Congratulations! Baby is nearly here and your transformation into a mother has begun
But I hear you… it can be hard to hold the joy of pregnancy along with the impact of the past.
If you are experiencing memories and feelings that belong to a different place and time, you are not alone
Many survivors, whether of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, perinatal loss, or birth trauma find the past can be particularly heavy during pregnancy, birth and postpartum
And it can be difficult to know where to turn.
A personalized birth plan can give you practical steps to feel more in control, and help your birth team provide support that will honor the whole you
You can find your voice
But you do not need to find it alone
I’m Dr Justine Leach, BACE certified childbirth educator
I’m a mother of two gorgeous boys and co-founder of Resilient Birth. After years as an academic working on issues of consent and sexual violence, I left academia in order to support survivors on their journey to becoming mothers by providing trauma-informed childbirth education. I trained with Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LCSW, and Penny Simkin, PT, the authors of When Survivors Give Birth, to be able to support you prenatally. I know what it is like to feel haunted by the ghosts of the past, but I know that it is also possible to give birth feeling strong, powerful, and in control.
Why personalized birth planning?
Of course, you can download a free birth plan template from the Internet. But a generic birth plan will not address the unique challenges you face as a survivor.
A good birth plan is not just a list of birth preferences that outline whether you’d like to soak in the tub, get an epidural, or bounce on a birth ball.
An impactful birth plan sets out the essential information your birth team needs to know. Then they can provide you with amazing care whether your birth goes to plan or not.
As a survivor, it is even more important that your birth plan is trauma-informed, so that your birth team can work with you to support you fully
Does this mean that you have to disclose your history on your birth plan?
No. Whether you want to disclose that you are a survivor is something we will discuss during the consultation. What is most important is that you think through and communicate what you need to feel safe, supported, and in control during your birth
A Survivor Consultation usually takes the form of a private meeting in which we discuss
How you are feeling about the birthing process and your postpartum expectations
Understanding what specific things about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the first few weeks postpartum are likely to be challenging for you
Planning effective and personalized strategies to cope with these anticipated challenges
Throughout you remain in control of your story - our focus is on how you are feeling now and what your concerns are about birth.
The goal is to create a powerful birth plan that addresses these specific concerns: a birth plan that outlines what you, your support person, and your birth team can each do, so that you have the best chance to welcome your baby feeling strong, present, and joyful.
During our meeting I take notes. I type these and give them to you so that you have a record of what has been discussed. Many people like to use this document to create their birth plan, but you can also request a sample birth plan that I will produce for you free of charge using the information from our conversation.
This is followed by one complementary session after you give birth to help you process your experience.
Consultations can take place in person if you live in the Boston area or online via Zoom.
It usually takes at least 4 hours to go through this process. Many people find that sitting for 4 hours is overwhelming and opt instead to schedule 2 sessions lasting 2 hours each.
Are you ready to find your voice?
Transform your birth for
$180 per 2 hour sessio
a sliding scale is available; just contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information