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

Penny Simkin , Phyllis Klaus
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2004 1594040222 978-1594040221 1
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 the reader of the impact of early sexual abuse on children, adults, and on all aspects of childbearing. The second section teaches skills in communication, self-help skills, counseling and psychotherapy techniques. The third covers clinical challenges and solutions for doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, and others. Case histories throughout the book clarify and apply the content.


Frequently Bought Together

When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women + The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia + Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide
Price for all three: $83.13

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Penny Simkin, P.T., is a physical therapist, childbirth educator, doula, counselor, and writer. She is author or co-author of 5 books and numerous articles on childbearing.

Phyllis H. Klaus, C.S.W., M.F.T., a psychotherapist, who specializes in women's reproductive issures. She is co-author of 4 books on childbirth and newborns.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Classic Day Publishing; 1 edition (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594040222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594040221
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Penny Simkin is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education since 1968. She serves on the editorial board for Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care and the consultant boards for the International Childbirth Education Association and the Seattle Midwifery School.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight/Tool July 19, 2005
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be a great tool to add to my base of knowledge. As a CBE,Doula I come across women that have had previous abuse issues. This book gives you the awareness to handle (not treat) these issues in a sensitive way. It has different sections for Midwives,Doulas,CBE'S, ETC. I found it worth adding to the reference library.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking work, invaluable resource April 6, 2006
Format:Paperback
An excellent resource for any women who has survived abuse and anyone who cares for women. The second section is invaluable to those who have a hard time communicating with or feel misunderstood by their providers. Recommended whether you are pregnant or not.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful in understanding 'difficult' behaviour March 30, 2007
Format:Paperback
As health care professionals, we all encounter clients with a greater need to 'control' their experience, especially surrounding childbirth. Many caregivers find this situation difficult and wish that relationships could be more productive and less confrontational. Understanding why some women make more demands than others can help us to 'read' their needs in a more compassionate way -- as sometimes it is a healthy response to a history of abuse (acknowledged or hidden). We then stand a better chance of working with all women in ways that promote healing. I found this book very helpful.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written June 27, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a good read for survivors of sexual trauma and abuse. There is very little out there that understands the triggers that a natural process like childbirth and pregnancy brings up in a survivor. This book really addressed survivor issues and needs. It also identified triggers and issues that may have been lurking in someone's mind but not necessarily identified. The book also differentiates the concepts between those people who have already disclosed and have gone thru some type of therapy and those who have not yet disclosed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for professionals, But survivors beware. February 24, 2012
By Des
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for people helping any child bearing women. As a survivor myself, I found much of the first half of this book to be a trigger. If you are a survivor, be careful. This book has some good chapters, but I would only focus on the "self help" parts and stay away from the rest of it. It's made for health care persons, not survivors.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Book December 6, 2009
Format:Paperback
ESSENTIAL reading for anyone who attends a birth, ever. Practitioners, doulas, monitrice, family members, and mother's themselves need the information in this book. Countless women have recovered memories of abuse and assault DURING birth and yet so many people are unable to recognize it or respond to what is going on. As a labor doula, this book allowed me to discuss these issues beforehand and in the event of previously buried memories surfacing offer comfort and support during and after the birth (plus referrals to more help when needed).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Survivors Give Birth October 6, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow, what a fantastic book!! I am a mental health professional, birth educator, and nursing supporter. This book exceeded my expectations and opened my eyes to issues/triggers I had never thought of before. I used the book to speak at a conference for midwives and help them understand as well as change some of their thought processes. I would highly recommend this book to mental health professionals, birth attendants, survivors, and anyone else dealing with women's health issues.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, but highly disturbing July 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perhaps this is just a personal issue, but this book was SO profoundly upsetting that I don't even want it in my house anymore. The issues are real for some women, but I must have overestimated my trauma. To be completely honest, what I decided would cure me of all my fears was simply an unassisted childbirth, where no stranger could even make me feel they would violate me. Simple, but she doesn't touch on that, and she should, because it's an option. It's all about dealing with hospitals and doctors...strangers standing austerely in bright light, which can be very difficult for trauma victims (and everyone else!)
Anyway, the point is: this book goes into pretty graphic detail of wrenchingly horrific experiences that I didn't enjoy reading. I'm not interested in reliving my trauma or being a spectator at someone else's. The tips were few and far between, but there was a glut of stories that made my jaw and shoulders ache from tension. I should've checked it out at the library, so i could have left it there.
That said, perhaps it's the right book for you...but be prepared for a serious downer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing info
Very helpful for any birth professional...and any victim of sexual abuse before during and after birth. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gretchen Bruner
4.0 out of 5 stars Empathy starts here
Society is basically INSENSITIVE to, and minimizes the challenges of women who bear children when they were sexually traumatized as kids. Read more
Published 7 months ago by elaine dolan
3.0 out of 5 stars For Survivors - A Recommendation
First, let me say that I haven't read this book - primarily because I'm a survivor, and so many of the reviewers have indicated that the graphic nature of the trauma accounts have... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Katherine S.
5.0 out of 5 stars skip the beginning if you're a survivor
This is an awesome, empowering book. The beginning of the book describes what childhood sexual trauma is like for midwives and doctors and doulas that haven't personally... Read more
Published 11 months ago by pizzainthemorning
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful!!!
This book as been very helpful to me through out my pregnancie. It has been hard for me being my first and stuggling with all i went through as a child and teenager. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Julia M.
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting subject, very interesting and complete traitement of...
This is so abordable et instructive book about difficultes of women survivor's of childhood survivor abuse during pregency. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lyne Fortin
5.0 out of 5 stars Are there more than five stars?
This book, along with "rebounding from childbirth" by Lynn Madsen, are absolute necessities for midwives, obstetricians, and mothers alike. Read more
Published on November 26, 2011 by Angie F
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