IBJ's first meeting, April 7, 2015 (above)
Illinois Birth Justice is dedicated to supporting incarcerated pregnant women and new mothers before, during, and after birth to help them build positive futures for themselves and their families.
Illinois Birth Justice's vision is to provide doulas - people who are specially trained to educate, support, and advocate for mothers before, during, and after birth - to incarcerated pregnant women. Doulas improve medical outcomes and parenting skills and reduce perinatal complications, rates of postpartum depression, and health care costs. Doulas can help build a woman's sense of self and attachment to her baby, strengthen parenting skills, providing a stronger foundation for the mother-child relationship, promote self-efficacy and foster hope.
- Helping women make positive decisions about childbirth, parenting, and reproductive health.
- Improving childbirth experiences for incarcerated pregnant women.
- Fostering a sense of hope by building on the opportunity for positive change and transformation that pregnancy and birth can provide.
- Supporting mother-infant bonding.
- Supporting preparation for positive life choices after re-entry.
- Engaging and involving families.
- Promoting keeping children with their parents whenever possible, in order to strengthen families and reduce the enormous personal, fiscal, and societal costs of incarceration.
- Training women who have been incarcerated during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum to be doulas.