MIDWIVES have apologised after calling new mums “postnatal people” in maternity advice.

Their union withdrew the gender-neutral guidance after an online backlash.

In the instructions for NHS staff on how to put newborns to bed safely, it stated:“Postnatal people in hospital should have easy access to the call bell system”.

The Royal College of Midwives did not mention women at all in its advice — referring only to “parents and carers”.

Campaigner Milli Hill called out the guidance on Twitter, saying: “It makes no mention of women or mothers.

“Instead they are ‘postnatal people’.

"This in spite of the fact that evidence shows safety differences if baby co-sleeps with breastfeeding mum, non-breastfeeding mum or dad.”

Others said the advice was confusing as it was unclear to who “postnatal people” referred.

The RCM union, which has 48,000 UK members, removed the file from its website.

In a statement, it said: “We’d like to apologise that women are not mentioned in our recent safer sleeping guidance.

“This was a huge oversight. We have taken it down from our website while we revise and correct this omission.”

Dr Mary Ross-Davie, a senior midwife at RCM, said: “We talk about mums, ‘maternal’, mothers and women in this guidance, as well as parents, families, carers and postnatal people.”

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