Alumna talks to KARE 11 about research with prison doula program
Institute of Child Development alumna Rebecca Shlafer (Ph.D. 2010), recently spoke to KARE 11 about her research on the doula program, Isis Rising, in the women's prison at Shakopee, MN. The program pairs a doula (a trained birth coach) with a pregnant inmate, which allows the inmate to receive delivery room support and prenatal and postnatal support that helps to foster not only a better, healthier birth experience and a healthier baby, but potentially a stronger start to a better relationship between the mother and her baby, which the program hopes will also foster healthy moms who don't return to prison. As one pregnant inmate put it: "I believe this is my chance. I'm going to have another kid. I need to get it together."
A privately-funded program, Isis Rising has reduced the number of caesarian births at Shakopee to around 3%, while the national rate is around 30%, and there have been no low-birth weight babies born in the program. Shlafer says that all of this saves the taxpayers money. And, she adds: "Putting aside the fact this mom has committed x, y, or z crime, all of the children in this are completely innocent."
See the KARE 11 story: