Giving Compass' Take:
- Chase DiBenedetto spotlights the social networking app Peanut, which is spearheading the Renaming Revolution, a movement to address the ways in which stigmatizing medical language can be harmful to pregnant people.
- How does institutionalized gender bias affect how pregnant people are treated? What other systemic issues in the medical field intersect with gender bias?
- Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and new mothers.
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No need to beat around the bush: Doctors can be confusing. Medical jargon can be daunting. Add in institutionalized, gender-based medical bias and outdated terms that often stigmatize infertility and pregnancy loss, and you've created an environment that isn't always very welcoming to those who want to become parents or are expecting children.
The social networking app Peanut, which seeks to create safe spaces for parents and expecting mothers to connect and share their stories, hopes to change that. It's launched a virtual social media campaign called the Renaming Revolution, a movement to address the ways medical language can be harmful to pregnant people. On April 13, the campaign released its new Motherhood and Fertility Glossary — a list of replacement terms for medically outdated or insensitive phrases used to refer to pregnant people, based on suggestions by Peanut app users and reviewed by a group of consultants, including an OB-GYN, a linguist, and therapists.
The new reference tool, released Tuesday and available online, reflects a desire to destigmatize the language surrounding pregnancy, fertility, and birth, and replace it with inclusive, medically-descriptive terms, says Dr. Somi Javaid, a board-certified OB-GYN and founder of Cincinnati-based women's health center HerMD who was one of the consultants. “When a woman hears a diagnosis with very unfavorable terminology, it puts up another barrier to healthcare, and we make patients invisible,” she said.
Much of the current terminology — phrases like inhospitable womb and unfavorable cervix — are the product of a historically male-dominated field, Javaid said. "There was just an under-representation of women in medicine, making decisions and bringing attention to these types of things — that this language can actually be offensive."
Read the full article about destigmatizing the language surrounding pregnancy by Chase DiBenedetto at Mashable.