Prison Nurseries: A Review of Maternal and Infant Rooming in Outcomes for Incarcerated Mothers


Amanda Dowling, BA, BMW, RM and Colleen Fulton, MA, BMW RM



Women are the fastest growing prison population in Canada, and at incarceration, 4-10 percent of women are pregnant. These women, their correctional facilities, and Canadian health care services are increasingly forced to address the issues of motherhood and reproductive health care during incarceration. Most incarcerated women are separated from their infants soon after birth. The authors claim that prison nurseries, as a harm reduction strategy, are a positive alternative to this separation. Midwives could play a valuable role in these health care units.

Methods: This paper is a literature review examining the outcomes of mother-infant dyads who have access to prison nurseries. The search strategy included 15 health research databases, applying similar search terms to all databases.



prison nursery, rooming in, women, pregnancy, incarceration, infants


This article has been peer reviewed.



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