The birth companions are a great strength of support, especially to us foreign nationals.

External publications

Matrnal Request Caesarian  
Report by Birthrights on their research into Maternal Reuqest Caesarian in Hospital Trusts around the country to find out how far policies and practice varied across the country. Ausgust 2018  

Jumping Through Hoops, Jumping through hoops: How are coordinated responses to multiple disadvantage meeting the needs of women?   
This report explores the experiences of local areas across the country that are seeking to bring suchservices together to develop a more coordinated response for individuals facing multiple disadvantage, either using the MEAM Approach or as part of the BigLottery’s Fulfilling Lives programme Sharpen, J. AVA, MEAM, Agenda and St Mungo’s. Sept 2018  

Maternity experiences of mothers with multiple disadvantages in England: A qualitative study  
A study exploring the maternity care experiences of mothers with multiple disadvantages based on semi-structured interviews with 40 mothers with multiple disadvantages, using thematic analysis. Jenny McLeish & Maggie Redshaw,. Women and Birth (2018)  

What works to enhance the effectiveness of the healthy child programme: an evidence update  
The Healthy Child Programme 0–5 was first introduced in 2009. This report refreshes the 2009 evidence by consolidating key messages from two recently completed evidence reviews. By Kirsten Asmussen and Lucy Brims. Early Intervention Foundation, June 2018  

From the Ground Up: Improving Pregnancy and Birth Experiences Through the Provision of Extraordinary Learning Opportunities in Australia  
This article presents an overview of the implementation of a collaborative project to improve pregnancy and birth experiences of incarcerated women and provide extraordinary learning opportunities for midwifery students” launched in April 2017. By Adele Baldwin, Tanya Capper, Lucy Rogers, Elspeth Wood,Journal of forensic nursing. Volume 14, Number 2, April-June 2018  

Why Becoming a Good Parent Begins in Infancy.   
How Relationship Skills Are Developed throughout the Life Course. Edward L. Schor, January 2018  

Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings Final Summary Report  
This is a summary report presents, providing new evidence with the aim of helping agencies to understand the reasons why women return to court, and what more can be done to break this negative cycle. The report also make recommendations regarding national data collection to ensure that intelligence about recurrence is more readily available for policy-makers and practitioners. Lancaster University & Centre for Child and Family Justice Research.  

Gender Specific Standards to Improve Health and Wellbeing for Women in Prison in England  
Document containing six key principles and 122 standards split into 10 sections addressing the health and wellbeing needs of women in prison. The standards highlight the need for a system approach to improving health and wellbeing for women in prison and focuses on holistic pathways. The work of Birth Companions and the Birth Charter are cited in the section on pregnancy and families. Public Health England, 2018  

Reflections on researcher departure: Closure of prison relationships in ethnographic research   
This article identifies the dilemmas and challenges associated with the closure of prison fieldwork through the interwoven reflections of the researcher. Laura Abbott and Tricia Scott, University of Hertfordshire Nursing Ethic, 2018  

A Qualitative study of volunteer doulas working alongside Midwives at births in England: mothers' and Doulas' experiences  
Study By Jenny McLeish and Maggie Redshaw to explore trained volunteer doulas’ and mothers’ experiences of doula support at birth and their perceptions of how this related to the midwife's role. Midwifery 56 (2018) 53–60. January 2018  

Mapping the Maze: Services for women experiencing multiple disadvantage inEngland and Wales  
Report mapping specialist support services available for women affected by substance use, mental ill-health, homelessness and offending and identifying gaps in provision. Agenda. September 2017  

Short but not sweet: A study of the impact of short custodial sentences on mothers & their children  
This research report looks at the impact on women and their children of short custodial sentences by Lucy Baldwin & Rona Epstein. July 2017  

Women's experiences of Breastfeeding in Prison  
Article by Laura Abbot and Trica Scott. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 27: 2017  

Caring to make a difference with vulnerable women: the impact of targeted support on birth-related outcomes
and experiences.
This study compares outcomes and experiences between vulnerable women who had and had not received targeted support from VABMT or BC. It aimed to identify the impact of needs-led support, and mechanisms through which optimal outcomes could be achieved. Gill Thomson, Naomi Delap, Marie-Clare Balaam, Logan van Lessen. Practising Midwife May 2017.  

