Sponsoring a Lecture or Workshop

Presented by Penny Simkin

Penny offers a variety of lectures, workshops, and trainings for maternity caregivers, nurses, childbirth educators, and doulas. She is happy to work with you on designing a workshop or conference presentation that will meet your needs.

Types of Workshops

Penny can adapt the presentations depending on your audience and time available. Once you have selected the topics, Penny usually works with you to tailor the agenda to your wishes and to help you select a title for your workshop or conference. We will send you detailed outlines, objectives, teaching methods, audio-visual requirements, post-test questions and answers, and bibliographies—all the items required to apply for continuing education units. If you want Penny to cover a topic that she has not listed, she may be able to create a new talk for you.

Please give Penny a call to discuss the content of the sample workshops. A typical one-day workshop lasts from 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. and consists of 4-5 topics of 1-2 hours each, plus a 1-1½ hour lunch break and two additional 15-30 minute breaks.

Selected Lecture Topics

  • The Birth Plan: Vehicle for Communication and Trust
    The Birth Plan is an effective way for expectant parents to express their preferences regarding options in care. It also helps caregivers and nurses recognize when women need extra understanding, compassion, education, or reassurance, and this improves the chances of a satisfying birth. The history of birth plans, and a win-win approach are presented, along with guidance for staff in receiving, discussing, and adapting a Birth Plan, if necessary.
  • Childbearing in Social Context: How Our Culture and Society Shape Our View of Women and Childbearing
    This thoroughly illustrated presentation explores major events in US History, Popular Culture, Women’s lives, and maternity care, decade by decade from the 1950s to the present. The changing social context and its influence on trends, attitudes, and features of childbearing are explored.
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse and Its Impact on the Woman’s Later Childbearing
    Approximately one in four women have experienced early sexual abuse, which means that every obstetric, family medicine and midwifery practice is serving survivors, as are professionals in many other fields. It also means that many laboring women are dealing with issues raised by their history of sexual abuse. Such a history affects a woman’s relationships with loved ones and care providers, contributes to her fears of labor and birth, and affects her attachment with her baby. It continues to challenge her on issues of breastfeeding and parenting. This workshop explores the physical and emotional challenges that may come up for a sexual abuse survivor in the childbearing year, and how the care provider can assist women before, during, and after childbirth to deal with and heal from these challenges.
  • Decision Fatigue in This Time of Informed Choice and Complex Maternity Care
    Informed decision making and patient autonomy are valued principles in maternity care. Becoming informed of the pros and cons of the numerous options is challenging for expectant parents, partly because today’s maternity care is highly technical and extremely complex, and even the “experts” disagree on which options are best for a particular woman. Many expectant parents feel inadequate and overwhelmed by all the work and preparation needed to make informed decisions. They may develop “decision fatigue” which refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made when under pressure to make numerous important decisions. Do childbirth educators, doulas, and birth activists sometimes add to the problem? Do we make it so complex that parents feel exhausted and incapable of making the “right” decision for them?  Penny will explore this problem and offer some possible ways to prevent decision fatigue while keeping mothers and babies in the center of care.
  • Eco-Friendly Birth: Troubling Downstream Effects of Common Ob Practices & How to Reduce Them
    Drawing from the language and methods of ecology, Penny will explore the effects of today’s birth practices on the baby’s first habitat – the uterus – and his or her next habitat – the mother’s body and breasts. Looking downstream from birth, Penny hopes to focus our attention on the recent findings of long-term implications of such common practices as induction of labor, cesarean section, epidural analgesia, immediate separation of mother from baby, and lack of breastfeeding. How resilient do mothers and babies have to be to withstand the disturbances to their habitat?
  • Emotional Needs of Women in Labor and How to Meet Those Needs
  • From Fetus to Adult: How Epigenetics and Pregnancy Events Influence One’s Lifespan
    • At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:
      1. Relate the evolution of knowledge of fetal development and consciousness.
      2. Describe how intrauterine events and circumstances influence lifelong emotional and physical health.
      3. List practical ways that expectant parents and their caregivers can benefit the unborn babies’ long-term well- being.
  • Maintaining Normalcy in the Third and Fourth Stage of Labor
    • At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:
      1. Name 3rd and 4th stage routines that are without benefit and may cause harm.
      2. Compare expectant vs. active management of third stage
      3. Discuss the advantages to the infant of delaying cord clamping.
      4. Describe “best practices” for 3rd and 4th stage management when mother and baby are in good health.
  • Non-Pharmacologic Methods of Pain Relief in Labor
    We know more effective methods than ever before to promote progress and reduce pain without medications. During this interactive lecture, Penny will compare pain and suffering in labor and summarize the benefits of non-pharmacologic methods to the woman, the staff and the hospital. Finally, Penny will demonstrate comfort measures and aids for pain and progress in labor and participants will have the opportunity to try them.
