When Survivors Give Birth

Educator Training

Introduction to the When Survivors Give Birth (WSGB)

Educator Training


The WSGB Educator Training is an opportunity for experienced educators with backgrounds in childbirth to deepen their knowledge, understanding and healing the effects of childhood sexual abuse on childbearing people. The educator training is offered periodically in conjunction with a two-day When Survivors Give Birth workshop.

The training begins with an introductory meeting (on Thursday evening), providing an opportunity for attendees who are interested in becoming educators to socialize with one another, and to learn from Penny and Phyllis about the two levels of approval to provide the one-day and two-day workshops.  Attendees will participate in the WSGB Two-Day workshop on Friday & Saturday. Educator candidates will have an additional day of instruction with Penny and Phyllis about how to present the WSGB curriculum.  Candidates have the opportunity to become approved at two levels (see below). Additional information about the approval process will be discussed.

Our Mission

  1. To enlighten maternity care and mental health professionals and paraprofessionals on the lasting impact of early (and later) sexual trauma on children, adults, and childbearing women.
  2. To educate these persons in ways to reduce or eliminate the negative long-term effects of such trauma, especially as they affect the childbearing survivor.
  3. To assist these persons in offering empathic, sensitive, woman-centered maternity care.
  4. To assist these persons increase survivors’ self-esteem and self-confidence in parenting and in family and social relationships.
  5. To empower workshop participants with relevant information, confidence, and skills to benefit the women and family before, during, and after birth.

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Level One

Approval to teach the one-day workshop or shorter sessions (ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 hours).

Level One Approval

Level One approval requires:

  • Experience as an educator of groups, preferably teaching birth-related subjects, plus experience working with abuse survivors during their pregnancy, birth, and post-partum as a doula, childbirth educator, nurse, midwife, lactation consultant, birth counselor, clinical psychotherapist, or in a similar capacity;
  • Attendance at the full two-day workshop and the third day of training for WSGB;
  • Reading several birth-related and sexual trauma-related books, with short book reviews of the content and how it may be useful to you as a WSGB presenter;
  • A statement of the challenges you anticipate as you move forward in educating others on this topic.
Level Two

Approval to teach the entire two day workshop, which includes not only teaching the one-day or shorter curricula, but also the full 2 day curriculum, covering teaching others how to provide guidance or counseling for the following trauma-related challenges:

  • Pregnant survivors of sexual and other trauma with anxiety relating to their upcoming birth;
  • Women who have had a previous traumatic birth and lingering distressing symptoms;
  • Women who are pregnant again after a previous traumatic birth, the negative impact of which has increased with the reality that she must experience birth again;
  • Breastfeeding survivors for whom feeding brings up abuse-related memories or feelings.
Level Two Approval

Level Two Approval requires:

  • The Level One credentials;
  • Documented experience counseling women in all the above categories;
  • Submission of complete records on 6 clients (to be described) to Phyllis and Penny for approval;
  • Agreement to consult with Penny or Phyllis before substantive changes are made to the curriculum or the values put forward in the workshop;
  • Written approval from Phyllis and Penny.