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The Pressure to Parent Perfectly

The coming of a new baby can be a joyous occasion. The gifts to the mom-to-be and baby roll in. Blankets, binkies, bottles and baby booties – all are an effort to help the new mom care for her baby. There are also the unwanted gifts given by well-intentioned people such as unsolicited advice, patting the “baby bump” and comments on how big the expectant mom has gotten. Mothers are also given a unique gift that is quietly and sometimes quiet unknowingly bestowed upon them from the moment they announce a pregnancy. This gift isn’t wrapped; there’s no bow on top. Fathers may also receive...

Bill Pushes for the Rights of Incarcerated Mothers

At a press conference on July 11, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker introduced the Dignity of Incarcerated Women Act. The bill would “require federal prisons to provide free, quality sanitary napkins and tampons to female inmates, and would ban shackling them during pregnancy or placing pregnant women in solitary confinement” (Jelsten 2017, p.2). The bill would also require that the Bureau of Prisons train correctional officers in how to respond to victims of trauma, and ease communication between incarcerated mothers and their families. The latter requirement would include considering the location of families when placing mothers in a prison, allowing free video conferencing...