While we all continue to grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic it is now time to look beyond a crisis response to the work that should be done as services evolve again. That's why we've developed a new position statement setting out our priorities for pregnant women and new mothers facing multiple disadvantage in the coming months.
We believe that from now on…
Care for pregnant women and new mothers experiencing multiple disadvantage must be improved
…The root causes of structural inequalities, which include racism, must be understood, challenged and addressed
…Mothers at risk of separation or separated from their babies should have access to specialist care
…Services should be woman-centred and individualised, whether delivered remotely or face to face
…Continuity of carer pathways and specialist midwifery services should be reinstated as soon as possible and priority given to women experiencing multiple disadvantage
…Voices of women with lived experience should be prioritised.
Pregnant women and new mothers affected by the criminal justice system must be better protected and supported
…Prison should be recognised as inappropriate and unsafe for pregnant women and new mothers
…Custodial sentencing must be used in only the most exceptional circumstances
…Urgent steps should be taken to reduce the number of avoidable recalls to prison
…The government must deliver their Female Offender Strategy
…Whole system approaches should be prioritised
…Care of foreign national women and victims of trafficking should be improved
…Those in prison and leaving prison must be kept as safe as possible
…Pregnant women and mothers released early from prison during the pandemic must not be returned to custody unless there is a clear justification for doing so.