  • Physiologic Management of Labor: Maintaining Normalcy in Birth focuses on fostering and boosting the woman’s own resources for birth. This presentation will increase participants’ understanding of the connection between the emotional and physical processes of labor and ways to increase the woman’s effectiveness. Ms. Simkin will offer practical, evidence-based suggestions for care and management to improve physical and psychological outcomes for mothers and babies.  Can be divided into two talks, one on first stage and one on second stage.
  • Postpartum: The Neglected Phase of Childbearing or Factors that Influence Post Partum Recovery
    Compared to maternity care during pregnancy, when a woman is seen with increasing frequency, postpartum care is neglectful. She may see no professional for four or more weeks. This presentation covers lifetime factors that influence a woman’s postpartum adjustment and the Big 4 areas of concern in postpartum: Physical recovery, mood disorders, sleep deprivation, and mother-baby attachment, including feeding challenges. The role of the childbirth educator in preparing women and couples for post partum is described.
  • Reducing Cesareans for Dystocia: The Nurses Role Dystocia (prolonged labor) is the leading cause of cesareans, being responsible for about 60% of primary cesareans, and (because VBACs are rare) indirectly responsible for most repeat cesareans. Preventing the first cesarean is preventing the rest. This presentation discusses a paradigm for approaching dystocia, exploring possible causes, appropriate physiologic and nonpharmacologic treatment based on the cause, and resorting to obstetric interventions only if previous treatments are unsuccessful. The paradigm to a variety of causes, as time permits.
  • The OP Fetus: How Little We Know
    The fetal occiput posterior position poses challenges in every aspect of intrapartum care – prevention, diagnosis, correction, supportive care, labor management, and delivery, Maternal and newborn outcomes are often worse and both physical and psychological traumas are more common than with fetal occiput anterior positions. Further, methods of prevention and correction are unsatisfactory. In this presentation, Ms Simkin will describe and analyze the reliability of many beliefs and approaches to management of the OP labor. She will summarize the evidence to clarify the state of the science that deals with this challenging problem. A practical approach to care that is consistent with current knowledge and today’s maternity care climate will be suggested.
  • Sibling Classes
  • The Seduction of Induction
    The prospect of controlling the timing of birth appeals to pregnant women, their families, and caregivers (and even doulas, in some ways!), so there is little resistance when induction is suggested. Penny will review how labor is normally started by the fetus, the differences between elective and indicated inductions, the non-medical and medical ways that are used to induce labor, psychological responses to induction, and the doula’s role.
  • The Significance of Childbirth to a Woman, a Family, and Society—Yesterday and Today
  • The Tipping Point in Childbirth Education
    Childbearing women today rely less and less on childbirth education classes for information about birth and early parenting. What are repercussions of this trend for good birth outcomes? This presentation examines ways to revitalize childbirth education to increase women’s responsible and beneficial participation in their care to increase the advantages for both families and providers.
  • When Pain Becomes Suffering
    Labor pain is a major concern of pregnant women, their partners and their caregivers, second only to the well-being of mother and baby. While many women are able to manage or cope with labor pain, and find great satisfaction in childbirth, other women suffer, and end up feeling disappointed, inadequate, or even traumatized by the birth experience. These feelings sometimes continue for a long time after birth and contribute to the high rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after childbirth (almost 10 % of all birthing women).
  • Yes, Birth is Normal…But what is Normal Birth?
    Using reports from prestigious individuals and organizations (including Lamaze International) that represent midwifery, obstetrics, family practice, childbirth education, and the public from the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, and Europe, Penny will show that great differences actually exist on the definition of normal labor. She will discuss the ramifications of different definitions for maternity care and for childbirth education. She will propose a definition of normal birth to guide childbirth educators in their teaching.

Workshops (One day and two day)

Penny frequently gives one or two day workshops that combine four to eight of the above topics to meet the preferences of the sponsor and intended audience.  In addition, she offers the following:

  • When Survivors Give Birth: Counseling Skills and Strategies to Assist Pregnant Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Preparing for Birth for experienced counselors, childbirth educators, or birth professionals, including a half day, one day and two day version.
  • Labor Support (Doula) Workshops, including a one- or two-day preparatory course for those with little or no background in childbirth; a basic two-day doula training; and a version of the two-day training in which the first part is open to childbirth professionals who want to learn about the benefits of a doula, while the second part is only for doula trainees
  • Doula Teacher Training Workshop for those who are both experienced doulas and childbirth educators
  • Advanced Doula Training
  • Workshops for nurses and/or childbirth educators, including teacher enrichment workshops and “Unsung Heroines: How Nurses Can Contribute to Improved Outcomes”

If there is any other information which you need, please feel free to write, call or email your questions to info@pennysimkin.com