The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabamaawarded Alabama Prison Birth Project a grant in 2019. The Caring Foundation's mission is to give back to the community by supporting initiatives to improve the health, wellness, and education of Alabamians. We are proud and honored to be aligned with that goal on behalf of incarcerated, pregnant people in Alabama.
A generous grant from this fund has allowed us to implement all three components of our programming inside Tutwiler Prison starting in early 2018, including 1) weekly prenatal and postpartum Birthing Care Group, 2) one-on-one pregnancy companion support during pregnancy, birth, separation and return to prison, and 3) the Mother's Milk Initiative.
James and Beth Scott
In Memory of John E. Scott, Jr., and June B. Scott
James and Beth Scott, of Birmingham, have chosen to remember his late mother and father, John E. Scott, Jr., and June B. Scott, in a profound way: with a remarkable gift to APBP to support our programs inside Tutwiler Prison for Women. The Scotts are passionate about mental health care inside correctional facilities, and they want to support systems change related to mass incarceration. We are immensely fortunate that they have chosen the expectant mothers and developing babies of Tutwiler to receive not just the hope of systems change, but tangible action toward systems change. "I think this work would have resonated with her," Mr. Scott says about his mother who survived his father by seventeen years. "She liked when people wanted to help - and then actually helped." Thank you, James and Beth and Mr. and Mrs. Scott.
The Daniel Foundation of Alabama awarded Alabama Prison Birth Project a grant from its Health Priority Area. The Daniel Foundation's mission is to strengthen communities within Alabama and improve the quality of life for citizens from all regions of Alabama. Its Health Grant provides support to programs providing mental health services for the underserved, and we are proud and honored to be aligned with that goal on behalf of incarcerated, pregnant people in Alabama.
The Broadway Group seeks innovative ways to problem solve and create systems change through generous corporate stewardship. Several causes that receive support from The Broadway Group focus on early childhood development and mental health care of people living in Alabama. We are grateful that support will now include one of the most marginalized populations in this state - incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns.
Alabama Breastfeeding Committee
Alabama Breastfeeding Committee is a supporter of the Mother's Milk Initiative inside Tutwiler Prison. Through a generous grant, the Committee is supplying us with storage bags, pump kits, shields, and other necessary pumping supplies.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
When we asked, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church answered. After increasing the number of our visits to Tutwiler, we needed an additional meal each month. Holy Trinity immediately volunteered. By providing this food, Holy Trinity is nourishing the developing babies and moms in an environment where they are subjected to a significant level of stress. Moms who are postpartum need a great deal of iron-boosting foods. There's no better way to show love and kindness than to feed someone who needs it. We are so grateful to Holy Trinity for stepping up.
First Presbyterian Church
FPC-Auburn has graciously funded our work in capturing the memories of these births through picture taking during labor and delivery and before mom and baby separate. Photographs of a new mom holding her baby are an important ritual that, up until recently, the birth-givers in Tutwiler did not have the option of having. Now they get to keep them in the prison, and gaze on the details of their baby's face through the separation. First Presbyterian Church also provided funds that purchased hi-quality microphones for our doulas to capture audio of mothers singing to and talking to their newborns. Holding space around the event of giving birth and separating from their newborns is one of our primary goals, and we thank FPC - Auburn for making it possible.
Society Hill United Methodist Church
Society Hill, AL
We are so pleased Society Hill UMC wanted to provide food for the growing babies and mothers inside Tutwiler Prison for Women. The entire congregation pitches in to provide healthy fats, protein, and vitamin-rich food one Tuesday each month. We are privileged to take their culinary skills and generosity to the Birthing Care Group.
Liberty UMC Missionary Women's Group provides and prepares the healthy meals we bring with us two Tuesdays a month to Tutwiler. In Birthing Care Group, we feed pregnant and postpartum, lactating mothers a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, omega 3's, proteins, folate-rich and iron-rich foods. The act of making food that is to be eaten by these women is a holy and worthwhile activity. We are grateful for the Missionary Women's Group and its support!
When Reeltown heard what their neighbors at Liberty UMC were doing to help the moms at Tutwiler and their babies, they stepped up and joined in. They now partner with Liberty to provide delicious meals every month. We are so thankful for groups that are coming together for our mother-baby pairs!
Sarah and Greg Teal
On a farm in Verbena, Alabama, Sarah and Greg graciously share delicious homegrown food on the fourth Tuesday each month with the Moms in Tutwiler. Everything is fresh and full of nutrition, and the ladies enjoy every single bite!
IWPU focuses on celebrating differences; in religion, culture, backgrounds. They encourage those around them to look past diversity and come together for common purposes. One of these purposes is loving on incarcerated mothers in our Birthing Care Group. They are generous to provide delicious and nutritious food on the fifth Tuesday of the month for the ladies in Tutwiler.
After one local mom in Auburn donated a hand-crocheted blanket and hat and posted about it on social media, we were overwhelmed with questions about how other hand crafters could help. This facebook group was born. Knitters and crocheters post from everywhere the creations they are working on and shipping. A beautiful matching blanket and hat is one of the most beloved items our clients receive. Without the opportunity for a baby shower, this is one gift they can give their baby and one way we can shower the moms. The blankets and hats have a powerful biological role in their experience, too. Our moms learn that placing the blanket on mom's chest gathers her smell, and the baby's hat gathers up the ooey-gooey newborn smell. When they separate, mom is allowed to keep the hat, and the blanket goes with the baby. It's a beautiful way for volunteers to engage with our work.
While a mom is still in the hospital, she is able to open a Recordable Storybook and read it to her newborn. The storybook records the mom's voice reading, and the book is sent with the baby wherever he or she goes. This is made possible by the Berean's Sunday School class at AUMC. This is such a special way for the mom and baby to stay connected, even on different sides of the prison's gates.
Buffalo Grove, IL
Ameda is graciously providing hospital-grade, hygeinic breast pumps and other pumping equipment to help postpartum mothers establish a milk supply after returning to prison. This milk will benefit their newborns, and the act of expressing milk, for those who wish to, will hopefully provide an additional connection between mother and child.
Medela Cares has generously provided milk expression accessories to the mothers inside Tutwiler, including pads, lanolin, wipes, pumping bras, and personal breast pumps available to them immediately upon release so they may continue to reach their breastfeeding/pumping goals without interruption.