About Birth Behind Bars & Janice Banther

We provide training for birth professionals to care for pregnant inmates.

Like you, we believe all women deserve a nurtured pregnancy, no matter their circumstances. That’s why we’ve been caring for pregnant inmates since 1991, and it’s why we help birth professionals across North America do the same. We want you to experience the fulfillment of helping women who are truly alone. Your work will benefit not only the mother but will also increase the bond to the baby.

About the Founder

Janice Banther of Birth Behind Bars hold a newborn baby

Meet Janice Banther

Janice Banther has led a life of service and leadership in the doula community. Her mission through Birth Behind Bars is to equip birth professionals with the tools they need so they can navigate the prison system successfully and assist pregnant inmates.

In 2001, Janice founded Birth Behind Bars after serving as a doula in the prisons. She wanted to share what she learned with other birth professionals so that they could also work in the correctional systems across the country. Through her organization, she has now trained doulas and childbirth professionals across the United States on how to support incarcerated pregnant women who are giving birth.

As a birth doula, she has been at over 600 births and trained over 6,000 women and their partners in childbirth classes since 1981. In addition to Birth Behind Bars, Janice also founded For the Love of Birth, in 1991 to provide doula services to the Tampa area.

This body of work has earned her the highest professional accreditation. She was one of the first certified labor doulas and doula trainers in Florida with DONA International. She was elected to 3 three-year terms on the DONA International Board of Directors. Since 2007, she has been a certified doula trainer with CAPPA.

In 2012, Janice Banther was named CAPPA Childbirth Educator of the year, and in 2013, she was appointed by the CAPPA Board of Directors as a Senior Advisor to CAPPA international. She holds numerous other certifications, including Happiest Baby on the Block, Hug Your Baby, Infant Massage, and is an RTS Bereavement Counselor.

Janice’s decades of work on behalf of expectant mothers in need or crisis has been widely recognized. One of her most challenging inmate births was featured in the latest “Chicken Soup for the Soul – Answered Prayer” series.

The Salvation Army bestowed its highest award for community service to Janice – The coveted “Others” award for the Southeastern United States. And Trinity College of Florida recognized her with the Prokope’ award for service beyond self.

In 2019, Janice and her husband Barry received the Jack and Ruth Eckerd Legacy Award.  This award given by the Eckerd Family Foundation and Eckerd Connects is one of the highest recognitions given for public service to the people of Florida.  Specifically, Janice was recognized for her work with pregnant women.

National TV, press, and independent documentaries have all featured stories of Janice’s work, including the nationally recognized magazine: CHILD. Her YouTube channel features continuous and contemporary training for Doulas and Childbirth educators.

After a lifetime in childbirth and doula work, what Janice still treasures most is the time she spends with her sons and daughters-in-law, and her two precious granddaughters. She and her husband Barry divide their time between Tarpon Springs, Florida on the Gulf coast, and Banner Elk, North Carolina, in the mountains.

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