The Birthing Program in Washington State

Tabitha Hall and Christy Hall

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI:
The Birthing Program in Washington State

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As a prison doula, a birth attendant for incarcerated women, the author of this chapter has learned that incarcerated women love their children as much as any other mother. One of the recurring themes in the stories she has heard from incarcerated mothers is the damaging effects prison has on mothers and their children once they get caught in the criminal justice system or child protective services. The author has had the opportunity to support many women through their experiences of pregnancy, birth, and parenting while incarcerated and feels deeply connected to their struggles and triumphs. Two incarcerated women in Washington State Correction Center for Women, Delessia and Tabitha, worked very hard against daunting odds to keep their families together. Their experiences demonstrate clearly the inhumane and damaging effect of incarceration and suggest a need for alternatives that better meet the needs of people who are struggling with poverty and addiction.

Keywords: doula; incarcerated women; mothers; children; child protective services; addiction; prison; pregnancy; birth; parenting

Chapter.  1306 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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