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When Survivors Give Birth


When Survivors Give Birth is returning in 2019!

We are thrilled to announce that Jenn Fontaine is returning to Australia in 2019 to run another professional development workshop of When Survivors Give Birth. Our event in 2018 was an outstanding success with over 80 maternity care, perinatal mental health and other health care providers attending the full-day event. In 2019, Jenn will be offering this workshop in Melbourne & Sydney.

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.

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.

For our Melbourne event, we are thrilled to announce that Ruth Dearnley, CEO of Birth for Humankind will be delivering the opening remarks. Birth for Humankind is a remarkable organisation whose mission is to foster healthy families and communities by providing mother centred support, education and holistic care throughout pregnancy, birth and after the baby comes. Birth for Humankind works with some of our community’s most vulnerable women and families and we are honoured to have Ruth join us at our Melbourne event.

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:

ACM CPD Badge_7.5 Hours_Exp 22022020_when survivors give birth

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

Copies of When Survivors Give Birth are available at a discounted rate at the time of online registration, but we will also have limited stock available on the day.  

Your Instructor

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.

Melbourne Workshop Details

Date: Saturday 19th October, 2019
Time: 8:00am registration for 8:30am start – 5:30pm
Cost: $300 incl. GST (includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments throughout the day)
Venue: LaunchPad Hub, 10 Kingston St., East Richmond, VIC 3121


Getting there: LaunchPad Hub is located just off Church St, Richmond. There is some metered parking on Church St, but it is highly recommended that you take public transport, due to the lack of all day spots. The 78 tram stops just a 2 minute walk from LaunchPad Hub and East Richmond train station is a short 5 minute walk away as well. If driving is your only option, we recommend that you park at the Big W Centre (670 Chapel St., South Yarra) which is only $10 for the day (early bird entry before 10am). You can then hop on the 78 tram for 4 stops and get off at Stop #55 (Adelaide St).

Sydney Workshop Details

Date: Friday 8th November, 2019
Time: 8:00am registration for 8:30am start – 5:30pm
Cost: $300 incl. GST (includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments throughout the day)
Venue: Lower Hall, The Centre, 14 Frances St. (Corner of Cook St), Randwick, NSW 2031


Getting there: The Centre is an historic guesthouse located in Randwick, one of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
BUS – From Sydney Domestic or International Airport the No. 400 bus to Bondi Junction stops at the corner of Avoca Street & Frances Street, Randwick. Approximate travel time is 40 minutes. The Centre is a short walk down Frances street from the bus stop.

From Central Railway Station it is about a 20 minute bus trip. From City Centre, bus no. 373, 377. From Central Railway, bus no. 372, 374 (from Eddy avenue) to Coogee Beach, ask the driver to let you of at the corner of Cook & Frances Street Randwick.

There are also a very limited number of car park spaces on-site, but it is first-come, first-served!

Enter the code STUDENT on the registration form to receive a $50 discount!
Please note: you must bring your student ID with you on the day.

Pre-order your copy of When Survivors Give Birth by Penny Simkin & Phyllis Klaus and save!
Books cost $55 each and will be available to collect on the day of the training. Strictly limited stock will be available at the training to purchase. Books purchased on the day cost $70 each.

Please note: We are unable to accept registrations on the day and therefore, all registrations must be made in advance online. 
Please complete the registration form below. Please note: your registration will not be confirmed until payment has been received.

This event completely booked out in 2018, so we strongly recommend that you register early! 



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