OpinionJail can never be a safe location to be pregnant however the flouting of guidelines makes things worse. No female must suffer as I didMon 28 Mar 2022 09.39 EDTWhen I was 6 months pregnant with my first child, I stood in court for the very first time in my life and heard the words “remanded into custody”. This implied that I would be kept in jail for six months as I waited on my trial date. It didnt sink in till I was waiting to be transported that I was probably going to remain in jail when I offered birth to my first child. It was my first pregnancy, and worry overtook me. What was going to occur to me? What would happen to my baby?Prison will never, ever be a safe location to be pregnant. Two children have recently died in femaless prisons when their moms delivered without medical assistance. One female in HMP Styal gave birth in the jail toilets, and another female in HMP Bronzefield provided birth alone at night in her cell. Yet still the federal government is sending pregnant females to prison, knowing the threats. My heart broke with sorrow and anger when I heard of these baby deaths, and I can comprehend how they occurred because, in jail, youre entirely powerless and locked up at the grace of jail guards. Anything can happen to you. Eventually a medical professional, who was disgusted by the guards behaviour, called my mum, and fortunately she made it in timeI spent the final three months of my pregnancy in an environment thats unsafe for any female, not to mention a pregnant woman. Healthcare is limited, I hardly ate since the scrap food made me sick, and I missed several midwife consultations due to staff scarcities. I had to take vitamin D supplements due to the fact that I was too frightened to leave my cell and go outside in the backyard for sunlight and air, in case a battle broke out and anything occurred to my baby.The day I went into labour was the most terrible day of my life. My contractions started at 5:30 am and I pressed the cell buzzer to call for urgent aid. I was informed that someone was coming. As the contractions took hold, I called again, and again, but no one came for 2 hours. I was horrified I would bring to life my infant on the cell floor.The guards finally unlocked my cell at 7:30 am, which is the very same time they unlock everybodys cells for the day. I was informed that a nurse would assess and come whether I was in labour. I needed to wait for another two hours for the nurse to get here and verify I was in labour. My child was on the method and nobody saw it as urgent. An ambulance was called, and I was patted down and then handcuffed to an officer prior to finally being driven to the healthcare facility. According to jail policy, ladies should not be cuffed in labour, however when I said this, I was informed to be grateful I was in long cuffs and not brief ones.My labour was a traumatic and long experience. On the way to the hospital, I was asking for my mum and my sons daddy to be called however guards disregarded me. In healthcare facility, I was yelling in agony, offering birth for the very first time, as 2 jail guards sat in the small medical facility bay and seen. Ultimately a doctor, who was disgusted by the guards behaviour, called my mum, and luckily she made it in time.When my newborn kid was put in my arms, it must have been the happiest minute of my life. All I might do was cry. I had no concept what would happen to us, or just how much time I d have with him. I was horrified he would be removed from me. Because the prison guards were sitting right there, I felt too ashamed to try to breastfeed. My mum was just permitted to remain with me for one hour, and then I was escorted back to prison, bring my tiny baby in an automobile seat.Within 24 hours of delivering, I was secured a cell alone with my newborn in a mother and child system. No one had actually interacted with me what would take place to us, for how long we would exist, or whether we would be able to go house. I was terrified somebody would take him from me. My childs first few days of life shouldnt have been like this. Guilt surpassed me, and its a feeling that I still can not shake to this day.Jailed women in UK 5 times more most likely to suffer stillbirths, data shows My psychological health weakened severely in the mom and child system, and after a week I was enabled to go house on bail, on an electronic curfew. I was so relieved to get home and have the support of my household, and I questioned why I wasnt given bail from the start.Prison will never be a safe location to be pregnant. One in 10 women deliver in jail, or en route to medical facility. Even if the worst does not occur, the effect of tension and trauma it triggers to both mom and kid is longlasting. This is why Im part of a campaign to end the jail time of pregnant women.Changing prison policy for pregnant women is inadequate because no pregnant female should be isolated and held behind locked doors– and anyhow, policy and practice are very far apart inside prisons. Being handcuffed throughout labour was simply one example. When youre caught in jail, youre helpless and forgotten. The only way to be sure pregnant females, brand-new moms and infants are safe is to keep them in their communities. Im so delighted to see more of the public supporting the campaign, with mums and babies at the heart of all of it– as seen today with the protest outside parliament. No mom and child need to ever have to go through what my child and I did. goalExceededMarkerPercentage choiceCards We will be in touch to remind you to contribute. Keep an eye out for a message in your inbox in. If you have any concerns about contributing, please call us.
Two children have actually just recently died in ladiess jails when their moms offered birth without medical assistance. One lady in HMP Styal gave birth in the jail toilets, and another lady in HMP Bronzefield gave birth alone at night in her cell. Still the government is sending pregnant ladies to prison, knowing the threats. My heart broke with sorrow and anger when I heard of these baby deaths, and I can understand how they happened because, in prison, youre totally powerless and locked up at the mercy of jail guards. This is why Im part of a project to end the imprisonment of pregnant women.Changing prison policy for pregnant ladies is not enough because no pregnant female must be separated and held behind locked doors– and anyhow, policy and practice are very far apart inside jails.