|Action||Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders|
|Comment Period||Ends 9/27/2013|
First Do No Harm
It is with out hesitation that I write to encourage you to support the decision to first do no harm and remove all restraints from pregnant laboring inmates. This is a barbaric practice and it must be stop. We are placing mothers and their children in great danger with this practice.
Freedom from physical restraints is especially critical during labor, delivery, and during postpartum recovery. Women often need to move around during labor and recovery, including moving their legs as part of the birthing process. Restraints on a pregnant woman can interfere with the medical staff’s ability to appropriately assist in childbirth or to conduct emergency procedures. Following birth, it is critical for a woman to remain unrestrained to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Freedom from restraints after delivery also fosters postpartum bonding between a mother and her newborn, which is essential to the healthy development of the child.
Thank you for taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all women in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Heather L. Maurer, Vienna, VA
Natural Childbirth & Midwifery Care Advocate, and Mother