Women and babies in prison are entitled to receive the same care and support during pregnancy and birth as women in the community. Birth Companions is here to make sure that happens.
“I noticed the healthcare staff always spoke to the officers first even though I’d be sitting there. It’s like they discarded me as a human being."
Working with women in prison since 1996
We began as a small group of volunteers offering support to women in London's Holloway Prison so that they would not be giving birth alone. We now offer a range of support to women in three prisons in England as well as training women in custody to offer peer support.
We work with prisons to raise issues and find solutions to challenges such as women getting access to appropriate healthcare and having the items they need like maternity clothes, breast pads and nursing bras.
We also work to influence policy so that all pregnant women and mothers of infants get the right support in prison. In 2016 we published our Birth Charter for women in prison in England and Wales which includes comprehensive recommendations to improve their care.
For more information on pregnancy, birth and early motherhood in prison download our Inside guide to pregnancy, birth and motherhood in prison.
Where we work
We offer emotional and practical support to pregnant women, new mothers, and those who are separated from their babies in three prisons:
- HMP Bronzefield
- HMP Peterborough
- HMP Foston Hall
If you know someone in prison who is pregnant or has recently had a baby, or if you or someone you know is awaiting sentencing, please see our advice and information page, download our Inside guide to pregnancy, birth and motherhood in prison, or contact us.
For more information about our services in HMP Bronzefield or HMP Foston Hall, please contact Jessica.
Tel: 07939 624 798
For more information about our service in HMP Peterborough, please contact Denise.