When Survivors Give Birth

A training for professionals working with trauma survivors before, during, and after giving birth.

Program Overview

"When Survivors Give Birth" prepares anyone working with childbearing women to gain knowledge and skills working with women who express emotional concerns about childbearing. This training is 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. Join maternity care, mental health, and allied providers to focus on the issues of the least understood of pregnant clients.

Program Length

1 or 2 days, depending on workshop format


$225 for Foundational Training only

$375 for Foundational Training and Advanced Counseling

Course Details


This important client care workshop focuses on understanding and healing the effects of childhood sexual abuse on childbearing women.

  • 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.

There are two different formats to choose from:

  • When Survivors Give Birth – Foundational Training (one-day training).

A foundational training for professionals serving pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families. This training gives nurses, birth and postpartum doulas, psychotherapists, social workers, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, doctors, and other perinatal health professionals the resources and tools they need to better serve their clients or patients (many of whom may not disclose a history of sexual abuse).

  • When Survivors Give Birth – Foundational and Advanced Training (two-day training).

This workshop provides advanced counseling techniques for the survivor and is limited to attendees who have experience in perinatal mental health, education and care for childbearing people. Registration includes the Foundational and Advanced Counseling classes and participants must attend both trainings.

  • Cultivate an in-depth understanding of childhood sexual abuse and other forms of trauma

  • Learn the impact trauma and childhood sexual abuse have on children and teens, adults, pregnancy, labor, the postpartum period, and breast/bodyfeeding

  • Understand the connection between a childhood trauma history and intimate partner violence

  • Understand the connection between a childhood trauma history and substance use

  • Learn how to inquire about a client’s abuse history and how to respond to a disclosure

  • Develop a framework for understanding power differentials in maternal/perinatal healthcare

  • Improve your understanding of vicarious trauma and the importance of practitioner self-care

  • Increase knowledge of strategies and tools for working with survivor clients before, during, and after birth

  • Discover more about perinatal mood disorders and their connection to trauma

  • Learn additional resources for working with trauma survivors

  • Advance your communication skills, including active listening and containment strategies

  • Understand when to refer to other colleagues/professionals

  • Leave this training more able to serve pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people who have a history of childhood sexual abuse and/or other trauma



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

The 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, emphasizing 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 counseling, psychotherapy, and clinical care of survivors make this book a useful resource for survivors and all who work with them (450 pages).

Cancellation requests made at least 30 calendar days before the first day of the workshop are eligible for a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee (When Survivors Give Birth only). Cancellation requests made less than 30 calendar days before the start of the class will not be eligible for a refund. We must receive your request in writing via email.

To receive your certificate of completion, you must attend the entire workshop. No transfers or make-ups are available for When Survivors Give Birth.   

If you have any questions about our registration policies, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at [email protected] or give us a call at (425) 602-3378.