Double Disadvantage  
Report released by Agenda and Women in Prison on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women in the criminal justice system. May 2017   

Motherhood disrupted: Reflections of post- prison mothers  
Article by Lucy Baldwin considers how maternal emotions and the maternal role are assembled and challenged through carceral space, and more specifically, how mothers themselves assimilate this experience whilst navigating motherhood post incarceration. In Emotion, Space and Society xxx (2017) 1-8  

Lost Spaces: Is the current procedure for women prisoners to gain a place in a prison Mother and Baby Unit fair and accessible?  
Small scale study focused on women prisoners’ experiences of the MBU decision making processes utilising with women prisoners and MBU staff in three women’s as well as with ex-prisoners in two different geographical locations. By Maya Sikund with support from the Griffin Society May 2015.  

Corsten: 10 Years On  
The 43 recommendations in the Corston report provided a roadmap for women-specific criminal justice reform. They gained cross-party support and were broadly accepted by three successive governments. This report aims to give an overview of what progress hasbeen made to date in the implementation of the Corston recommendations. Produced by Women in Prison and supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, March 2017.  

I didn't think we'd be dealing with stuff like this   
A qualitative study of volunteer support for very disadvantaged pregnant women and new mothers. Study by Jenny McLeish and Maggie Redshaw, 2017  

Mothers’ accounts of the impact on emotional wellbeing of organised peer support in pregnancy and early parenthood  
A qualitative study by Jenny McLeish and Maggie Redshaw, 2017  

A thematic inspection of the provision and quality of services in the community for women who offend  
An inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation September 2016  

Joining The Dots  
Report examining the circumstances of women who live in poverty, the nature and extent of violence and abuse experienced by them and the impact this has on mental health and quality of life, Agenda October 2016   

Becoming a Mother in Prison  
Article by Laura Abbott, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at University of Hertfordshire. The Practical Midwife Vol 19, Issue 9. Octover 2016    

Home Truths: Housing for women in the criminal justcie system    
Report by the Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison on housing issues faced by women involved in the criminal justice system. Sept 2016   

Taking forward women centred solutions  
Third publication by Women Centred Working, focuses on ways in which women centred approaches can be adopted to benefit local authorities, partner agencies and residents, 2016  

Good Practice in Service User Involvement from the volun tray sector working in criminal justice   
This report showcases six current examples of best practice in service user involvement from the sector. The case studies have been selected to represent a range of different approaches, models, voluntary sector organisations and aspects of criminal justice; with the aim of providing as broad a range of examples as possible, elements of which could be replicated elsewhere. CLINKS 2016  

Hidden Hurt: Violence, abuse and disadvantage in the lives of women  
Analysis of the experiences of women who face violence and abuse commissioned by Agenda, the Alliance for women and girls at risk. The report provides evidence that women who experience the most extensive abuse and violence (both as children and adults) are more likely to face other adverse circumstances in their lives such as poor mental andphysical health, disability, and substance misuse, poverty, debt, poor housing, and homelessness. Written by Sara Scott & Sally McManus, January 2016.  

Enhancng Care for Childbearing Women and Babies in Prison  
Report examining Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in women's prisons, and the services they provide to childbearing women in prison and their babies. It also looks at the broader issues faced by women prisoners. Porduced by Sheffield Hallam Centre for Community Justice & Action for Prisoners and Offenders Families by Carline O'Keefe and Lesly Dixon, Nov 2015  

Sentencing of mothers: Improving the sentencing process and outcomes for women with dependent children  
A discussion paper considering sentencing policy, process and practice through a review of case law and research evidence, talking to mothers in prison, and consultations with key individuals and organisations. Shona Minson, Rebecca Nadin and Jenny Earle, Prison Reform Trust, 2015.  

Peer support during pregnancy and early parenthood: a qualitative study of models and perceptions  
This study particularly focuses on peer support for women experiencing a range of vulnerabilities during pregnancy and the postnatal period, in projects which assigned trained volunteers to individual pregnant women by Jenny McLeish and Maggie Redshaw.  

The role and value of volunteers in the Criminal Justice System: a European study   
This report, from the Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe (JIVE) project, presents the findings of a European-wide survey on the current contribution and value of volunteers in the Criminal Justice Systems of Europe  

Why focus on reducing women’s imprisonment?   
Prison Reform Trust briefing paper, August 2015  

Solutions from the Frontline: Recommendations for policymakers on supporting people with multiple needs.   
This report sets out how policy makers, local authorities, commissioners and frontline services can respond to the challenges faced by people experiencing multiple needs. Produced by the Making Every Adult Matter Coalition Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind.  

