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When Survivors Give Birth


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. This is the first time this unique training has been offered in Australia.

  • 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 psychosocial childbirth outcomes.
  • Improve your response to women who express emotional concerns about childbearing.

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.

Continuing Professional Development

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

7.5 DONA International contact hours

Currently awaiting approval from Australian College of Midwives for CPD 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
  • Counselling strategies to prepare nulliparas with fear about the upcoming birth
  • Counselling after a traumatic birth
  • Counselling the pregnant woman with a previous traumatic birth

Required 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 coverThe only book of its kind, When Survivors Give Birth, provides survivors and their maternity caregivers with extensive information on the prevalence and short- and long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, emphasising its possible impact on childbearing women. Challenges in the client-caregiver relationship are thoroughly portrayed, with much practical advice for improving trust and communication as well as self-help techniques to handle abuse-related distress. Chapters on birth counselling, psychotherapy, and clinical care of survivors make this book a useful resource for survivors and all who work with them.

Copies of When Survivors Give Birth will be available for sale at the workshop. You can pre-order your copy when you register online. 


Jenn FontaineWorkshop leader Jenn Fontaine LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), HBE, 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.

Workshop Details

Date: Friday 30th November, 2018
Time: 8:00am registration for 8:30am start – 5:30pm
Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and refreshments provided
Venue: To be confirmed
Cost: Early bird (available until 30 September) registration must be paid in full $245 incl. GST
Full fee: (registrations after 30 September) $295 incl. GST

Please note: There will be no registrations accepted on the day.


Registration will be available online shortly. To register your expression of interest, please send us an email and we will be in touch when registrations have opened.


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