Dr Laura Abbott is an Associate Professor in Research at The University of Hertfordshire, a Registered Midwife, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives. Laura’s doctorate examined the experiences of pregnant women in prison: The Incarcerated Pregnancy: An Ethnographic Study of Perinatal Women in English Prisons. Laura co-authored The Birth Charter for pregnant women in England and Wales published by Birth Companions in May 2016. Laura has contributed to the review of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services operational policy for prison staff managing and caring for all women experiencing pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), and maternal separation in prison. More recently Laura has co-founded Pregnancy in Prison Partnership International (PIPPI) with academics in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA and the UK wide Prison Midwives Action Group (PMAG). Current ESRC funded research in partnership with the charity Birth Companions and their lived experience team includes experiences of women and professional staff involved with the criminal justice system being separated from their babies (www.lostmothers.org).
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