gender identity, marital status, and sexual orientation as important. Confirm it is online and in the classroom spaces.. Hold your organization accountable for this statement in their day to day activities and actions.
10. Become an ally
Join LGBTQ community health organizations as an ally and ask to be placed on their LGBTQ provider list or directory so people looking for LGBTQ friendly classes can find yours. Do this only after you have completed steps 1-9 above.
TagsChildbirth education Series: Welcoming All Families Welcoming All Families Sharon Muza LGBTQIA+