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Pregnancy and Motherhood in Prison (CPD event)

This one-day event examines the experiences of pregnant women in prison, covering mental health, prison mother and baby units, and alternative approaches.

Date and time: To be confirmed. 
Location: Room G306B, Jean McFarlane Building, The University of Manchester
Fee: £50 (including refreshments and lunch)
How to book: CLOSED 
Contact us: 
‌Email or phone +44 (0)161 306 7802


This one-day event aims to improve your knowledge and understanding of the experiences of pregnant women in prison, and the impacts of this on mental health.

The focus will be on the pregnant women, childbirth and motherhood in prisons in England, and will cover some of the recent research and best practice in this area.

This will be an interactive event where you will be able to share your views and experience of being/working with pregnant women and mothers in prison and living or working in MBUs, and identifying areas where current practice can be further developed.

We will present recent research exploring the impact of pregnancy and childbirth in prison, which will cover women's experiences as well as impacts on mental health and factors that influence applications and admissions to mother and baby units. Former residents of prison MBUs will also speak about their experiences and the impact it has had on their and their children's lives.

Alternative approaches to imprisonment and the treatment of mothers in prison will also be discussed, and we will hear from a psychologist who works in a Mother-Child House in a prison in Germany.

This event will be chaired by Luke Serjeant, Director of Women's Prisons.

Who should attend?

This training event is intended for any prison and prison MBU staff, social workers, mental health practitioners, academics or researchers with an interest in this area who want to develop their knowledge, evidence base and practical skills.

Learning objectives

By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • understand the experiences of pregnant women and mothers in prison and identify best practice and areas for change;
  • be informed of alternative approaches and ways in which change can be made. 

About the trainer

Rachel Dolan

Rachel has been doing research with mothers in prison since 2007, and has recently completed research looking at the experiences of pregnant women in prison, their mental health and the decisions that are made about admissions to prison MBUs. 

Previously, she has worked on studies looking at the mental health needs and parenting issues of imprisoned mothers of young children and the longer term outcomes for women and children who spent time in prison mother and baby units, and women who were separated from their babies.

She has interviewed approximately 200 women in prison and in the community about their experiences, and has published papers related to this.  

Rachel was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2016 to visit prisons and projects in other countries to look at alternative approaches to the imprisonment of mothers and separation from children. She has visited projects and prisons in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the US to explore different approaches and their impact.  

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)161 306 7802