How are the dietary needs of pregnant incarcerated women being met? a scoping review and thematic analysis

Tanya Capper, Adele Baldwin, Laura Abbott, Annette Briley , Rebecca Shlafer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: The number of incarcerated pregnant women is increasing globally. With many having complex health and social backgrounds, incarceration provides opportunities for health interventions, including the chance to have their nutritional needs met. Despite the additional nutritional requirements of pregnancy being well documented, how these are being met within the correctional setting is currently poorly understood. Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted to identify the literature published between January 2010 and April 2023 related to the provision of nutrition for pregnant women in the international prison systems. Sixteen papers met the criteria for inclusion in the review. The relevant key findings were charted and thematically analysed. Results: Two themes were identified: ‘the inconsistent reality of food provision’ and ‘choice, autonomy and food’. There is a clear disparity in the way in which diet is prioritised and provided to pregnant incarcerated women across several countries. Discussion: The findings highlight the need for a consistent approach to diet on a macro, global level to ensure the health of women and their infants in context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253–266
Number of pages14
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Early online date11 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Prison
  • diet
  • Incarceration
  • scoping review
  • Pregnancy
  • Diet
  • Scoping review


Dive into the research topics of 'How are the dietary needs of pregnant incarcerated women being met? a scoping review and thematic analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this