|Action||Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders|
|Comment Period||Ends 9/27/2013|
Human Treatment of pregnant prisoners
Protect Pregnant Women and Children
Please support these commonsense permanent regulations to ensure the safety of mothers and their children. These regulations ensure that a consistent policy will be applied by corrections facilities across the Commonwealth. Restraining pregnant women is a dangerous practice that can result in injury to the mother and trauma to her child. The American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association all support limiting the use of restraints for pregnant inmates. I commend the Board for proposing regulations limiting the use of restraints and urge it to make these regulations final.
Please also appreciate the follwoing relevant points:
- Restraining pregnant women before and during labor and delivery is inhumane. Restraints increase the risk of accidentally tripping and falling and harming the pregnancy.
- Using restraints during labor and delivery restricts a woman’s movement and could impact medical care. This substantially increases harm to the child.
- Use of restraints on the mother may hinder medical staff trying to provide care during delivery.
- Freedom of movement is essential during postpartum recovery as well. Restraints do not allow bonding after delivery, which is essential for the physical and emotional wellbeing of both mother and child.