Prevention in Mind. All Babies Count, Spotlight on Perinatal Mental Health  
One of a series of Spotlight reports published as part of the NSPCC’s All Babies Count campaign which aims to raise awareness of the importance of pregnancy and the first year of life to a child’s development. This report focuses on babies affected by Perinatal Mental Health   

Women Offenders: Follow-Up  
House of Commons Justice Commitee report follwing up reccomednations made in the Corsten Report in 2013, taking into account the Government;s repsonse to this report and developements that have taken place since then.  

Who Cares: What Next for Women Offender Services   
Report produced by CLINKS providing a picture that spans a year in the life of women offender projects to highlight the voice of servcie providers in this area who are experts isupporting women throughout the Criminal Justice System; in prison and in communities.  

Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantge In England.   
LankellyChase Foundation with Heriot-Watt University has released the most robust research to date on severe and multiple disadvantage In England  

An Unfair Sentence. All babies count: spotlight in the Criminal Justice System.  
One of a series of Spotlight reports published as part of the NSPCC’s All Babies Count campaign which aims to raise awareness of the importance of pregnancy and the first year of life to a child’s development. This report focuses on babies affected by the criminal justice system.  

Statistics on Women and the Criminal Justice System 2013  
A Ministry of Justice publication  

Expectations: Criteria for assessing the treatment of and conditions for women in prison.  
First version of HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ the standards which specifically address the outcomes expected for women in prison, 2014  

Experiences, utilisation and outcomes of maternity care in England among women fromdifferent socio-economic groups.  
Study exploring experiences of maternity care among women from different socio-economic groups in order to improve understanding of why socially disadvantaged women have poorer maternal health outcomes in the UK. 2014  

The Bromley Briefing Autumn 2014 - Prison Reform Trust   
A briefing booklet covering key statistics and information relating to those held in prison  

Women and Girls at Risk - Evidence across the course of life.    
Comprehensive litrature review commissioned by the Corston Independent Funder's Coalition, looking at the the individual and structural factors in childhood and adulthood that lead women and gilrs into difficult lives. August 2014  

Road to Reduction: Women's Custodial Estate Review: Six Month Assessment   
Women in Prison's published an assessment six months after NOMS published the Women's Custodial Estate Review.  

Punishment without Purpose: The Incentvies and Earned privileges Scheme (IEP) and its impact on fairmess, decency and rehabilitatiion behind bars.  
Report by the Prison Reform Trust in the impact of the changes to the Incentives and Privileges scheme for prisoners in the UK. April 2014.  

Looked After Children and Offending: Reducing Risk and Promoting Resilience   
Research by TACT and the University of East Anglia - the most extensive study into the criminal and care systems ever conducted in the UK. January 2012.  

Parenting and relationship support programmes for offenders and their families. MOJ 201  
Study led by Policis in collaboration with Kingston University and Toynbee Hall  

Brighter Futures: Working together to reduce women's offending. The Prison Reform Trust’s three year programme (2012-2015) to reduce the imprisonment of women in the UK is supported by the Pilgrim Trust.  
Briefing that profiles innovative approaches to reducing women's offending and calls for the developement of coordinated services that bring together police, health, women's services local authorities to help women turn their lives around.  

Mothers in Prison - D Caddle & D. Crisp   
This is the results of a survey of nearly 2,000 female prisoners concentrating in particular on questioning those who are mothers.  

Dignity Survey 2013: Womes’s and Midwives’ experienes  of UK  maternity care  
Survey commissioned by BirthRights on the parenting website ,Mumsnet, of women who had given birth in the last 2 years. Questions focused on choice and respect. Over 1,100 women responded.   

Doulas and Healthcare providers: Working together for better maternal and infant outcomes.  
A collaborative work between Doulaville Seattle Birth Services, Evidence Based Birth and Improving Birth.Org focusing on the impact of continuous support on birth outcomes.  

Women Offenders: after the Corston Report  
Inquiry to review progress and examine current strategy and practice with respect to female offenders and those at risk of offending in the light of recccomendations made in Baroness Corston's 2007 Report. House of Common's Justice Committee, 2013.  

