Safe maternity care is a right for all women says RCM on prison stillbirth report

on 12 January 2022 NHS Safety Maternity Safety Safe high quality care

A report was published yesterday by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman into the stillbirth of a baby at HMP Styal.

Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is another tragic death of a baby in prison, which is devastating for the mother and her family.  What these terrible events clearly show is that the prison system is not set up to care for pregnant women. High-quality maternity care should be provided to every mother and baby and we are saddened by the accounts in this report.  

“We need urgent change to ensure tragedies like this are consigned to the past. This means women for whom a prison sentence is absolutely necessary get the same level of care they would receive outside it. There also needs be reform of the sentencing system, so that women are not in prison when they do not need to be.  Safe maternity care is a right for all women, regardless of where they are.” 


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editors:

The RCM Position Statement Women – Perinatal Women in the Criminal Justice System can be read at perinatal-women-in-the-criminal-justice-system_7.pdf (  

The full report can be read at F4376-20-Death-of-Baby-B-Styal-18-06-2020-NC-Under-18-0.pdf

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team.  We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.