Are you or someone you know worried about going to prison pregnant or while caring for a baby?

Below are some useful resources for anyone looking for more information about going to prison pregnant or having recently given birth.

Your inside guide to pregnancy, birth and motherhood in prison

This Birth Companions publication, which has been developed in partnership with women who have lived experience, offers an accessible and comprehensive guide to pregnancy and early motherhood in the prison system, including information on: 

  •  Making decisions about a pregnancy 
  •  What support is available to women
  •  What to expect at every stage of the process 
  •  Mother and Baby Units in prison
  • Separation from a baby 

The guide is useful for pregnant women and mothers, their family members and support networks, and the professionals working with them. The information it provides will be of value both before and during a prison sentence.

Download our Inside Guide

Prisons with Mother and Baby Units

The following prisons have Mother and Baby Units (MBUs):

  • Bronzefield*
  • Eastwood Park
  • Styal
  • New Hall
  • Peterborough*
  • Askham Grange

* Birth Companions currently supports women in these Mother and Baby Units.

Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS)

Offering free legal advice and support to adult prisoners throughout England and Wales regarding their human and legal rights, conditions of imprisonment and the application of Prison Law and the Prison Rules, Family Law and Immigration Law to prisoners with issues relating to detention or deportation.

Mother and Baby Units: Easy Read Self Help Toolkit 

What to expect when a family member or friend is sent to prison

A really useful video with a lot of information. While the video is from the point of view of the family member or friend of a man sent to prison, the information is very relevant for women who have been sent to prison.


The Female Prisoners Welfare Project (FPWP) is a registered charity established in 1986 to provide support for females of all ethnic origins and nationalities within the UK criminal justice system. Hibiscus is a branch of FPWP and was set up in 1991 to address the special needs of foreign national women imprisoned in the UK.


The Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact) is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families. They support people to make a fresh start, and minimise the harm that can be caused by imprisonment to people who have committed offences, to families and to communities. They offer practical support and advice.

Mum's the word: A Guide to being a good mum in prison


Re-Unite is a UK based housing project, providing a package of support and access to housing for mothers that have been separated from their children whilst serving a prison sentence. Their aim is to be the most effective programme in England and Wales for reuniting and resettling families when a mother is released from prison. 

Women in Prison

Women in Prison supports and campaigns for women affected by the criminal justice system. They assist women with advice on housing, education, mental health, legal rights, work, benefits, debt, domestic violence, and more.

Clean Break

Clean Break is a theatre, education and new writing company which use theatre for personal and political change, working with women whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system.

Action for Prisoners' and Offenders' Families

Action for Prisoners' and Offenders' Families merged with Family Lives in 2014 and works for the benefit of prisoners' and offenders' families by supporting families who are affected by imprisonment. Offers a free confidential helpline for anyone who is affected by the imprisonment of a close family member or friend. They produce lots of useful leaflets for families affected by imprisonment which you can find here.

Working Chance

Working Chance helps women with convictions to develop the confidence, skills and self-belief they need to overcome any barriers to their employment, find jobs and build careers. They work with organisations of all sizes across all sectors to find opportunities for women that align with their skills and aspirations.

Children Heard and Seen

Children Heard and Seen support children, young people and their families who are impacted by parental imprisonment. They strive to support their needs, listen to their concerns and ensure that their voices are heard. They offer 1-1 support with trained staff, volunteer mentoring, parent support, peer support groups for children, online activities for children, and activity days. All support is offered at no cost to the family and without need for agency referral.


NACRO is a national charity that helps people in custody to reintegrate into society, helping with housing, mental health and substance misuse issues. They run a dedicated free phone helpline to ring for advice and support in relation to any resettlement needs women may have prior to their release. The line is open from Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm, Friday 1pm - 5pm, on 0300 123 1999.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) provides advice to women who are making decisions about their pregnancy. They aim for a future where every woman can exercise reproductive autonomy and is empowered to make her own decisions about pregnancy, and deliver high quality, woman-centred reproductive health care. 

If you are pregnant, BPAS can give you more information about your options, such as continuing the pregnancy, having a termination or considering adoption. They can also offer advice on other reproductive topics such as contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In some prisons, women are able to speak to a counsellor from BPAS. Women can ask prison officers or other members of staff about getting in touch with BPAS.

National Breastfeeding Helpline

The National Breastfeeding Helpline offers friendly, non-judgemental, independent, evidence based breastfeeding support and information to anyone in the UK who needs it. All calls are answered by volunteers who have breastfed their own children, have completed comprehensive training and undertake ongoing training and supervision.

If any women in prison need to speak to someone between their midwife or health visitor appointments, they could ask for the National Breastfeeding Helpline to be added to their PIN: 0300 100 0212. They will be able to speak to a trained volunteer who will give them non-judgmental information and support with infant feeding. This is a confidential and independent phone helpline, open from 9.30am to 9.30pm every day and costs the same as a call to a landline.

Prison Reform Trust (PRT) prisoner helpline

The Prison Reform Trust supports people who are facing issues inside prison. They can give women in prison advice and information and can sometimes link them in with legal support. Anyone in prison can phone them for free on 0808 802 0060. The helpline is open on Monday 3.30pm - 5.30pm, Wednesday 10.30am - 12.30pm and Thursday 3.30pm - 5.30pm.

Birth Companions is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1120934 at Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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