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Midwifery care of the lesbian couple during pregnancy and birth

Social and legal mores regarding same sex marriages have undergone rapid change during the past decade in the USA. Thirty-six states now recognize same sex marriage. The American College of Nurse Midwives is among the professional organizations whose position statements advocate non-discrimination in health care for lesbian women. Globally, the International Confederation of Midwives position statements call for respectful care for all women.

However, lesbian women and couples still face misunderstanding and negativity from providers when in the exam room. As more lesbian couples marry and start families, the need for sensitive and caring midwifery services during the antenatal period and at birth increases. Are midwives prepared to meet this need? This presentation will discuss current trends in recognition of lesbian relationships, identify some unique needs of this population, and provide suggestions for midwives to deliver and evaluate sensitive and culturally appropriate care during the childbearing experience.