I felt a huge amount of support, I was able to share my experiences with the other girls and the birth companions without fear of judgement.

Harrie's story

When I first came to prison I was about eight weeks pregnant with my third baby and absolutely petrified. I first heard of Birth Companions from some of the other girls. To begin with I was kind of dubious about attending the group as I’d been through pregnancy and labour before so I wasn’t sure it’d be relevant but when I met one of the birth companions she seemed really nice so I decided to start going. I’m so glad I did!

Throughout my pregnancy they were fantastic. They helped us with coping strategies for difficult situations most of us were facing in prison and tried their best to liaise with staff to make being pregnant in prison more bearable. It was really good knowing birth companions were there supporting us all the way. Also, the groups seemed to pull everyone together and helped us build strong friendships between one another, which is a good thing in this situation.

The group was something I came to look forward to. We could share previous birth/pregnancy experiences and even offload problems/concerns and birth companions would reassure us and make us feel better.

When I gave birth they were there throughout my labour and amazing doesn’t even come close to them, they were like angels in disguise! They helped explain medical jargon I didn’t understand, they encouraged me when I felt I couldn’t carry on and I didn’t feel embarrassed which I originally thought I would be. I felt so comfortable with them. The birth companions just seemed to know what to do.

After I gave birth they took some beautiful pictures for me and they continued coming to see me until I came out of hospital. They were fantastic with breastfeeding support and helping me and my baby to bond. The post natal support once I came back from hospital has been really good as well. They’ve made me feel so much better about my circumstances and helped me get things in perspective. Sometimes it’s just nice knowing there’s someone there and birth companions have been there for me throughout this time.

They’ve been amazing and I’m truly grateful as I’m sure are all the other girls they’ve helped and supported. They’ve been great and I’m so glad I changed my mind about attending the group.

Thank you Birth Companions.