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When Survivors Give Birth by Penny Simkin

Mon, 12/07/2020 - 2:40pm by mrajraspn08

I work in a library. I'm kind of a book person. So when I was pregnant and preparing to give birth, I looked for books to help me get ready. One unexpected resource was When Survivors Give Birth. The reach of this book goes far beyond its intended audience. Penny Simkin wrote this guide to help people who are pregnant and giving birth after having experienced sexual assault, but it is very informative to anyone who is looking at a birth who might face challenges.

This book speaks to both those preparing for birth and providers helping those who have experienced sexual assault to give birth. It addresses mental barriers as well as physical triggers, with suggestions on finding a provider that will be beneficial, screening patients for past trauma, and working together on solutions like using appropriate language and managing stressful reactions.

Though I have never experienced assault, as a trans and disabled person, this book was one of the most helpful and enlightening ones I found, and I used several suggestions in discussions with my midwives and doulas. It is a necessary resource for providers, and useful for birthing people.

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