Shaping policy and practice across the maternity, criminal justice, social services and immigration systems.
Our unique insight into the experiences and needs of women during pregnancy and early motherhood comes from delivering services in prisons and learning from women’s lived experience. We also commission academic and peer-led research to deepen understanding of women’s challenges and how these impact on their health and well-being, and on their babies’ outcomes.
This work helps us focus on the problems and identify solutions. We direct the attention of policy-makers, commissioners and service providers to what really matters, what needs to change, and how.
We are proud of the impact Birth Companions has had in the criminal justice system. Since we started in HMP Holloway in 1996 our work has led to significant improvements in the care of pregnant women and mothers of infants, including those separated from their babies. Now we are building on these successes and bringing a similar focus to the needs and experiences of women affected by the social services and immigration systems.
We can’t do this work alone, and we are thankful to all our partners, friends and supporters.
If you would like to partner with us, please contact our Policy and Research team.
In addition to working directly with researchers and policy makers on projects, Birth Companions can offer trauma awareness training to researchers, including insights on working with perinatal women with lived experience of trauma, inequality and disadvantage.
Feedback from researchers who have taken part in Birth Companions trauma awareness training:
"The training allowed attendees to increase knowledge of how others have used trauma-informed principles in their practice, and identify ways to apply this in research settings."
"Thank you for an excellent session - this training should be essential for all researchers working with women and/or with sensitive issues."