Concept Map: LGBTQ Community
The LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community has a unique history and special connection to prenatal practices. For a long period, the idea of LGBTQ was associated with individuals outside social norms, and the representatives of the community still experience struggles (Hanhardt, n.d.). For instance, people from sexual and gender minority groups face a lack of comprehensive prenatal care practices (Griggs, 2021). Homosexual couples desire the same prenatal care as heterosexual partners but experience heteronormativity or homophobia, especially when seeking a fertility specialist (Gregg, 2018). Nutritional practices for the one giving birth and the newborn in LGBTQ families depend on the parents’ decisions regarding lactation. For example, women and transgender men may require a supplemental nutrition system (SNS), supplemental feedings, or galactagogues (Griggs, 2021). An SNS also aids in providing nourishment for the baby and consists of formula, expressed milk, or donor milk (Griggs, 2021). The LGBTQ community has similar needs as heterosexual people but encounters inequalities in receiving care.
Furthermore, mothers from the LGBTQ culture require physical and emotional aid. The main support people present are the co-parents, nurses, and health care teams (Griggs, 2021). While experiencing pregnancy as a member of an LGBTQ community can be quite challenging emotionally, it appears that pain control during labor would be similar between heterosexual and homosexual parents. In particular, pain management during vaginal childbirth can involve medication (pharmacologic) and nonmedication strategies (nonpharmacologic) (Jin & Son, 2021). Moreover, while LGBTQ couples choose differently how their children refer to them, the delivery process lies upon the one who can biologically bear a child (Cockrell, 2011; Gregg, 2018). However, the setting where the baby is delivered depends on the needs of the person giving birth, their individual clinical situation, and facility limitation (Griggs, 2021). Same as heterosexual couples, LGBTQ parents seek medical assistance during pregnancy but require a more thoughtful approach.
The LGBTQ community has pregnancy rituals that resemble those of heterosexual families. Typically, an LGBTQ couple decides to become parents and chooses the best option but should be economically stable to fund the process (Gregg, 2018). Moreover, such partners have to consider that they and their children often will have different rights and protections than those offered to heterosexual households (Baumle & Compton, 2015). However, after making the decision, the future parents need to find a provider to assist the insemination, pregnancy, birth, and immediate postpartum period (Gregg, 2018). Nevertheless, while outcomes of pregnancy, labor, and the birth of LGBTQ people are similar to cis-gender women, the former encounter stigma within the healthcare system (Gregg, 2018; Griggs, 2021). Finally, the parents face trouble when naming the infant, as most forenames are sex-specific, and many heterosexual couples do not share a surname because of the law (Pilcher, 2017). LGBTQ couples do not seem to have unusual rituals but experience biases and have to find ways to cope with stigma and legislative restrictions.
As mentioned above, health care providers’ attitudes towards culture can affect care. For instance, students in nursing school often feel uncomfortable about providing culturally competent care to patients who identify as LGBTQ (Griggs et al., 2021). Therefore, for pregnant persons and their partners to receive high-quality and compassionate medical services, those pursuing professions in health care must learn to overcome their biases for the benefit of patients.
Specialists in the healthcare system directly work with diverse people and must know how to interact with each individual. Consequently, out of all QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) competencies, the one focusing on patient-centered care appears the most important when caring for representatives of different cultures (“QSEN competencies,” n.d.). In particular, patient-centered care prioritizes patients’ preferences and needs, recognizing diverse cultural backgrounds as sources of the patient, family, and community values (“QSEN competencies,” n.d.). Nurses and health care teams are responsible for patients’ physical and mental well-being, which are connected to the uniqueness of each culture.
Baumle, A. K., & Compton, D. R. (2015). Legalizing LGBT families: How the law shapes parenthood. New York University Press.
Cockrell, C. (2011). What’s in a name? Plenty, if you’re a lesbian or gay parent, says grad-student sociologist. Berkeley News. Web.
Gregg, I. (2018). The health care experiences of lesbian women becoming mothers. Nursing for Women’s Health, 22(1), 40-50. Web.
Griggs, K. M., Waddill, C. B., Bice, A., & Ward, N. (2021). Care during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and human milk feeding for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 46(1), 43-53.
Hanhardt, C. (n.d.). Queer history. Organization of American Historians. Web.
Jin, J., & Son, M. (2021). Pain management during vaginal childbirth. JAMA, 326(5), 450-450.
Pilcher, J. (2017). Names and “doing gender”: How forenames and surnames contribute to gender identities, difference, and inequalities. Sex Roles, 77(11), 812-822.
QSEN competencies. (n.d.). Qsen. Web.