|Action||Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders|
|Comment Period||Ends 9/27/2013|
Protection of Pregnant Women and Their Infants
Please support these permanent regulations to ensure the safety of mothers and their babies. These regulations safeguard that a consistent policy will be applied by corrections facilities throughout Virginia. Using restraints on pregnant women can cause injury to the mother and trauma to the infant. The American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association all support these proposed regulations. The Board deserves recognition for recommending these across the board legal limitations on the use of restraints to protect pregnant inmates and their babies.
- Restraining pregnant women before and during labor and delivery is inhumane. This practice increases the likelihood of tripping and falling and endangering the unborn child.
- During labor and delivery restraints can effect a woman’s movement and thus impact the actions of the medical providers. This can increase the chance of accidentally harming the infant.
- Freedom of movement is essential during postpartum recovery also. Restraints do not allow bonding after delivery. Medical studies show that this bonding is crucial for the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of mother and baby.
Because the use of restraints on pregnant women inmates is cruel, dangerous to mother and foetus, medically unsound in practice, and potentially lifethreatening, it is an absolute necessity that these regulations be passed and adopted by correction facilities statewide.