Bringing a new life to the world is something extraordinary and emotional. There are few things in life that arouse so much hope and be so expected. Before the big day arrives you start buying the clothes of the future baby, you decorate the room where he will sleep and you spend the days thinking what name to put him. All these actions are what many mothers claim to prepare them for the trip they are about to embark on.
Now imagine 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 inhuman.
Here's the reality of pregnant women behind bars:
1- It's more common than you think
It is estimated that between 6 and 10 percent of women incarcerated are pregnant . This means that, in the United States alone, approximately 1,400 women will give birth while incarcerated in one year. Unfortunately for the baby, being born in a prison without a doubt will mark the rest of his life .
2- Some do not realize they are pregnant when they enter
Most women do not even realize they are pregnant until they are in a fairly advanced state. All women know that if you are under a lot of stress, it is common for the menstrual cycle to go to hell. Being imprisoned is a perfect example of high stress situation, so among women, irregularities in the period is very common .
3- There is a specific unit for pregnant women
What many people do not know is that there are units for pregnant women in many prisons. By bringing together in a single unit women who are going to give birth, a kind of connection between mothers is created that has turned out to be positive.
4- Mothers are only 24 hours with their baby after of his birth
That a mother has her baby growing inside her for 9 months certainly creates a different link to any other thing in the world. The connection that a mother and her child share is instantaneous and incredibly special .
That's why it's so hard to accept being taken away 24 hours after birth. Many inmates who have gone through this experience claim that it is the most painful part of the entire process. It's clear why.
5- They have to wear shackles during doctor's appointments
Once you're informed the inmate who is pregnant, the prison doctors make tests and schedule appointments with a gynecologist to ensure the welfare of the baby. For many women, appointments with the gynecologist can be stressful, so imagine having to go through that in jail and shackles .
This makes the experience even more terrifying for everyone involved. , especially for the mother. It is even possible that this extra amount of stress is harmful to the baby.
6- The date of birth is a mystery
 The date on which a baby will be born is always somewhat diffuse, because it is an estimate that may be incorrect. However, there is much more uncertainty when the pregnancy occurs in prison.
Prisoners and their families are almost never informed when they will give birth even if a cesarean is planned. Whatever the case, the mother will only be informed on the day it occurs.
Apparently, this is done to prevent women from looking for someone abroad to help them escape.
7- The mothers usually lose the baby at three years
Very few prisons have daycare programs in prison to allow mothers to stay with his children after his birth. In some states, such as Washington, children can remain in prison with their mothers up to three years .
Sadly, most children with incarcerated mothers end up with a relative or in an orphanage. Although it is better for the child to go with a relative, often there is no member who can care for the child.
8- The inmates give birth in solitude
It is said that the moment of giving birth is one of the most terrifying and incredible experiences of life. In general, it is a roller coaster of emotions that you spend in the company of the people you love the most . Regrettably, inmates can not 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 nobody 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 mothers
9- They are handcuffed during and after childbirth
Giving birth in prison is an experience very traumatic for various reasons, and this may be one of the main ones. This has been a fairly recurrent topic of discussion among activists who argue 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 have it chained 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 it behind bars .
For inmates who have just given birth, there is a sense of isolation and separation, which, in combination with poor physical care during the whole pregnancy, it leads most mothers who are in this situation to suffer later.
Postpartum depression is something that should be treated professionally. 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.