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When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women
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When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  22 reviews
When Survivors Give Birth is written for a mixed audience of maternity care professionals and para-professionals, mental health therapists and counselors, and women survivors and their families. The authors expertly and compassionately address the unusual and distressing challenges that arise for abuse survivors during the childbirth experience.

The first section informs t

Paperback, 450 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Quality Code Publishing
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Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So important. I wish everyone who works with pregnant women could read this. A lot of times what we see as being "difficult" is a woman trying to protect herself due to abuse. Of course every pregnant woman should be treated with respect by her care-givers, but the potential that a woman may be carrying spoken or unspoken abuse makes this even more essential. This book is eye-opening to the issues connected with abuse in a woman's childbearing years, it explains the many ways it can be manifeste ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unread-bookshelf
This book is an indispensable resource for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse and worries about the effects on their childbirth, any medical professional (including nurse practitioners, family physicians, but especially midwives and OB/GYN), and those who plan on supporting women during childbirth (like doulas or friends of a pregnant woman with sexual abuse history). Childbirth can be a daunting experience for any woman, but for woman with a history of sexual abuse, it can be re-traumatizi ...more
Janet Ferguson
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a therapist who currently has three pregnant clients who are CSA survivors, this book was INCREDIBLY helpful. It outlines potential triggers, risks, statistics (including risks for post partum problems), the latest research, and provides specific and useful tools for clients. The appendix includes templates for trigger plans, birth plans, and case histories. I think this would be a great book for any CSA survivor to read while planning her pregnancy or, with support, during her pregnancy. And ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was required reading for my childbirth educator certification. I'm so grateful it was on the list, and I hope every birth professional/paraprofessional reads it. I have never been a victim of abuse, physical, verbal or sexual, so understanding how a history of abuse may affect a woman undergoing the normal changes and challenges of pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding is invaluable information to me. Very well written, easy to understand, lots of fantastic resources in the append ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A pivotal text for any birth worker. Reading this has changed not only how I talk to and approach survivors of sexual abuse, but all of my clients. Heart breaking as it reveals just how prevalent sexual abuse is, but also hopeful as it gives us tools to help survivors work toward healing.
This was a good book, but more geared towards the providers than the person giving birth.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing insight to anyone working closely with survivors of sexual abuse.
p roper
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, I did it! 450 pages in four days. Well written, easy to read, with lots of good information. Sexual abuse is far more common than it should be and this book provides invaluable resources for working with those women.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birth-books
Excellent. It took me a long time to get around to reading this and, in truth, the material is difficult but it should be required reading for anyone in the birth world for the long haul.
Amy Marie
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: shelved
I think this book could be incredibly useful for providers and birth partners, but the content could be very triggering for survivors. A large chunk of the book is the re-telling of others’ traumas.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
This was an intense book. I've had it on my list for several years, and on my bookshelf for a few. Finally I bit the bullet and read it. (It satisfies the challenge to read a book on a difficult topic.) Whoa the intensity of some sections. It is meant as a resource both for women survivors of sexual abuse/assault as well as for their caretakers and partners. That being said, it was more particularly directed towards caretakers. Some of the data is outdated (which was a relief to me, regarding th ...more
Darby Morris
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birth
This more recent book by the same authors as The Doula Book and The Birth Partner discusses their observations of working with a wide variety of birthing individuals, many with unfortunate sexual abuse histories. It mentions the ways in which sexual abuse affects children, pregnancy, relationships and postpartum as well as what birth workers can do to help birthing individuals with this history with anecdotes dispersed throughout the book.
Jessica Lang
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book and will recommend for my clients who are survivors of SA.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A difficult but necessary read.
Alorah Welti
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good resource book. The chapter by the nurses is completely useless and redundant which is why I've docked a star. I recommend for every birth worker. ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Survivors Give Birth
Penny Simkin, PT and Phyllis Klaus, CSW, MFT

I can’t think of many books, of any genre, that I would say are truly revolutionary but When Survivors Give Birth is absolutely one of them. This book is a sweeping compendium of everything a provider might need in order to deal more effectively and compassionately with a pregnant woman who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. From triggers in pregnancy to challenges in the postpartum period with breastfeeding, body image o
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was taking an extra course towards pregnancy massage. I met and worked with the author Penny as well during the 40+ hour course. This book was a great for all MTs because when you have a pregnant client on your table, you have to remember the statistics of how many woman are and have been sexually violated. Pregnancy can trigger many survivors and can cause an array of body discomfort which leads them to a pregnancy massage therapist. As a therapist myself, I have seen sexuall ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Extremely useful and well-thought out book. A great reference for survivors and care professionals.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book! This book should be a required reading for all medical professionals. I highly recommend survivors, health professionals, counselors, therapists...etc to take the time to read this book. I am so glad I did. Now, I know ways to incorporate what I have learned from this book in my RN career.
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
This one is more for the clinician than the patient. It definitely covered some things that were relevant and helpful to me, and they would've been even more helpful while I was pregnant. But overall, I think the info is better suited for helping the OB/midwife care for the survivor.

I did feel reassured in some ways, so it's worth a look if you're expecting or one day planning to TTC.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book extremely helpful. Being that I was sexually abused, giving birth to my son harder then I ever imagined it would be. Thank you for an amazing book!
jonny diane - Professional Wedding Officiant
Great resource book for anyone providing care for birthing mothers.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2017
Christina Kimont
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Sep 30, 2018
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Aug 09, 2011
Laura Simpson
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Jun 05, 2016
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Jan 17, 2019
Robin Gray-Reed
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2008
Sarah Beaulieu
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Nov 29, 2019
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Aug 12, 2020
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itold: Pregnancy and Past Sexual Abuse 1 4 Aug 13, 2013 12:46AM  

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