Addressing Birth Trauma: Take Back the Night meets Take Back Birth

Take Back the NightBirth trauma happens for a host of complex reasons.

Among them:

(1) Barriers to accessing safe and competent care providers,

(2) Unexpected and/or unanticipated pregnancy, labour and birth, and postpartum outcomes,

(3) Practices that serve to prioritize the best interests of a ‘care’ provider and institutional policies over the needs of women and their families, Continue reading

The transition(s) to fathering

“I just want to be a good dad”

We have heard this statement hundreds of times over the years working with men – men who have long been fathers, and men in the transition to becoming first time fathers. We have shared space with many capable and caring men that are just not sure what to expect in becoming a dad, who may be feeling uncertain, conflicted, and/or ambivalent, amidst a myriad of other feelings, including joy and excitement. Continue reading

‘Good Enough Mother’ (G.E.M) – Part 2

"I'm not a bad girl! You're a bad mommy!"I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while – since November. This post is inspired by the conversations I had both online and in person with participants who attended one of my presentations at the Birth and Beyond Conference 2013. For those who did not attend, the presentation was entitled, “Good Enough Mother”.  I can honestly say I was not expecting more than 3 people to attend this talk, including the moderator for the session. Needless to say I was quite panicked when I learned less than a week before the presentation over 45 people were registered to attend. Continue reading

Are you a ‘good’ mother?

Are you a ‘good’ mother? Notions of what it means to be a ‘good’ mother are deeply rooted in often contradictory, historical, political, social & economic discourses. Dominating the parenting section in bookstores are books advising women about what they need to do in order to achieve success as pregnant women, as laboring women, and as postpartum mothers, often in “ten easy steps”. There is an over-abundance of parenting and mothering magazines, which have proliferated exponentially over the past two decades, in fact, ‘good’ mothering has become consumed by consuming – the right products, the right food, the right sling, etc. Continue reading

(Re)launch of A Safe Passage

Welcome to the re-launch of A Safe Passage – a web site dedicated solely to supporting survivors of abuse through the transition to parenting, family and friends looking to support a loved one through the transition, and professionals working with survivors. There are some exciting new changes to the site I’d like to share with you.

But first some background.

I have been a doula since 1996, and a counsellor working with women survivors of abuse since 2002. Early on in my doula career, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Penny Simkin, entitled “When Survivors Give Birth”. This workshop planted the seed that gave life to A Safe Passage. It was during that workshop that I learned how childhood sexual abuse later shaped women’s experiences of pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period. Continue reading