A Common Sense Approach  
Working with women with health and wellbeing needs in the crimnal justice system.    

Women's Communtiy Services: A Wise Commision  
Study looking at ways in which women’s community services can significantly improve the well-being of vulnerable women, and in doing so help them achieve long-term changes in their lives.  

When Maternity Doesn't Matter  
This report is a collaboration between Maternity Action and the Refugee Council to investigate the health impact of dispersal and relocation on pregnant women seeking asylum and new mothers. The study reviewed UKBA asylum dispersal policy relating to pregnant women, and maternity policy and good practice on the care of vulnerable women.  

State of the Estate  
Women in Prison's report on the women custodial Estate 2011-12.  

Women Prisoners  
An article about the healthcare needs by Stephen Ginn which appeaerd in the British Medical Journal.  

The WIRE (Women's Information and Resettlement for Ex-offenders) Evaluation Report, Novemebr 2012  
The evaluation, carried out by The Social Innovation Partnership in conjunction with academics at the University of Cambridge and London Metropolitan University, tracked the reconviction rates of 104 women who engaged with the service and for whom offending history data was available. The results indicated that the women’s offending rate halved in the 12 month period after engagement with WIRE.  

Tackling health inequalities through developing evidence- based policy and practice with childbearing women in prison: A consultation  
A collaborative partnership between the Mother and Infant Research Unit (MIRU) at the University of York and the Hallam Centre for Community Justice (HCCJ) at Sheffield Hallam University. The overall aim of this consultation was to scope and map the health needs and health care of childbearing women in prison, using the Yorkshire and Humberside region as a case study.  

Empty Cells or Empty Words, Government policy on reducing the Number of Women going to Prison by Carol Hedderman for the Criminal Justice Alliance  
This report considers increases in the female prison population and reviews government policy aimed at reducing numbers in practice.  

Women in Prison - Prison Reform Trust  
This is a briefing paper by the Prison Reform Trust on Women in Prison, it contains lots of statistics some of which are as recent as March 2012.  

Perinatal Healthcare in Prison. A Scoping Review of Policy and Provision' By Dr Dawn Edge.  
This report reviews policy and provision for antenatal and postnatal care in prisons. It reviews the frameworks and guidance for delivery and the available research into perinatal healthcare in prisons. The report concludes by making recommendations for future research.  

Getting it Right: Services for Pregnant Women, New mothers and Babies in Prison  - Jenny North  
This report addresses the needs of pregnant women, mothers, and babies in prison – a group about whom relatively little is known. It covers Prison Service policy and procedure, healthcare arrangements and consultation with a wide range of groups who come into contact with this group of women including Birth Companions.  

The Corston Report, a review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System - Baroness Jean Corston  
This review addresses the particular needs of vulnerable women in the criminal justice system. It recommends a move towards significantly reducing the female prison population.  

Women in the Penal System - All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System chaired by Baroness Corston  
This report is an update on the progress that has been achieved on the recommendations made in the Corston Report  

The Health of Women in Prison Study Findings - Emma Plugge et al  
This report details the findings of one of the largest studies examining the health of women prisoners in the England and Wales. 505 women were recruited and interviewed from two remand prisons in England over a 6 month period in 2004-5.  

Engendering Justice - Fawcett Society  
Fawcett’s Commission on Women and the Criminal Justice System has examined the experiences of women in the criminal justice system as victims, offenders and workers. They interviewed a range of stakeholders including Birth Companions.  

No way out for foreign national women behind bars  - Prison Reform Trust  
This briefing paper produces findings and recommendations which could be used to inform a much-needed national strategy for the management of foreign national women in the justice system.  

Management of Mother and Baby Units - Prison Service  
This Prison Service Order sets down the guidelines and good practice expected in the management of all Mother and Baby Units in prisons in England.  

Prison Mother and Baby Units - do they meet the best interests of the child? - 11Million  
This is a discussion paper looking at existing policy on pregnant women and very young babies who are in prison and addresses whether more could be done to improve the life chances of this vulnerable group of babies.  





A study exploring the maternity care experiences of mothers with multiple disadvantages based on semi-structured interviews with 40 mothers with multiple disadvantages, using thematic analysis.

Jenny McLeish & Maggie Redshaw,. Women and Birth (2018)