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When Survivors Give Birth


When Survivors Give Birth is returning… virtually in 2021!

We are thrilled to announce that Jenn Fontaine is going to be offering  When Survivors Give Birth live via Zoom on Monday 19th July, 2021. Our events in 2018 & 2019 were an outstanding success with over 120 maternity care, perinatal mental health and other health care providers attending the full-day event. To register, please complete the form below:

About “When Survivors Give Birth”
This important client care workshop focuses on understanding and healing the effects of childhood sexual abuse on childbearing women.  Join maternity care, mental health and allied providers to focus on the issues of the least understood of pregnant clients.

  • Advance your understanding of an all too common issue for childbearing women and families.
  • Expand your care practices for women at risk of poor physical and psycho-social childbirth outcomes.
  • Improve your response to women who express emotional concerns about childbearing.

According to the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey (PSS):
• Almost 2 million Australian adults had experienced at least 1 sexual assault since the age of 15
• In 2018, the rate of police-recorded sexual assaults against children aged 0–14 (167.6 per 100,000) was nearly twice that of people aged 15 and over (90.2 per 100,000).

Victims of childhood sexual assault may be at increased risk of:
• suicidal behaviour
• psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder
• substance misuse
• future victimisation and offending (Angelakis et al. 2019; Hailes et al. 2019; Ogloff et al. 2012).

Anyone working with childbearing women will gain knowledge and skills in this one-of-a-kind workshop, which is the culmination of decades of collaboration between Penny Simkin, PT, CCE, CD(DONA), and Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LMSW. Together they also wrote the 2004 book of the same name, When Survivors Give Birth.

What attendees have said:

“This course is a must for any birth worker or health professional who works with pregnant women/people. Full of invaluable ways to support and help survivors and those close to them through the major transition of birth. Jenn was amazing to listen and learn from and the information was eye-opening on how important support, compassion and education on this topic is and how essential a course like this is for those working with birthing women.” ~ Gemma Wilson – Director, Birthability

Continuing Professional Development

This workshop is approved for the following continuing professional development hours:

7.5 CPD hours have been awarded by the Australian College of Midwives for midwives who complete this activity.

DONA-TM-Color-Logo-300dpi 7.5 DONA International contact hours

Workshop Description

  • Definition of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and other child abuse
  • Common manifestations of any type of child abuse on the childbearing woman
  • Unique manifestations of sexual abuse specifically on the childbearing woman
  • Neurological and behavioural sequelae of child abuse
  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on conscious memory
  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on the adult woman
  • Impact of CSA on pregnancy
  • Impact of CSA on labour and birth
  • Relationship between the woman and her caregiver
  • Modification of common childbirth preparation techniques for CSA survivors
  • Impact of CSA on postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and postpartum mood disorders
  • Self-help techniques to reduce distressing symptoms

Want a sneak peek? Watch this video presented by Jenn as she provides an overview of the topics covered in the full-day workshop.

Recommended Text

When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman by Penny Simkin, PT, CCE, CD(DONA), and Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LMSW

WSGB_jacket coverWe strongly recommend that you purchase the book, When Survivors Give Birth, written by Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus. It is widely considered to be the ‘bible’ for health care providers on this topic and will strongly reinforce your learning from the workshop.

“An impressive book, and because nothing else exists to help women survivors and those close to them through the major life transition of birth-giving, this book is urgently needed. Written with lucidity, imagination, insight, warmth and compassion.” ~ Sheila Kitzinger

Save when you purchase your copy at the same time you register for the workshop.

Copies of When Survivors Give Birth are available at the discounted price of $55 plus $10 postage at the time of online registration. Strictly limited stock will available after the training but books will cost $70 each plus $10 postage.
Please note: We are only able to mail books within Australia. 

Live Virtual Workshop

Date: Monday July 19th, 2021
Time: Zoom waiting room will open at 8.45am for a 9am start (Australian Eastern Time) – 5.30pm (there will be several scheduled breaks throughout the day).

Registrations are now open!

Your Facilitator

Jenn FontaineWorkshop leader Jenn Fontaine LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), PCD(DONA), CLE, Lamaze Program Director, is one of a handful of people worldwide who have been personally trained and mentored by Penny Simkin and accredited to present and facilitate the When Survivors Give Birth workshop. Jenn is a certified DONA International birth doula, a DONA International Birth Doula Trainer, and a certified Lamaze Educator and accredited Lamaze Program Director.

Jenn’s journey with birthing started with the birth of her twins in 1998. She has been a birth doula since 2003 and a childbirth educator since 2008. She has served hundreds of families through the childbearing years and had made a significant contribution to childbirth education and promoting safe and healthy birth through evidence- based practice. She trains birth doulas through DONA International and is starting a not-for-profit organisation to serve families who might not otherwise have access to doula support. Mental health is near and dear to Jenn’s heart and she provides a listening ear and resources to those in need. Jenn lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada with her husband and their four children.


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