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Women’s health & midwifery
Optimising mother–baby outcomes of pregnancy and childbirth in prison requires both individual and systems review
  1. Adele Baldwin1,
  2. Tanya Capper2
  1. 1Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, CQUniversity OIE, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, CQUniversity OIE, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Associate Professor Adele Baldwin, Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences, CQUniversity OIE, Townsville, Queensland, Australia; a.baldwin{at}

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Commentary on: Kirubarajan A, Tsang J, Dong S, et al. Pregnancy and childbirth during incarceration: a qualitative systematic review of lived experiences. BJOG. 2022;129(9):1460–1472. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17137.

Implications for practice and research

  • Consideration of individual needs related to pregnancy, birthing and postpartum care alongside contemporary corrections practices should guide policy and practice development.

  • Future research should investigate maternal and fetal outcomes from a systems level at the intersection of health and corrections.


Global rates of incarcerated women are increasing, many being of childbearing age. Mothering in prison impacts the health and well-being of the family and the social fabric of their communities. The existing literature shows children with an incarcerated parent are more likely to become enmeshed in the justice system themselves and the incurred costs for governments …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.