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First Ohio Prison Nursery for Moms and Their Babies Get a Major Update

First Ohio Prison Nursery for Moms and Their Babies Get a Major Update

The Ohio Reformatory For Women is the first and only prison in the state to offer a nursery for babies born to incarcerated moms - and tomorrow they’ll be opening the doors to a new multi-million dollar dormitory to help new moms learn parenting skills and bond with their babies.

The facility includes a shared dining room, kitchen and play area, plus resident rooms with twin-sized beds and cribs for mothers and their children. As part of an ongoing program, moms will meet with a coordinator for parenting help and then collaborate on an activity plan for the babies, which can include things like helping them learn to roll over or crawl.

The prison already has a program in place - the only one of its kind in the state - that lets incarcerated women who are pregnant keep their babies with them in prison after birth, giving them the opportunity to breastfeed and bond with their newborns. Now, it will now have the benefit of a brand-new nursery.

The previous facility was a locked unit near the prison’s reception area. It had a large window for officers to keep an eye on what was going on inside, but also allowed new inmates to do the same, which often unnerved the moms. Since the space wasn’t originally designed to be a nursery, the walls between rooms didn’t go up to the ceiling, meaning that one crying baby usually led to a lot more.

The rules for the program are clear: It’s only open to healthy mothers serving a sentence shorter than three months who have no prior issues with child services. The women get to keep their babies with them and work with experts to address the physical, intellectual and emotional needs of both the mothers and the babies via individualized treatment plans. Thanks to the new facility, the program can also offer postpartum counseling, breastfeeding consultation and weekly pediatrician appointments.

“The bond between the parent and the child starts not only in the womb, but after the fact,” Program Collaborator Sally Basner told WBNS news. “It’s very important for the development of the child to be with their parent if it’s possible.” The prison also has social services help the mothers transition to life after prison and reduce the chances of them returning.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will open the brand-new facility tomorrow afternoon.
First Ohio Prison Nursery for Moms and Their Babies Get a Major Update Reviewed by Honest Maternity Blog on 21:58 Rating: 5

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