OCALA — The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is proud to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind program in Florida to support inmates who have recently given birth. With significant driving force from FDC leadership, the Lactation Program was recently launched, housed in a dormitory designated for pregnant and post-partum women at Lowell Correctional Institution.
In line with national research showing the numerous benefits of providing breastmilk to infants, participants at Lowell CI can now provide nutrition to their newborn while incarcerated. Partnering with the Florida Department of Health, staff from Healthy Start regularly visit the correctional institution to provide equipment and information regarding the benefits of pumping, proper care and overall motivational support.
The housing area features a private lactation room, air conditioning, enhanced bedding, breast pumps, nursing pads, storage bags and freezers. Pregnant inmates receive a clinician approved pre-natal diet and are provided vitamins and nutritional supplements. support, education and an environment which fosters psychological, and general health benefits for both mother and their child.
Lowell CI is the largest women’s prison in Florida, with an average daily population of approximately 2,100 inmates. An average of 35 pregnant women each year are sentenced to state incarceration. Every inmate is given a health evaluation during reception and will be housed separately from the general population until cleared by a medical professional. Inmate participants in the lactation program will have the ability to stay in the pregnancy/post-partum dorm for up to 12 months after delivery.