Exploring… pregnancy and birth in the justice system, part 2

Please note this episode contains discussion of traumatic births and infant mortality that some listeners may find upsetting. 

This week we are continuing the exploration of pregnancy and birth in the justice system. In our last episode Edwina spoke with Dr Laura Abbott, a registered midwife and Associate Professor in Research at The University of Hertfordshire, who has extensively researched women’s experiences of pregnancy in criminal justice settings. In this episode we’ll be delving deeper into more of the data around pregnancy in prison, and learning about the lived experience of those who have been pregnant in prison. 


Suzy* is a trustee and Lived Experience Team member of Birth Companions, a women’s charity dedicated to tackling inequalities and disadvantage during pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. Suzy has lived experience of pregnancy in prison, and works with Dr Laura Abbott’s on the Lost Mothers Project, a pioneering study exploring how women and professionals involved with the justice system, experience enforced separation of newborn babies. In the episode, Suzy shares more about her experience of pregnancy in prison, and explains why prison can never be a safe place for pregnant women and babies.


We’ll also be hearing from Dr Miranda Davies, the lead for prisoner health research at the Nuffield Trust. The work Miranda leads is the first time routine hospital data at a national level has been used to describe how often those in prison use hospital services, and for what reasons. Miranda shares more about the data they’ve collected on pregnant women in prison, published in their recent report ‘Inequality on the Inside’.


Learn more about the work of Birth Companions: www.birthcompanions.org.uk


Read the Nuffield Trust’s report ‘Inequality on the inside: Using hospital data to understand the key health care issues for women in prison’


*Not her real name

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