Michigan Prison Doula Initiative
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We can’t do this without your help.

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The Michigan Prison Doula Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers non-medical pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support to individuals affected by imprisonment.

We believe that an informed, evidence-based birth experience is a basic human right. Our goal is to provide comprehensive childbirth education and professional doula services to women in Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. We seek to foster self-determination, agency, and strengthen family relationships.

 
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Before birth

Prenatally, we partner with mothers to develop a birth plan, comprehensive childbirth education classes and answer questions about what their prison birthing will look like.

During labor

During labor, we meet mothers at the hospital to provide emotional reassurance, decision-making help, and physical support. Our goal is to help with communication between the birthing mother and care providers. Each of our doulas is experienced and familiar with the hospital and medical staff.

After birth

Generally, most new mothers will only get 24 hours to spend with their baby before they are taken back to prison. During this time the doula will help the mother bond with her baby, assisting with breastfeeding if they choose. We strive to ensure this time is as precious and uninterrupted as possible.

Return

As anyone can imagine, leaving the hospital without being able to be with your newborn baby is incredibly emotional, trying, and terrifying.

The doula remains in contact with the mother and connects her with the right resources so that she can remain in contact with her family, or ensure safe placement of her baby.

The doula will visit the mother for postpartum visits to talk about her birthing experience, share her concerns, and hold space to feel and express emotions that are often supressed due to the nature of prison.

MPDI’s vision for the future includes opportunities for further bonding between the mother and her family, re-entry resources, mentorship opportunities, coordinated visits, and extra time to feed and bond with her baby.

 
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