Here at Birth Companions we are proud of the level of support we’ve received for the Birth Charter for women in prison in England and Wales, and the influence it has had in improving care for pregnant women and new mothers in custody in recent years.


Since we wrote the Birth Charter there have been a number of important developments in knowledge, policy and practice, and an increased awareness of the complex needs of these women and their babies, particularly in relation to mental health. However, despite this, and the good work of many professionals working in the system, we know a great deal remains to be done if these women are to be able to receive the level of care they are entitled to.


On that basis, we have developed our new Birth Charter Toolkit – attached and available on our website. This is a practical guide to help all those working with pregnant women and new mothers in custodial settings bridge the continuing gaps between what is set out in policy, and what is being delivered in practice. 


Working alongside the Birth Charter’s recommendations, which are now widely recognised in many forms of guidance and best practice, this toolkit can help us all make a real difference for as long as pregnant women and new mothers continue to receive custodial sentences.


If you would like to request printed copies of the toolkit, or would like to discuss how Birth Companions can support your work in this area, please get in touch at


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