We are deeply concerned, though not surprised, by the data reported by the Guardian today (22/11/19), showing a year on year increase in the number of women giving birth while in custody, and that about one in ten of those births take place in cells or during transfer from the prison.
Birth Companions and Birthrights have published a joint report - Holding it all together: Understanding how far the human rights of women facing disadvantage are respected during pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.
The report marks a key milestone in a two-year joint research project funded by Trust for London, to help establish greater understanding of the needs and experiences of women facing severe and multiple disadvantage, and the professionals caring for them.
The collaboration, which combines the rights expertise of Birthrights with Birth Companions’ specialism in multiple disadvantage, sheds vital light on the ways in which maternity and other services such as housing respond to women at this crucial stage in their lives.
Both organisations are now working with a range of key stakeholders to co-produce recommendations in response to the report. We look forward to sharing those in the coming months.