Terminology Used on the EBM Site

Empowered Birth Movement is an intersectional feminist organization and we recognize and respect that not everyone who gives birth identifies as a woman or a mother. We aim to use gender-inclusive language that places trans, non-binary, and gender-fluid parents alongside cis women in their capacity to become pregnant, give birth, and feed their children.

Identities of all degrees — whether they are gender, cultural, or religious — impact our experiences of birth and healthcare and as such, we know words are powerful tools that can make someone feel either empowered or small.

On our website, you may notice the term “birthing people” or “woman*” in place of or alongside the word “woman”, for example. We do this to create inclusivity by using a more broad definition, of which women are a part of. You also may notice us writing only “women”. In quoting or summarizing research, we use the original language of the paper to reflect the population the data was collected from — this has always been women so far. Some translations may be gendered if there is no inclusive alternative. Furthermore, because we work with individuals whose native language is not English or may have varying levels of knowledge around anatomy or the physiology of childbirth, we have to be mindful of communicating in a way that is clear and easily understandable to everyone. We are exploring the best way to navigate this and are continuing to discuss and learn as the conversation around this topic grows.

In real-life interactions, we use the gender pronouns that a person has indicated on our intake form and the appropriate terminology for that individual. Standing by our mission to address health inequalities in marginalized populations, using inclusive language is one step towards ensuring maternal and perinatal health services are available, accessible and acceptable to everyone.

Please feel free to write us at hello@empoweredbirthmovement.com with any comments or suggestions for where we can improve in making the terminology used on the EBM site inclusive and easy to understand.

‘The same elements that threaten holistic care for pregnant and birthing folks also perpetuate violence against trans, queer and non-gender conforming people. These systems include, but are not limited to, profit-based, industrialized medical care, colonialism, sexism and patriarchy. When gender-nonconforming folks are also people of color, low-income or disabled folks, they disproportionately experience discrimination. As a result, we are committed to promoting the additive use of gender-neutral language in traditionally woman-centric movements (birth and reproductive justice) because doing so disrupts those systems and supports gender liberation.’

Midwives Alliance of America