SMF webinar - inclusive language and communication barriers in maternity care

This intersectional webinar explored the topic of language and communication in maternity services. The themes of obstetric language, gender, BSL and translation barriers were examined to understand how services can best be shaped to reflect all service users


AJ Silver (they/them), Doula, Author, Breastfeeding Counsellor, Leading Expert in LGBTQ+ Competency Training, Queer Birth Club

AJ Silver founded The Queer Birth Club in 2020 to fill the void of LGBTQ+ representation and education in the birth world. AJ is a Trans Non Binary Birth and Postnatal Doula, Breastfeeding Counsellor, Published Author, Speaker and Activist using their lived experience as a gestational parent, Doula and Trans person to run workshops to improve disparities in access and outcomes for LGBTQ+ parents. Queer Birth Club presentation

Dr Katy Rankin MRCOG MBChB BMSc PGDipClinEd MD, Consultant Obstetrician, NHS Fife

I am a (fairly new!) Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in NHS Fife. I undertook my specialty training across South East Scotland and took some time out of training to undertake an MD in Medical Education. My specialist interests are Obstetric Medicine and Perinatal Mental Health. I am the Obstetric Lead for Perinatal Mental Health in NHS Fife. As part of this role, I work closely with our liaison psychiatrist, psychiatric nurses and maternity psychologists. I also have a specific interest in Birth Trauma. Together with our psychology team, we are currently developing a Birth Trauma working group with the aim of becoming a trauma-informed service – with specific emphases on inclusivity, equality and accessibility of antenatal education, the use of language in maternity care, and trauma-informed postnatal care. I am still fairly new to the role of obstetric consultant - but I am learning all the time. And the people I work with and look after teach me something new every single day.

Lesley Weatherson, Director, Lipspeaker UK

Lesley is a qualified British Sign Language interpreter, lipspeaker and deafblind interpreter and former nurse and midwife.  Passionate about improving communication support and services for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people, Lesley presents to midwives, fellow interpreters and policy decision makers on making positive change within health care services. Being deaf matters presentation.

Carina Okiki, Oxford Brookes University

Carina Okiki is a midwife in Oxford. She graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2019. Shortly afterwards, she wrote to Louise Hunter, then the LME at Brookes, to ask why there was not more diversity amongst the midwifery workforce, and to offer to help bring this about. This is how the project we are presenting at the RCM Education and Research Conference was born. Louise secured a small amount of funding from Health Education England, which enabled Carina to devote some time to plan and execute a study of the experiences of BAME midwifery applicants and students at three universities across south-east England. Carina is part the RCM decolonising midwifery group. Decolonising the midwifery curriculum presentation.