What if I’m Going to Jail When I’m Pregnant?

If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, the worst-case scenario will be a year or less in jail. Apply any good time credit the jail allows and you could be out in a few months. Not fun, but doable. Except you just found out you’re pregnant. The idea of being locked up during pregnancy is scary. You never planned on feeling that first baby kick in a cell, but there may be no way out of it. It will be okay. Jails accommodate pregnancy. You just concentrate on trying not to stress and put your focus on your release date and raising that bundle of joy once you are out. Each jail is different but some of these tips will apply.

Court appearances: Only your lawyer should advise you about court, but bring your pregnancy documentation with your attorney wants to tell the judge about your condition. Some judges will give a shorter sentence when they know a baby is coming.

Jail food: Tell the authorities the minute you walk into the jail that you are pregnant. Pregnant inmates typically get a special diet with better food, more food and lots of dairy products. Let them know right away so you can benefit from this treatment.

Medical care: As you are being booked remind the authorities again that you are pregnant and need to see medical personnel. The jail will provide prenatal vitamins and either do your prenatal check-ups there or furlough you out to your OBGYN for appointments.

Medical complications: Let the authorities know immediately if any health problems arise. Bleeding, cramping, excessive nausea or vomiting, should be reported immediately.

Reading: Find out if you are allowed to have books sent to you directly from publishers. Most jails allow this. Ask friends and family to send you books on pregnancy and fetal development. You should learn everything you can about your baby’s growth and development, just like you would outside. You will have lots of time to read in jail. Use it to your advantage.

Be Prepared: Just in case you are incarcerated for your due date, or the baby comes early, have a relative chosen, before you go to court, who is willing to care for your baby until you get released. This should be written up, notarized, and a copy should be given to a potential caretaker. Another copy should be given to the jail if your due date approaches before you go home. Your attorney can advise you on how to word the document.

Stay fit: If your OBGYN advises you to exercise, this can be accomplished in jail. Walk around the edge of your POD 10 times in the morning and 10 at night before the lights go out. If you don’t have a POD and are confined to a cell, walk back and forth in the cell 50 times each morning and again at night. Figure out more ways to keep fit during pregnancy in jail and clear these ideas with your doctor.



About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.