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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Women Who Give Birth In Prison

Bringing a new life into the world is something extraordinary and emotional. There are few things in life that arouse so much enthusiasm and are so expected.

Before the big day arrives, you start buying clothes for the future baby, you decorate the room where he will sleep and you spend the days thinking about what to name him. All of these actions is what many mothers say is preparing them for the journey they are about to embark on.

Now imagine finding out that you are about to become a mother, but instead of being surrounded by loved ones, you are in prison. Although it seems an unimaginable situation, the reality is that more women than you think have had to deal with it.

Giving birth in a prison is something totally unknown to us. Although prisons try to accommodate their inmates, there are many aspects that seem inhumane.

Below we show you the reality that pregnant women live behind bars:

1- It is more common than you think

It is estimated that between 6 and 10 percent of incarcerated women are pregnant. This means that, in the United States alone, approximately 1,400 women will give birth while incarcerated in a year. Unfortunately for the baby, being born in a prison would certainly will mark the rest of his life.

2- Some do not realize that they are pregnant when they enter


Most women don’t even realize they are pregnant until they are quite advanced. Every woman knows that if you’re under a lot of stress, it’s common for your menstrual cycle to go haywire. Being incarcerated is a perfect example of a high-stress situation, so among women, Irregular periods are very common.

3- There is a specific unit for pregnant women


What many people don’t know is that there are pregnancy units in many prisons. By bringing women who are going to give birth together in the same unit, a kind of connection between moms which has turned out to be positive.

4- Mothers are only 24 hours with their baby after birth


For a mother to have her baby growing inside her for 9 months certainly creates a bond unlike anything else in the world. The connection that a mother and her child share is instantly and incredibly special.

That is why it is so difficult to accept that they take it from you 24 hours after its birth. Many inmates who have gone through this experience say that it is the most painful part of the whole process. It is clear why.

5- They have to wear shackles during doctor appointments


Once the inmate is informed that she is pregnant, the prison doctors perform tests and make appointments with a gynecologist to ensure the well-being of the baby. For many women, gynecologist appointments can be stressful, so imagine having to go through that. in jail and in shackles.

This makes the experience even more terrifying for everyone involved, especially the mother. That extra amount of stress may even be harmful to the baby.

6- The date of birth is a mystery


The date on which a baby will be born is always somewhat vague, as it is an estimate that may be incorrect. However, there is much more uncertainty when the pregnancy occurs in prison.

To the prisoners and their families they are almost never told when they will give birth, even if a caesarean section is planned. Whatever the case, the mother will only be informed on the day it occurs.

This is apparently done to prevent the women from seeking someone on the outside to help them escape.

7- Mothers usually lose their babies at three years of age


Very few prisons have prison daycare programs to allow mothers to stay with their children after they are born. In some states, such as Washington, children can remain in prison with their mothers up to the age of three.

Sadly, most children of incarcerated mothers end up with a relative or in an orphanage. Although it is better for the child to go with a relative, many times there is no family member who can take care of the child.

8- The recluses give birth in solitude


Giving birth is said to be one of life’s most terrifying and incredible experiences. It is usually a roller coaster of emotions that you go through in the company of the people you love the most. Unfortunately, female inmates cannot enjoy this privilege.

Although there are guards watching the inmates at all hours, giving birth in prison is a very lonely experience. Yes, there are guards and doctors with you, but there is no one from the family or friends. In many cases, families are only informed of the birth of the baby after the mother has returned from the hospital.

That is why such a happy event ends up becoming one of the saddest days for moms.

9- They are handcuffed during and after childbirth


Giving birth in prison is a very traumatic experience for various reasons, and this may be one of the main ones. This has been a fairly recurring topic of discussion among activists who defend that handcuffing a woman during childbirth is a violation of constitutional rights.

If a mother is not violent and has never been violent, is it necessary to keep her in chains during childbirth?

10- You are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression


Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect all women after giving birth. However, it is a much more real possibility for mothers who do so behind bars.

For women prisoners who have just given birth, there is a sense of isolation and separation, which, in combination with poor physical care throughout the pregnancy, leads most mothers in this situation to suffer later.

Postpartum depression is something that needs to be dealt with on a professional level. Since there is limited medical and mental treatment in prison, these women often suffer for a long time.

share the reality that pregnant women live behind bars with all your friends.

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